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post #1 of 5 Old 07-11-2006 Thread Starter
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Ratchet Block for Spinnaker Sheets

I'm thinking about ratchet blocks for the spinnaker sheets. Does anybody have any experience and recommendations? I've found three ratchet block manufacturers - Ronstat, Lewmar and Harken. Practical sailor reviews the Harken, but apparently not the others.

Also, Brian Hancock in the SailNet Article "Using the Asymetrical Spinnker" recommends a ratchet block for the control line of a sock. Does anybody have any experience and recommendations with this application of a ratchet block?
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-11-2006
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I'm using a Harken Hexaratchet for my boom brake setup, to help apply tension to the brake line.

I think they'd be pretty good for spinnaker sheets and make a lot of sense for controlling a spinnaker sock.

I'm also planning on installing them for the two roller furling lines I have on my boat as well.

Basically, ratchet blocks are great for lines that you need to control under load, and most of the load on the line is one direction.

For the spinnaker sheets, I'd recommend the Harken Ratchamatic blocks rather than the Hexaratchet blocks. The reason I'd say this, is under light loads the blocks will freely rotate in both directions, yet when the wind loads up the kite, the block will help you control the lines, by having the ratchet engage under the heavier load.

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post #3 of 5 Old 07-11-2006
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A lot depends on what you're sailing. (Your profile doesn't seem to say.) Rachet blocks can be helpful when you're right at the limit of needing a winch, but don't want the weight or expense of winches curbing your style. Lightnings (19', with a rather large spinnaker) use rachet blocks sometimes for their spinnaker and main sheets. Talking about needing a rachet block for a spinnaker sock, however, gives pause. If your spinnaker is so big that you might need a rachet block for the spinnnaker sock, you certainly need winches for the sheet and guy. I don't think our spinnaker would need a rachet block if we were to mount a sock for it, and it measures 1000 square feet.
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post #4 of 5 Old 07-12-2006 Thread Starter
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Clarification

Thnaks for the responses. I already liked the Harken 75mm carbo ratchamatics for the reason stated. I liked the Ronstan for the available snap shackle head adatpter that might fit the Harken as well.

The application is on a Beneteau 36.7 and for getting on and off the winch initially and when jibing. My wife and I are just learning the asymmetrical spinnaker, and neither of us all that big or strong, or even young for that matter. We sail a lake and must jib frequently and already have a friction blister or two on our hands at the edge of the sailing gloves.
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You'll probably have to play around with the ratchamatics—to get the load setting right on the automatic ratcheting. Good luck, and let us know how it turns out.

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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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