Performance sailboat hardware manufacturer, Allen, has launched an additional option for its range of ratchet blocks, dubbed the Wave Ratchet, which will offer between 20 to 40%* more grip without adding any additional wear to rope.
Ratchet blocks are an important part of performance sailing, helping to reduce loads and fatigue for sailors. The ratchet block works by increasing friction to the rope that is being trimmed. The more friction a ratchet block adds to the system, the easier it is for a sailor to hold onto higher loads. But, by adding more friction to a system the rope ends up taking the brunt of the punishment and will wear out more quickly.
The most effective way to increase friction is to add sharp edges to the ratchet sheave, but this quickly deteriorates and wears away the rope. Fine, if you’re a professional sailor and receive monthly care packages of rope. So, after working alongside leading rope manufacturers, the Allen design team came up with a simple solution which improves grip without chewing away at your expensive rope.
The Wave Ratchet sheave has an offset V style grip made from a hard-wearing recycled plastic nylon, which does not have sharp edges that will eat into the rope. By adjusting the V formation in the sheave to be slightly offset, the ratchet now grips the rope at additional points around the sheave, resulting in more grip without the sharp edges. However, the new Wave Ratchet not only improves grip but as a result of the design it also allows for a less ‘jumpy’ feel when easing the sheet.