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Old 03-16-2010
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Mainsheet Blocks


I am about to purchase my mainsheet hardware and I am looking for some feedback. So some information :
  • I want to use a 6:1 system.
  • I have an end boom connection point and a traveler across the entrance to the companion way.
  • Boat is 33' with 13,000 lbs displacement. The mainsail has a surface area of approximately 180 square feet.
  • Mainsheet will be 3/8" Yale Crystalyne line.

The two sets of blocks I am looking are are the Lewmar 72mm Synchro blocks and the Harken midrange blocks. The Harken blocks are 2.5x more expensive than the Lewmar blocks and I can't figure out why.

Is it simply a quality difference?

Lewmar 72mm Cruising Blocks
Lewmar 72 mm Synchro Block Triple Becket Cam + Lewmar 72 mm Synchro Block Triple

Harken Midrange Blocks
Harken Midrange Hexaratchet Triple, Ratchet, 280 Cam-Matic, Becket + Harken Midrange Triple Block

Im sure it doesn't help but...

Pic of traveler:

Pic of boom end:

Thanks for any insight or recommendations.

1971 Contest 33 Hull Number 24

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

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Old 03-16-2010
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6:1 should be plenty for that mainsail area... as long as you use a decent block with bearings I'm sure you'll be fine. Harken's nice stuff but you do pay a bit for it.

Have you priced Garhauer? Check them out too.

1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
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Old 03-16-2010
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You're likely to get a string of Garhauer a's one of the few "everybody-loves-it" products. I certainly do.

I'd suggest you go for a larger, low tech line, say at least 7/16 if not 1/2. The mainsheet is not a high load use, no need for fancy expensive and hard line, better to have something with a good "hand". I don't know that line specifically, but it doesn't sound like mainsheet material.
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Old 03-16-2010
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You probably don't need a hexaratchet block set from harken. One major reason the Harken blocks are better is that they are ball-bearing based, rather than sleeve bearing based, as the Lewmars are. The ball-bearing blocks are better for dynamic loads, the sleeve bearing blocks are better for static loads.

The blocks I'd recommend for you are not the Lewmar 72mm, but the Harken AirCarbo 57mm. They've got basically the same working load, basically the same as the Lewmar 72 mm (2380 SWL vs. 2420 SWL for the Lewmars). However, the cam cleat on the Carbo is a bit weaker than the Lewmar cam—a SWL of 1800 lbs vs the 2420 on the Lewmar cam. They're only a little bit more money... $260 vs. $219 for the lewmars, but significantly less than the medium boat blocks.

I'd point out that I use the same blocks on my boat, and my mainsail is 242 sq. ft. and the boat doesn't heel as much, so the forces on the main are greater than you'll have.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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Last edited by sailingdog; 03-16-2010 at 10:50 PM.
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