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Opinions needed on mast head cheek block replacement

A forum for discussing boat or trailer repairs or modifications that you have made or are considering.

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Opinions needed on mast head cheek block replacement

Postby bscott » Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:54 pm

My main is hard to raise/lower and I believe the mast head cheek block is toast, I am considering replacing it with a pad eye and a 2.5" ball brg swivel block which will better align itself with the main halyard, have a larger dia. sheave and less binding/friction.

This winter I am going to wash my halyards with Woolite to soften them for smoother running over the sheaves.

Currently I am dousing my sail slugs with Sail cote and relieving the boom vang and main sheet but still not much help. I can winch the main full up but it will not come down by itself. Last resort is a main down haul-I am trying to keep my control lines to a minimum.

Any thoughts about the cheek block replacement? Any negatives?

Thanks,

Bob
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Re: Opinions needed on mast head cheek block replacement

Postby RussMT » Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:42 pm

Post your results. The block up there has never been an issue with me.

The things you are doing make sense though. Clean the sail track, lube it and hope it works better.
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Re: Opinions needed on mast head cheek block replacement

Postby vizwhiz » Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:45 pm

I am interested also.

I have some damage to the sail track up near the top that makes it hard to finish raising the mast also if there is any sideways loading on the mainsail and slugs, so I second the thoughts about making sure the track is clean and in good shape. That also made me look hard at the way that cheek block pulls on the head of the mainsail, especially as the mast gets closer to the top and the angle gets more sideways than when the mast is low. I am interested to know how the changes work out.

Also, I am considering changing the mast setup to rotating, and have considered changing the cheek block also to accommodate some other masthead changes, so any changes "up there" are on my list of things to look at.
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Re: Opinions needed on mast head cheek block replacement

Postby Catigale » Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:52 pm

The main halyard should be routed on the block so it comes own closest to the mast groove...this makes a huge difference.....
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Re: Opinions needed on mast head cheek block replacement

Postby vizwhiz » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:04 am

Catigale wrote:The main halyard should be routed on the block so it comes own closest to the mast groove...this makes a huge difference.....


(checking my "Sarcasmeter", and the needle's bouncing back-and-forth depending on which way I point it...hmmmmm...) :wink:

True, Cat, just that the damage to the sides/edges of the track on my mast make the slugs get hung up a little when I pull the mast up, so the more it pulls to the side, the more trouble it is...not a big issue until close to the top. If Bob has any damage or a tight spot in the sail track, especially up near the top, it could cause the same issue.

Bob, have you checked the size of your slugs? Did the PO use slugs that are one-size-too-large? That would definitely cause a problem!
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Re: Opinions needed on mast head cheek block replacement

Postby Catigale » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:37 am

Despite my earned reputation, no sarcasm on this one....if the main halyard goes over the block the wrong way on my :macx: the last few inches of halyard are impossible - the halyard is actually pulling the main out of the slot, instead of up...

:macm: may be different, with blue :macm: s no one notices anyway....

(OK, sarcasm turned back on for that last bit - Im only 6 steps through a 12 step program...)
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Re: Opinions needed on mast head cheek block replacement

Postby bscott » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:14 pm

This is a winter project as my mast is currently stepped in my slip. It appears, via my binoculars, that the mast head cheek block is undersized and not rotating. It also does not pull the main halyard straight to the top--thus binding. I believe the rotating mast further compounds the problem.

Cold/stiff halyards can't help the problem.

I will be contacting Garhauer to get their opinion as to proper sizing of the swivel block and pad-eye.

I am hoping Judy will chime in on this as most masts are rigged with cheek blocks.

The KH sails are 3 years old and purchased by me so what ever Kelley provided is what I'm using. I have replaced few slugs so I'll measure and report back. I have 4 weeks left before haul out and our afternoon lake winds are 20+ so I do alot of single handed reefing--first reef at the slip, 2nd ref on the lake--any hang up is too difficult for an olde fart like me so I am not shaking out the first reef.

Bob
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