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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sail an S2 27 with a 150 genny which is about 260 sq ft in area.

The other day my foot (turning) block sheave went flying across the cockpit - the sheave axle is nowhere to be found...the blocks were ca. 1985 Scahefers.

In looking at cost of foot blocks - they are of course very expensive compared to cheek blocks. $50 for a block that can handle a SWL of 1750 lbs vs. 2500 lbs for a proper foot block. having said that, 99.9% of my sailing is in sub-20 knot winds. using the harken sail sheet load calculator - at 25 knots, the sheet load is 700 lbs. Using the rule of thumb that a 180 degree turn doubles the load on the block - under 25 knot conditions i will have 1400 lbs of force on the block. so now I am thinking should I just get the way less expensive cheek block since the SWL is within limit?

of course, i did not factor in any additional loads when grinding the winch - which I guess is why I should get the foot block???

thx rick
 

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Rick,

I would stick with a true cheek block. You really don't want to cut it close with this kind of hardware.

The good news is that you can find some Schaefer Cheek Blocks for under $50. Ball bearing versions cost a bit more....
 

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S/V Loon
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Harken's site says 'footblocks carry some of the highest loads imposed by running rigging' and that may be marketing hyperbole, but you just busted a block. I've also been working my way old circa 1980 Schaefer non roller bearing blocks (and worse) and new blocks seem way better engineered than 25 years ago.

One thing to consider - I can't tell if you are looking at the #1963 57 mm High-load Black Magic Foot Block, which is a really fine piece of engineering for an msrp of $141, or the alternative #6091 57 mm ESP Footblock, which is out of another Harken line, but has the same 2500# SWL for msrp $93.

Hunt online, and you can drive those prices down.

Personally, I would not scrimp on genoa handling systems, when they break, you are likely to be sitting close to them.

Edit - just checked footblocks for my boat - Harken #1972 (a good year to be sure) with a 5250# SWL - and those puppies are msrp $289 each. Yee-haw!

Second edit - I just ran the Harken configurator for a S2 27, and for foot blocks it recommends a #2606 57 mm Carbo Cheek Block... which seems insufficient.
 

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I dont get your comment about factoring winch loads, that has no effect on the line loading from the sail. Your boat is equipped with foot blocks for a reason, they ensure the sheet lead to the winches are correct regardless of the varying locations of the turning blocks. Definitely replace them with new foot blocks, just get stronger grear.

You can use the Harken spec toolhttp://www.harkencompuspec.com/ to identify their recommended block for your boat. I would go one size up on their ecommendation in general principle.

The best way to get excellent hardware at a fair price is to call the service guy at Garhauer Marine Hardware -68690 (Guido i beleive, I haven't spoken with him in a few years), tell him what you need and your boat, and then buy whatever he advises. You can't go wrong.
 

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What's the difference between a cheek block and a foot block?
A cheek block is a block with padded sides that can be attached where chosen by a shackle, usually used to change the direction of a sheet.

A foot block is a flat block permanently bolted to the deck/coaming, located around the aft end of the cockpit, and mounted on a pad. Foot blocks at located and angled to ensure that the jib sheets lead properly onto the winches, regardless of the location of the turning blocks.
 

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bubb, I see the difference in construction between those photos. The foot block has an additional full length side plate, no doubt giving it extra strength. However, is that the only difference? Sailingfool has indicated something different, and suggest that a cheek block is a single block with padded sides (I've never seen this) and a shackle attached to a padeye or other fixed point.

I'm still confused.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
TaylorC

Thanks - forgot about harken's configurator - will look at that.

some folks recommend garhauer- but heard that they are inconsistent with respect to customer service/order processing.

Rick

Harken's site says 'footblocks carry some of the highest loads imposed by running rigging' and that may be marketing hyperbole, but you just busted a block. I've also been working my way old circa 1980 Schaefer non roller bearing blocks (and worse) and new blocks seem way better engineered than 25 years ago.

One thing to consider - I can't tell if you are looking at the #1963 57 mm High-load Black Magic Foot Block, which is a really fine piece of engineering for an msrp of $141, or the alternative #6091 57 mm ESP Footblock, which is out of another Harken line, but has the same 2500# SWL for msrp $93.

Hunt online, and you can drive those prices down.

Personally, I would not scrimp on genoa handling systems, when they break, you are likely to be sitting close to them.

Edit - just checked footblocks for my boat - Harken #1972 (a good year to be sure) with a 5250# SWL - and those puppies are msrp $289 each. Yee-haw!

Second edit - I just ran the Harken configurator for a S2 27, and for foot blocks it recommends a #2606 57 mm Carbo Cheek Block... which seems insufficient.
 

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