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Old 27-02-2016, 08:27   #1
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Foot Blocks or Cheek Blocks?

Hello friends,
I am currently recaulking my teak decks and I have removed some hardware to get underneath them. I have 4 cheek blocks made by Fico that are all seized up to being non functional. I am wanting to get new ones. That being said, two of them are for what I think were for the stays'l sheets. One is for tightening the baby stay and the last one, I'm not sure, it's somewhere on the forward deck off to the side, some sort of control line I presume or maybe to run the babystay line aft? I'm attaching pictures of this for reference.

I'm was looking at the Garhauer blocks but not sure if I should get their foot or cheek blocks for this application. Other companies don't even have cheek blocks, just foot. I found what appears to be very similar units on RigRite but I know they have high prices. From what I searched, Fico was bought out by Ronstan, so these may be the same bolt pattern..

I'm going to ask Garhauer what they reccommend as they have nice gear, and I'm going to get their deck organizers as well, but if the Ronstans from RigRite are the same bolt pattern that would be awesome.


Another thing, what is the difference between a foot and cheek block?
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Old 27-02-2016, 09:38   #2
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Re: Foot Blocks or Cheek Blocks?

All foot blocks are cheek blocks, but the reverse isn't true. Cheek blocks are designed to be mounted flat against something pretty much anything, a mast, boom, or the deck. Foot blocks are specialty cheek blocks mounted to the deck, and are generally specced for the highest loads on the boat.

Personally the things I look for in foot blocks are high quality roller bearings, and a lock off so you can unload the winch if you need to. Since I don't think the Gurhauer have these two requirements I can't recommend them. But it may be worth a call to confirm that.
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Old 27-02-2016, 10:47   #3
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Re: Foot Blocks or Cheek Blocks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
All foot blocks are cheek blocks, but the reverse isn't true. Cheek blocks are designed to be mounted flat against something pretty much anything, a mast, boom, or the deck. Foot blocks are specialty cheek blocks mounted to the deck, and are generally specced for the highest loads on the boat.

Personally the things I look for in foot blocks are high quality roller bearings, and a lock off so you can unload the winch if you need to. Since I don't think the Gurhauer have these two requirements I can't recommend them. But it may be worth a call to confirm that.
Thanks, the Garhauer blocks do have roller bearings in their sheaves. But Yea I don't know if they have a lock off version.

Do I really need a lock off for the blocks for the staysail sheets? They just turn to the self tailing winches right there. Now I would be interested in lockoff for the baby stay block as that is usually a set and forget for a while type adjustment.

What would you recommend?

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Old 27-02-2016, 17:07   #4
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Re: Foot Blocks or Cheek Blocks?

While I wouldn't argue that jammers are absolutely necessary, I wouldn't own a foot block without one for a few reasons.

1) the easiest way to clear an over ride on the winch is to hit the jammer, then clear it from the winch. This way you aren't fighting the sheet at the same time.

2) there is always the chance I may want or need to put something else on that winch. Few things on a boat are capable of handeling sheet loads from the Jib/staysail. No jammer means you cannot set that sail and use the winch for anything else at the same time.

3) if the foot block doesn't come with it, you really can't install something else later to do the job. The loads are too high, so normal clutches won't work.

4) the jammer really doesn't add much if anything to the price, the cost is in blocks that are strong enough to handle the loads.


As an example, a 100% jib for your boat is 496sqft. A 100 is typically going to be flown at least up to 30kn, which results in a predicted sheet load of 1950lbs. A conservative safety margin is 3:1, so for a 100 jib you are looking at foot blocks based around a load of 6,000lbs. Then you have to account for the angle the line bends around the block, at 0 degrees it's 0% of the actual load, at 90 degrees it's 100% and at 180 degrees (the line double backs on itself) the load on the block is 200% the sheet load.

I seriously wasn't kidding when I said Foot blocks are the highest loaded thing on a boat. Even the primary winches typically have less load than the foot blocks do.
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Old 28-02-2016, 09:49   #5
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Re: Foot Blocks or Cheek Blocks?

