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Allen AutoRatchet Vs Pro-Ratchet

by Allen 2 Dec 2021 06:00 PST
AutoRatchet Vs Pro-Ratchet © Allen

The ratchet block is arguably one of the most important pieces of hardware used on a sailboat.

But what exactly is a ratchet block, how does it work and which option is best for you?

What is a ratchet block?
The ratchet block has one purpose; to add friction to a control line system to make it easier to hold and adjust. This is achieved with two features. Firstly, a sheave that can only spin in one direction. Secondly, by having a sheave which is shaped to grip the rope.
How does a ratchet block work?
The internal mechanism is where all the magic happens. To create a sheave that can turn in only one direction requires a toothed design paired with a spring-loaded pawl. As the sheave turns the pawl jumps over the teeth (this is where the clicking sound comes from). As soon as the load changes direction the pawl locks into the teeth which stops the sheave from turning. Once the sheave is locked into place the outer profile comes into effect.

Ratchet block sheaves are designed with a V shape, this is to create a gripping or jamming effect on the rope. This gripping effect combined with a sheave that only turns in one direction adds friction, which makes it easier for the user to hold the line when under load.
Switchable vs AutoRatchet
Our Pro-Ratchet range incorporates a switch into the ratchet mechanism. The switch turns the ratchet on or off. Allowing the user to customise the feel of the line by adding friction (turning on) or removing friction (turning off). The switch is located in the centre of the block and can be turned on or off even when the block is under load.

Turning the ratchet mechanism off will allow the ratchet block to spin freely in both directions, so it will act as a normal ball bearing block and help reduce overall friction in a system. As this is done manually it gives the user lots of control, great for use with a mainsheet or spinnaker sheets where you may want to introduce more feel into the sheet when the wind drops off.
60mm Pro-Ratchet With Wave Sheave
60mm Pro-Ratchet With Wave Sheave
45mm X2 AutoRatchet
45mm X2 AutoRatchet
RS Tera Racing Vang Pack
RS Tera Racing Vang Pack
Aluminium Tiller Extension
Aluminium Tiller Extension
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