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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:56 pm 
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Below are pictures of the old 6:1 (?) mainsheet system that came with my boat. Not exactly "low profile", I know, but I have to live with it for now. Anyways, we raced in fairly heavy conditions last weekend (gusts ~20-25 MPH) and after about 30-miniutes it was all I could do to just hang on to the sheet. I hesitate cleating in in those conditions because doing so has led to unwanted capsizes in the past. How do you guys do it? Am I "underpowered" with this system? I'm a strong guy but even with gloves I had to keep the sheet wrapped around my hand to keep it from slipping. Thoughts?

I've watched that terrific "Wrightsville Beach Hobies" Youtube video over and over and I'd love to hear how that poster does it. It looks like he's constantly feeding out small amounts of sheet (effortlessly) but if I tried that on Saturday my sheet would have reeled out so quickly the aft end of my boom would have been high enough to walk under in about a milisecond. Is it the Ratchamatic effect? If you look closely at my lowest (single) block you will see a black dial. Unfortunately, if this is supposed to control a ratchamatic-type system, it no longer appears to work. :evil: Anyways, here are the pictures....

Lower System:

Image

Upper System:

Image


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:13 pm 
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I had the very same thought this weekend. Then I found the ratchet was turned off on my boat by someone. It sucks without it for sure.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:17 pm 
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Location: Roswell, GA - USA
The ratchet makes all the difference. Usually there is a way to turn it on or off, maybe the black knob on the side. I also believe the STD for the H18 is 7:1 ratio. I can't tell what you have from the pictures.

Get the ratchet working and good luck.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:21 pm 
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Location: SE PA/ Chesapeak Bay
Here's a "easy" trick to determine what ratio mainsheet stack you have ....

Hang (from the boom) or lay out flat the mainsheet stack ..... now take a "yardstick" (any straight edge will do) .... hold it or place it perpendicular to the mainsheet stack ..... now count the number of lines the "stick" crosses .... that's your mainsheet stack ratio .....

Or just count the number of "shives" ....

(I learned that in Physics Class in College when we were studing pulley systems)

I think you have a 7X1 system ..... I used to keep in my vehicle a "grip strengthener" ..... one of the squeeze things ..... I would just do rep's as I drove to and from work .... it's all about hand and fore-arm strength .....

PS: I run a "quiet" boat ... no ratchets .... I don't want the boat next to me on the starting line to "hear" me as I "pull" the trigger" and sheet in ...

PS 2: And I sometimes have (1) wrap around my hand that I can "shake out" if needed quickly .... not (2) ... just (1) ....

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Fleet 54 Div 11


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 4:22 pm 
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Location: Jersey Shore
The system in your pics is a 7:1 purchase- the max allowable for the 18 per class rules. A low profile system is not necessary for the 18, but a smooth, well functioning system is.

Yes, you need to use the ratchet, especially if you're going to be hand holding the mainsheet in medium to high wind. It is incredibly difficult to hand-hold the sheet without it. The black lever on the lower block is to turn the ratchet on and off, if it isn't working, fix or replace the block.

That said, I always use the cleat. It is extremely difficult to maintain adequate sheet tension while hand holding the mainsheet, even with the ratchet turned on. In order to sail comfortably with the sheet in the cleat, you have to have the cleat angle set so that the line easily engages and disengages from the cleat. You also have to be comfortable with instantly snapping the mainsheet out of the cleat- this comes with practice. And last, you have to keep your head outside of the boat watching for puffs and shifts and make most of your trim adjustments through steering, not playing the mainsheet.

sm


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:27 pm 
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Thanks everybody. So I guess that becket on the top stack makes it a 7:1, huh? With luck maybe I can get the rachet working. I did use the cleat a bit after my arms started giving out and during one gust when I failed to snap it out, it took a last second kick of the heel to save me from capsizing. I'm certain I looked positively ridiculous to anybody in the vicinity. Ridiculous and tired and happy. :lol:

PS How are you guys holding the sheet? When the sheet exits your hand as you release mainsheet tension is it last passing your thumb and index finger or your pinky finger? I ask this because there's a Hobie 20 Nationals video showing participants heavily taping the "karate chop" area of their hands (as if the sheet is being fed out that way). Maybe I'm holding the sheet wrong as well (I'm doing thumb/index finger).


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:52 pm 
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Location: SE PA/ Chesapeak Bay
Shhhhhhhhh .......

That's my secret ..... I don't have my ratchets on ..... but I do cleat my main. I cleat the main for short periods in "puffy" conditions .... to rest my arm muscles.

Now, I spent the money a number of years ago to invest in "Lewmar" Racing Blocks for my mainsheet stack. The main reason is I liked their cleats (cleating & releasing) and the adjustability just a little more then the "Harken" Big Block Series (which is what came w/ my boat. Since then "Harken" has come out w/ the Carbo series .... I haven't tried them so I do not know how well they work ... but Harken makes great stuff ... and stands behind their products, even if the parts are years old and obviously abused .... (Yes, that little black tear shaped knob turns the ratchet on and of ... try lubricating it ... if it doesn't work contact Harken .... I bet they'll fix it ...)

