jib sheet too large for blocks

Moderator: GreenLake

jib sheet too large for blocks

Postby navahoIII » Mon Oct 04, 2010 10:29 am

Simple problem. The jib sheets I bought from D&R are 5/16" and the blocks leading to cam cleats are 1/4". I've used them for a few seasons and feel they should be better matched.

Do I make it easy by replacing the sheets with 1/4" line? This, apparently, was the original set up, as the blocks appear to be same vintage as the boat (1961). Or, should I get new blocks for the thicker sheets?

Thanks.
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Postby K.C. Walker » Mon Oct 04, 2010 1:52 pm

Well, I replaced both. The previous owner had 5/16 double braided sheets for the jib. I replaced the jib sheets with 7 mm Bzzz Line from Intensity Sails and like it http://www.intensitysails.com/newenro7mmbu.html . I did go to 8mm for the main sheet, though. I replaced the blocks with Ronstan Smart Ratchets and really like those.

KC
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Postby GreenLake » Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:02 pm

I started the other way: my jib track broke on the maiden voyage, and the replacement tracks I got had beefier blocks that accept up to 3/8". When it became time to replace the sheets, I found a bit of 3/8" line lying around that happened to have the correct length. That's what I've been using, even though it's not the best rope for the purpose (too smooth and a bit too heavy in light airs).

A lighter line would make sense, and a better grip might allow a thinner line, but ultimately you have to know whether 1/4" will fit your style of sailing. If it does, K.C.s recommendation might fit the bill, the price seems good, a tad better than my local source for the same rope.

One thing I did with my jib sheet, I switched from using a knot at the clew to a rope shackle. That is a short length of Amsteel, with an eye splice in one end and a manrope knot in the other. You attach it to the sheet using a Prusik knot, and then attach the sail by sticking the eye splice through the clew and locking it with the manrope knot.

The Amsteel is 12-plait which is really easy to splice, and by working with pairs of strands, you can work out how to apply the instructions for a manrope knot (usually given for 3-strand rope) to double the number of effective strands with little problem. Mine came out on first try.

Unlike a steel shackle, there's nothing to bang up when the sail flogs, but like a steel shackle, you can take the sail of the sheet without having to thread the sheet through the blocks and barber hauls. I now leave the sheet in place and it's saved me precious minutes both rigging and unrigging.

The instructions for the splice and the two knots are not hard to find. I have several in print, but perhaps somebody can locate some good online versions.
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Postby La Mancha » Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:35 pm

As I get older I find that larger diameter line is much easier on my hands. I'd keep the 5/16" sheets and replace the blocks.
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Postby navahoIII » Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:48 am

Thank you, all, for your input.

I'm inclined to agree with you, La Mancha, especially when you need to hold the sheet for extended periods, rather than cleating, as on a wind-shifty day -- new blocks it is!
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Postby algonquin » Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:04 am

Here's a site with good prices on blocks and they usually ship pretty quickly. Brad

http://www.duckworksbbs.com/hardware/blocks/index.htm
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Postby K.C. Walker » Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:59 am

I checked eBay regularly through last fall and winter looking for ratchet blocks. The brand-new 40 mm Ronstan Smart Ratchets that I got for my jib sheets I paid $20 each including shipping (list price $70 each). I paid about the same for a new 40 mm Harken Carbo air block with a switchable ratchet, as well. I ended up paying $30, again including shipping, for a new 70 mm switchable ratchet Harken Carbo air block. Having high-quality blocks is such a pleasure compared to using the originals or something like those racelite blocks. Even if you pay list price for non-ratchet air blocks they are very reasonable. If you're using a double braid for your sheet rope the internal friction in the rope is noticeable over small blocks, especially ones with no ball bearings. I would recommend a minimum of 40 mm for 5/16 sheets. The great thing about ratchet blocks is that the sheeting effort and especially holding a sheet against tension is greatly reduced which even makes cleating an un-cleating much more pleasant.

I did use racelite jib track cars and they work okay. I do wish the thumbscrew was a little shorter, I'll fix that sometime.

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Postby navahoIII » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:28 pm

Thanks, again, for the input.

KC - those 40mm Harken Carbo air blocks look great. I'd need the singles w/swivel (about $23 each by the website). The question is will they fit through the fitting on deck? There appears to be little room for anything greater than 1/8" diameter (the swivel). I'll have to measure. Happen to know what size the Harken swivels are?
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Postby K.C. Walker » Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:42 pm

If you're talking about the jib track cars with an 1/8 inch eye, you're right. I tried to figure out a way to reuse them and decided instead to replace them, as well, with this http://www.racelitehardware.com/rl-48-a ... e-sli.html . It fits right on the original track.

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Postby navahoIII » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:11 am

No cars and no jib track. It is basically a plate, screwed through the deck, with a closed eye (this is a separate piece of hardware from the plate), so that in order to remove the block, whose swivel eye is also closed, one has to disassemble the plate (unscrew the two nuts and bolts) then separate the plate from the eye (which IS open -- I assume! -- on the underside). Anyway, I didn't get around to measuring it yesterday.

Thanks for the help.
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Postby K.C. Walker » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:06 am

NavajoIII,

If it's open on the bottom I think you're probably okay. Sliding the shackles through an 1/8 inch eye would not be possible because the ends are larger than 1/8 inch, however I think the shackle is 5/32 inch, so you're going to have to measure carefully. http://www.apsltd.com/c-418-harken-carbo-airblocks.aspx

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Postby navahoIII » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:48 am

Thanks, K.C., I will measure carefully. Maybe there is room for a 5/32" shackle!. I'll post later.
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Postby navahoIII » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:16 am

I did measure and I think a 5/32" shackle would just fit -- however -- that plate with the eye is ONE piece not two (as I thought) and it is NOT open on the underside.

So, if I want to replace the old blocks I'll have to get new deck plates too. I 'll look around too see what's available.

Suggestions are welcome!
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Postby K.C. Walker » Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:43 am

Eye straps are amazingly strong. http://www.apsltd.com/c-1134-eyestraps.aspx
I suppose another possibility could be a quick link http://www.apsltd.com/c-157-HooksLinksC ... mmels.aspx

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Postby navahoIII » Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:00 am

Boy! I measured the holes and they seem to be about 1" 13/32" on center -- unusual?

Do you suppose the eye straps, even the solid round ones (which I prefer), are flexible enough to fit if they have slightly different measurements?
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