Garhauer Foot Blocks and Cheek Blocks will work well for you along with the deck organizers. The angle of the redirection and load, per Stumbles comments, are some of the considerations. Line size is another. The Garhauer Foot Blocks can handle the higher loads and the blocks do have an option with clutches. These foot blocks also are mounted with 5 fasteners rather than the 4 fasteners with cheek blocks. The larger cheek blocks and foot blocks utilize needle bearings as well as ball bearings to handle the higher loads.

If your lines are going thru the deck organizers and the cheek/foot blocks, my guess is the cheek blocks will be sufficient unless you are doing a 180 degree turn thru the block.

If you send me a PM, with your line size for each of these blocks, I can let you know the SWL for the various blocks. Some additional information can also be found at GarhauerStore.com

Also, if you want to match the footprint and fastener placement of your existing cheek blocks, that can be done. The guys at GarhauerStore.com can help with all that information.
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Old 28-02-2016, 11:32   #6
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Re: Foot Blocks or Cheek Blocks?

With blocks, you get what you pay for. Bearnings, housing, and overall strength cost for quality and reliability.
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Old 28-02-2016, 11:57   #7
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Re: Foot Blocks or Cheek Blocks?

Garhauer made us a custom pair of jammer footblocks for the 2 part double end mainsheet on our J42 which matched the bolt pattern of the original Schaefer footblocks which did not have jammers. Price was very reasonable and they have served well for 3 seasons including the Marion Bermuda race in TS Bill.
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Old 28-02-2016, 12:14   #8
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Re: Foot Blocks or Cheek Blocks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Only Time View Post
Garhauer Foot Blocks and Cheek Blocks will work well for you along with the deck organizers. The angle of the redirection and load, per Stumbles comments, are some of the considerations. Line size is another. The Garhauer Foot Blocks can handle the higher loads and the blocks do have an option with clutches. These foot blocks also are mounted with 5 fasteners rather than the 4 fasteners with cheek blocks. The larger cheek blocks and foot blocks utilize needle bearings as well as ball bearings to handle the higher loads.

If your lines are going thru the deck organizers and the cheek/foot blocks, my guess is the cheek blocks will be sufficient unless you are doing a 180 degree turn thru the block.

If you send me a PM, with your line size for each of these blocks, I can let you know the SWL for the various blocks. Some additional information can also be found at GarhauerStore.com

Also, if you want to match the footprint and fastener placement of your existing cheek blocks, that can be done. The guys at GarhauerStore.com can help with all that information.
Thanks, pm to come.

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Old 28-02-2016, 12:16   #9
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Re: Foot Blocks or Cheek Blocks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boston Blackie View Post
Garhauer made us a custom pair of jammer footblocks for the 2 part double end mainsheet on our J42 which matched the bolt pattern of the original Schaefer footblocks which did not have jammers. Price was very reasonable and they have served well for 3 seasons including the Marion Bermuda race in TS Bill.
Thanks for the information and first hand experience. I have Garhauer mainsheet triple blocks and sheaves in my mast, great products.

I'll see what they can do. Thanks again.

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Old 28-02-2016, 12:21   #10
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Re: Foot Blocks or Cheek Blocks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
While I wouldn't argue that jammers are absolutely necessary, I wouldn't own a foot block without one for a few reasons.

1) the easiest way to clear an over ride on the winch is to hit the jammer, then clear it from the winch. This way you aren't fighting the sheet at the same time.

2) there is always the chance I may want or need to put something else on that winch. Few things on a boat are capable of handeling sheet loads from the Jib/staysail. No jammer means you cannot set that sail and use the winch for anything else at the same time.

3) if the foot block doesn't come with it, you really can't install something else later to do the job. The loads are too high, so normal clutches won't work.

4) the jammer really doesn't add much if anything to the price, the cost is in blocks that are strong enough to handle the loads.