Though I do LOVE my "Lewmars" !!!!!!!

PS: I hold my mainsheet line so that it passes over my forefinger .... now to confuse you sometimes I hold my jibsheet line so it exit under my pinkie finger ... you see I "flipped over"my cleats on my jibblocks so that they cleat's down (I bet yours cleat up) .... this is because of my "Magnum" wings ... I ALWAYS want to be able to uncleat my Jibsheet ... I've gone swimming several times when I couldn't, before I flipped them over (I hadn't adjusted the cleats "up" when I re-installed the wings, and when trapping out off the wings I was too low to release the jib ===> PITCH-POLE !!!!!!!

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H-18 mag/ #9458
Fleet 54 Div 11


Last edited by Harry Murphey on Tue Aug 02, 2011 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:57 pm 
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Thanks Harry. A new mainsheet system is definitely in my plans sometime in the next couple of years.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:49 pm 
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Try soaking the blocks in clean fresh water for a couple days the try to get the rachet working again. Cycle the switch acouple of times and run some sheet through and see if it catches the rachet. you may have to do this a few times to get the rachet to engage again. Once it's working a little lube on the switch and then keep them clean.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:22 am 
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I never use the ratchet on my Harken Carbo triple, I always have it cleated and just uncleat when hit with a puff. I've been scared the ratchet will not allow the sheet to run freely and the boat would be more likely to go over.. I can uncleat the mainsheet in a split second and havent really had a close call yet.. (unless my mainsheet was through the tramp dragging in the water behind me, lol)

Hey BrianCT, Where were you racing? I assume your from CT.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:24 am 
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Hi Daredevil, I'm in Fairfield how about you? This summer we started some casual racing on Saturdays off Jennings Beach. I believe we have 12 boats that participate, most of them H16s. I'm one of two H18s and there's also a Solcat 18. Very casual but it's been fun getting out on the water with the group. There's probably close to 30 cats stored here on the beach but some of them haven't been used in years. It does seem like more and more people have been catching the "beach cat bug", though.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:41 am 
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Daredevil wrote:
I never use the ratchet on my Harken Carbo triple...I've been scared the ratchet will not allow the sheet to run freely and the boat would be more likely to go over..


If you're using a good quality mainsheet system (Harken, Ronstan) and the right diameter line, there is no reason the sheet won't pay out plenty fast even with the ratchet engaged. I run a stock system - Harken Rachamatic 7:1 with stock Hobie line (3/8" dia I belive) and have never had an issue with the main not running out fast enough. You expend a lot of unnecessary energy letting the block freewheel. The only time I ever switch it off is in wind 5mph or less.

sm


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:12 pm 
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BrianCT wrote:
Hi Daredevil, I'm in Fairfield how about you? This summer we started some casual racing on Saturdays off Jennings Beach. I believe we have 12 boats that participate, most of them H16s. I'm one of two H18s and there's also a Solcat 18. Very casual but it's been fun getting out on the water with the group. There's probably close to 30 cats stored here on the beach but some of them haven't been used in years. It does seem like more and more people have been catching the "beach cat bug", though.


I'm in Vernon, which is about 15min east of Hartford. A good haul to Fairfield but would be worth it for a race.... I'm still a novice to cat sailing so something casual would be perfect.. is there a website or email for the club? If so please pm it to me, I'd like to get down there next summer or even later this season.

-RM- Thanks for the advise on ratcheting blocks, with my new line and blocks I'm definately gonna try using the ratchet next time.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:25 am 
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Daredevil wrote:
BrianCT wrote:
Hi Daredevil, I'm in Fairfield how about you? This summer we started some casual racing on Saturdays off Jennings Beach. I believe we have 12 boats that participate, most of them H16s. I'm one of two H18s and there's also a Solcat 18. Very casual but it's been fun getting out on the water with the group. There's probably close to 30 cats stored here on the beach but some of them haven't been used in years. It does seem like more and more people have been catching the "beach cat bug", though.


I'm in Vernon, which is about 15min east of Hartford. A good haul to Fairfield but would be worth it for a race.... I'm still a novice to cat sailing so something casual would be perfect.. is there a website or email for the club? If so please pm it to me, I'd like to get down there next summer or even later this season.

-RM- Thanks for the advise on ratcheting blocks, with my new line and blocks I'm definately gonna try using the ratchet next time.


Daredevil, Unfortunately, short of having a beach cat permit (open to residents and non-residents at an annual cost of ~$250), there is no way for you to trailer your boat to Fairfield and launch it for the day. Not sure what the rules are in neighboring towns such as Westport, Bridgeport and Stratford, but it would be easy enough to launch from there and sail up/down. FYI there's also an active cat sailing fleet in Madison (Garvan Sailing Club) but I'm pretty sure they have things "locked down" there as well.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:11 pm 
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Harry Murphey wrote:
PS: I run a "quiet" boat ... no ratchets .... I don't want the boat next to me on the starting line to "hear" me as I "pull" the trigger" and sheet in ...


:shock:
That is quite possibly the absolute dumbest thing I've ever heard. Like its some giant secret the race is starting? :lol:


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