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post #23 of Old 09-01-2010
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Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
... my traveler is down in front of the companion way
So is our's, Denise.

We had the same problem: A 4:1 purchase just wasn't cutting it for The Admiral. (She's usually on the tiller, because I'm usually playing deck-monkey--so I also handle the jib and she takes [most of] the mainsheet duties.) So we went to this:

We had two problems with that solution, both occurring when the middle of the boom started getting out over the rail and further:
  • The sheet would tend to ride up out of the sheaves on the top block, preventing it from running free. This was mainly a problem in easing the main in light air or trimming it in heavy air.
  • That bottom block, being as wide as it is, would lay down on the brackets atop the cam cleats on the windward sheeting traveler car, which would both prevent it from freely swiveling and since they were stainless, would chew up the cheeks of the block.
I suspect the reason we had these problems is because our boom is pretty low. That, coupled with the traveler being atop the cockpit seats and mid-boom sheeting resulted in the mainsheet becoming nearly horizontal between the blocks as the boom went out.

Finally, out of frustration and desperation, I called Harken tech support. They fixed me up with a custom lower block that's a fiddle block with a third single block added, stand-ups on both. Now our mainsheet runs like its on greased rails

The Harken tech that fabricated that for us told me they've had to do it before, and there was even discussion of making it a standard catalog part. I don't know if they ever did that.

The bottom block we originally had had the auto-ratcheting feature. The custom one Harken did up for us had the manual switch, instead. Don't care. The auto-ratcheting was neat, but the whole thing actually working well is even "neater."

I don't believe I have a picture of the block Harken fabricated for us, but, if I remember, I can get one this weekend.

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