Which Stand-Up Spring for Main Sheet Block?


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Thread starter #1
I'm upgrading a couple of Sunfishes with this main sheet block.


It's going to look like the photo below.

Ratcheting Block And Cam Cleat.jpg

As an experiment, I mounted one on my Laser, using a stand up spring that easily holds the lighter standard Laser block upright. But the spring wasn't stiff enough to hold up the heavier Carbo Rachamatic block seen above.

Any idea of the type/model number of the spring I should order that's stiff enough? I could just order a bunch of them but thought I'd ask here first and save some expense.

There's one spring here...


And here's a few more from Harken...

http://www.harken.com/search.aspx?s=stand up spring


- Andy


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Thread starter #2
Just braved the San Francisco Bay Area traffic on a Friday afternoon in order to get down to West Marin in Sausalito and check out their stand up spring selection. Here's what I found.

I got two of their springs. The Harken 22 mm spring...


And the Harken 35 mm spring...


After surviving the trip home, I tested both springs on my shop bench with the ratchet block. The 22 mm spring doesn't completely straddle the bolt heads that hold the Eye Strap to the deck, so the spring can only sit off center... which in turn pushes the ratchet block up at an angle, not straight up and down.

The 35 mm spring however has a larger base and does straddle the bolt heads. So it's able to hold the ratchet block straight up and down. The see photo below.


In the photo on my first post, which I got off this forum on another thread, you can see how the spring, at least one side, is inside of the bolt head... but appears to be holding the ratchet block straight up. I wonder if the spring has a narrow enough diameter that the other side that's out of sight is also inside of the bolt head.

In any case, I found the spring I needed, the 35 mm. And it's stiff enough to hold the full weight of the heavy ratchet block with the cam cleat straight up.

Wanted to provide some details of what I discovered in case someone else goes down this same road and is wondering what spring will work.

- Andy
I guess I should have specified the spring on my original post. I had 2 choices when I set up mine and I ended up with the heavier spring and it fits perfectly around the eye strap and the screws are on the outside of the spring.
You are the first person to my knowledge to use my setup and I believe it to be the best block and cleat set up.
Price of the block cleat are the only draw back to this setup in my opinion.

Minas man


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Thread starter #4
I ended up with the heavier spring and it fits perfectly around the eye strap and the screws are on the outside of the spring.
Interesting. That certainly makes sense when you look at your photo. You wouldn't happen to have a link to that exact spring would you? :)

- Andy
Will have to dig through all my sailing hardware or I can get out the calipers and measure but I believe it is a Harken eye strap and the spring fits around the eye seating perfectly on the flat flanges and the round head bolts are clear of the spring.
I bought 2 springs, a light and a heavy, when I was setting this up and the heavy one was needed to keep the block standing up.
Matching the eye strap and spring diameter is the key proper fit. It is dark now so you will have to wait for the measurements.
I have not had a problem in the 5 years of using this setup.
Here is today,s sail with my new Intensity race cut sail and I beat my speed record, now it is 22km. I was wearing my, new to me, Sail Equipment Australia (S.E.A) hiking pants and they are awesome.

Minas Man
I experimented with this exact setup for a year with poor results. Even with strong spring had difficulty cleating or uncleating depending on adjusted position of cleat. Tried blocks of wood under cleat on deck to hold assy from tipping backward when attempting to cleat. More serious problem was uncleating when hiking hard in 20 kts. I have finally decided to learn to go cleatless and am adjusting well. May try deck cleats several inches to either side or one on rear edge of cockpit opening.


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Thread starter #8
The spring is a Harken non tapered with a 1 inch diameter and the wire thickness is .080 of an inch.
Thanks for digging up that info. And...

I'm on the Harken site right now under their stand up spring section. And I'm not seeing references under the specs to ".080 of an inch". Obviously, you didn't measure that yourself so I'm assuming you have a link to some specific set of specs. Can you provide that for me?

Cause, as Sailorlem points out, the weight of the ratchet block and cam tends to bend the spring around a lot. As I was experimenting with my set up, I was wondering if I was going to have the exact problems with cleating and uncleating that Sailorem was talking about.

So, I'm thinking that getting my hands on the exact spring you have is pretty important. You obviously have been loving your set up for some time. Got a direct link to that .080 spring you referenced above?


- Andy