XD Kicker Top Block

Thread starter #1
I had a Harken XD kicker with a holt top block, 4mm vectran primary line and the primary kept getting caught between the sheave and the block (jamming the kicker tight).

I replaced the primary line with a thicker 6mm Dyneema line and replaced the top block with an old style Holt block as used in the original lasers with a 3:1 purchase and still have the same problem. The old block did not have a bent kicker key like the new systems but I'm not sure this would have made a difference.

What are people using?

I am considering buying the Harken laser vang top block and a 4mm dyneema primary like this one: http://www.roostersailing.com/merch...ore_Code=1&Product_Code=2508&Category_Code=lk

Any ideas why the primary line may have kept getting jammed? Thanks in advance.


The original harken top block was very prone to trapping the line between the cheek and the sheave, that's why they changed the design. The re-design does a much better job of keeping the line on the sheave. I haven't had the problem happen in 2 years of use.

I believe the block others switched to prior to the harken re-design (and that the majority use with the Holt vang) is either the Holt or Harken wire bullet block w/ becket.

Why is it happening - a number of reasons - mostly caused by slack (no tension at all) in the vang line and then either easing mainsheet or tightening the vang - the pull on the line is slightly off center against one cheek. If you are using the normal single 12 strand braid, the design of this line lets it easily "flatten" out which easily allows part of it to get wedged between the cheeck and sheave - more tension on the vang just drives the line deeper into the chasm.

FWIW, a double braid line doesn't flatten out as easily and tends to avoid getting jammed.
Thread starter #3
Thanks for your reply. As you said, I found the line jammed in the sheave when I pulled the kicker on having been slack - namely at the leeward mark and off the start line. I can't think why it has just started happening only that if it happens once the gap could possibly widen.

What rope and diameter line do you use for the primary?


I'm using the redesigned Harken block, I think my primary is either 3 or 4mm 12 strand single braid. The only think I did a little differently to try and help was to attach the secondary block with a splice, and I buried the tail of the splice at least 12", so when my vang is completely eased, I have the extra thickness of the line running thru the sheave