Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "Mainsheet Blocks"
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Thread: "Mainsheet Blocks"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012


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Mainsheet Blocks

Jean Bourgeois

How many blocks do you have on your mainsheet?

Presently I have 2 blocks with a total of 4 sheeves and the block with the Cam Cleat is on the hoop above the rudder. We had at times difficulties securing the sheet in the cam cleat, it being on an angle and it was always when we were in bad weather bouncing all over the place.

I'll therefore bring the sheet to be cleated at the deck level and probably have a cam cleat both on port and starboard.

Have any of you rigged your mainsheet with 3 blocks on the boom and 4 blocks on the hoop in order to reduce the tension? And if so are you pleased with it?

Thanks for you help


Sounds like your problem could be getting a fair lead.... So,
My boat has two blocks on the boomkin, one port and one stbdd., and two blocks on the hoop at the boom. One of the blocks on the boomkin has a becket from which the mainsheet is rove through the blocks. Therefore, a four to one purchase, through the two blocks at the mast, leading back to deck level and no problems, even without any cam cleats.

Brian Duff

The standard block used there, from a horrible (in my opinion, from experience) company named Garhauer, has the cam cleat fixed in one angle, one configuration. As such, the mainsheet always falls out with the least bit of harassment. Mine is this way still. Buy a nicer block, like harken 038, and you will be in main trimmers heaven! this block can adjust cam angle as well as up or down engagement!.

Jean Bourgeois

Thanks for the info. With that and Buds advise, I got the situation resolved for easy sheeting.

Gary and Charlotte Burton

What did you end up doing Jean?

Bud Taplin

I am making a new stern pulpit for him with two straps on the hoop for a double block on each one. He is going to put three blocks on the boom. That way the mainsheet is double ended, with a line on each side going to cleats on the boomkin on each side.

Don Montgomery and Lana Nelson

I generally deficit spend when I put my two cents in ........but here goes. Just for the record, we like Garhauer and their products. We use them on a regular basis and have had zero problems.

Christian and Jennifer Holm

Garhauer is great, Wonderful service and product. I just installed the Davits for our w42.

I was based in Sourthern California fighting wildland fires this past fall and dropped in. Everyone was great.

I agree Don.

I am redoing our main boom system as I like the Garhauer design as advertised on Video at Lats and atts.

Aaron Norlund

My few cents,

I do like Garhauer for their affordability, but I do not think they have particularly quality stuff. It seems like any of their hardware that is more than five years old is riddled with rust stains. I have a set of eight year old double blocks with cam and there is are a couple scary rust cracks. Also, a magnet sticks to a set of cheek blocks I recently purchased for my boom.

In comparison, one of our previous boats, a 1977 Huntery, had a set of all stainless Shaefer blocks that, aside from a few scratches, were flawless. That said, for the cost of that one Schaefer block, I could get 8 comparable Garhauer blocks!

I buy Garhauer because that's what's in the budget.

Brian Duff

I have found that using Garhauer is false economy. The stainless steel does not last. I know of Garhauer products as young as two years old that have cracked completely apart, resulting in dangerous and very expensive failures. One example is a rigid boom vang on an 06 catalina 42 - another is westsail mainsheet blocks and lazy jack (at mast) blocks on my own boat.
In my opinion the stuff is junk, cheap crap. I have noticed the cheeks on their blocks are too thin, resulting in deformation and failure, the plates for their cam cleats to thin too, the stainless corrodes and cracks resulting in failure. Maybe your boat is not important enough to buy good quality hardware. I suggest waiting until you can afford good stuff before buying more, or buy it used if you can't afford new.

Ask any rigger (that is not a Garhauer dealer) what they think of the hardware. Make sure the rigger works and sails in the area you plan to use your boat, too...

In my opinion, if you need good, economy blocks, use the Harken ESP line of hardware.

Of course, if you are sailing outside the tropics, and religiously avoid high loads by over-sizing or fair weather sailing, the G stuff could last a long time. Rinse often with fresh water too

My 2-cents, spent out of the reserve on hand from buying quality hardware, once

Brian Duff
BVI Yacht Sales

Jim Focha and Julie Gwin

We began to change over to Garhaur as soon as we discovered them. I have no idea how old some of it is but it has held up perfectly. This is with 14 years on the Pacific coast and two years in Mexico. In Mexico the boat was seldom washed down as we were anchored out virtually all the time. We had no unusual staining and everything cleaned up just like new when we got home. We?ve had only one failure on a block which was our fault. Garhaur replaced it even though the original purchase date could not be determined. We replaced our Harkin traveler and the Garhaur was definitely superior. The corrosion on the Harken was unbelievable. The Garhaur traveler still has NO corrosion. We do oversize our hardware which we would do with any manufacture. Our last items are the running backstays. The blocks will be Garhaur and the stay will be Amsteel synthetic line.

The sea of Cortez is one of the highest salinity areas in the world and if the hardware holds up there it should be fine anywhere. I noticed a lot of our long distance cruising friends use Garhaur. Specifically a couple who have been cruising for 20 years and he is a boat builder/shipwright. While this is just my opinion and I?m not a rigging expert it is based an a little experience.


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