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Old 10-27-2003
Randolph Bertin Randolph Bertin is offline
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halyard working load

When I was sailing this past weekend, the block at the base of the mast that redirects the main halyard to the cockpit broke [we were using the halyard to fully raise the main after removing a reef].

In preparing to replace the block, I realized I don''t really know what loads the block has to withstand. The halyard makes a 90 degree turn at the block. Presumably there is a second block in the system at the masthead.

Obviously many loads on a boat are wind dependent, but is there a reference for typical loads on various parts of sailboats? I would think that the wind does not greatly affect loading of the main halyard, since wind would not be exerting force downward, against the halyard. Yet pressure on the sail does affect the three corners (e.g. increased loads are used on cunningham and outhaul to flatten the sail/change the draft in higher winds, etc.)

I want to be sure and get a block that has a suitable safe working load. On the other hand, it seems unnecessary to buy an overly strong block if there are other weaker links in the chain. Plus it would be nice to know what kind of loads different parts of the boat are subject to.

If size, matters, the boat is a 23 foot cabin cruiser/racer keel boat (Beneteau).

Thanks for any insights.
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