Cheeky blocks

by Chuck February 12, 2005

I headed into Everett today to pick up new blocks for the top of the mast. I needed two cheek blocks, one for the main halyard and one for the topping lift, and a standard block for the jib halyard.

The original blocks were undersized and very old and worn out. I picked up a couple of Schaefer cheek blocks with sheaves about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Those are about half again as big as the originals.

I picked up a Harken bullet block for the jib halyard. It has delrin bearings, which makes it spin remarkably well.

It'll be interesting to see how the new blocks will improve sail handling. I'm hoping that the new main halyard block will make it easier to hoist the main all the way to the top of the mast track. Because the halyard block is out of line with the mast track, as the sail reaches the top of the mast it starts to bind in the track and stops going up. With the new blocks I hope that the friction in the blocks will be enough lower that the hoist will be higher before it binds.

Anyway. Next I need to learn how to attach the cheek blocks with rivets. I bought a rivet setter and stainless steel rivets to put the blocks on with. I need to get some Tefgel or something like that to keep the two dissimilar metals from reacting and causing corrosion.



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