As an example, a 100% jib for your boat is 496sqft. A 100 is typically going to be flown at least up to 30kn, which results in a predicted sheet load of 1950lbs. A conservative safety margin is 3:1, so for a 100 jib you are looking at foot blocks based around a load of 6,000lbs. Then you have to account for the angle the line bends around the block, at 0 degrees it's 0% of the actual load, at 90 degrees it's 100% and at 180 degrees (the line double backs on itself) the load on the block is 200% the sheet load.

I seriously wasn't kidding when I said Foot blocks are the highest loaded thing on a boat. Even the primary winches typically have less load than the foot blocks do.
Thanks for that, all good points and well taken. I'll be sure to find some with lockers.

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Old 28-02-2016, 12:27   #11
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Re: Foot Blocks or Cheek Blocks?

The issue I have really, is that I only know how to sail and don't really know yet the technical parts of it all. My boat came pretty much stripped of all running rigging so I am having to shoot from the hip with loads and what size lines went where. Also, I not entirely sure how everything was rigged. I might have a sailmaker(Stumble, I'll probably give Dave Bolyard a call) for a consultation and have him look everything over.

I appreciate all the advice from everyone.

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Old 28-02-2016, 13:32   #12
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Re: Foot Blocks or Cheek Blocks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailRedemption View Post
The issue I have really, is that I only know how to sail and don't really know yet the technical parts of it all. My boat came pretty much stripped of all running rigging so I am having to shoot from the hip with loads and what size lines went where. Also, I not entirely sure how everything was rigged. I might have a sailmaker(Stumble, I'll probably give Dave Bolyard a call) for a consultation and have him look everything over.

I appreciate all the advice from everyone.

See more @ redemptiverepair.com
Don't spend another penny until you have bought and read Brion Toss' book 'The Complete Riggers Apprentice'. Specing hardware is a very expensive place to make mistakes, and can get even more expensive if something breaks becomes something else is undersized. Toss' book had both the formulas and knowledge that will help avoid these errors. Plus it's a pretty interesting read (or at least it was for me).

Boyard is a good guy and I have no doubt about the value of his help, but I would hold off until you have a good idea of what you want to put where and the sail plan you are thinking of. That way you maximize the value of his input.

But it isn't all bad to start with a stripped boat. Now you can also update all the systems without a lot of legacy hardware in the way. Things like floating jib leads instead of tracks, three speed instead of two speed winches, hardware sized to modern lines, etc. if done right you can probably spec an all round better set up for less money than a traditional layout.

And feel free to contact me to look things over. I do this stuff as a hobby and stress reliever these days. Seeing what could be done with a clean slate would be fun.
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Old 28-02-2016, 20:44   #13
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Re: Foot Blocks or Cheek Blocks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
Don't spend another penny until you have bought and read Brion Toss' book 'The Complete Riggers Apprentice'. Specing hardware is a very expensive place to make mistakes, and can get even more expensive if something breaks becomes something else is undersized. Toss' book had both the formulas and knowledge that will help avoid these errors. Plus it's a pretty interesting read (or at least it was for me).

Boyard is a good guy and I have no doubt about the value of his help, but I would hold off until you have a good idea of what you want to put where and the sail plan you are thinking of. That way you maximize the value of his input.

But it isn't all bad to start with a stripped boat. Now you can also update all the systems without a lot of legacy hardware in the way. Things like floating jib leads instead of tracks, three speed instead of two speed winches, hardware sized to modern lines, etc. if done right you can probably spec an all round better set up for less money than a traditional layout.

And feel free to contact me to look things over. I do this stuff as a hobby and stress reliever these days. Seeing what could be done with a clean slate would be fun.
I'll get that book on Amazon now (: I'll hold off with Dave until I figure out what I need/want.

Well I have all the winches(13 in total) so it's just these few things I'm changing since I'm recaulking my decks. I could just fill the holes temporarily with deck caulk to water proof them. I have been trying to get smaller newer lines, my Genoa sheets that came with the boat are like 5/8 or 3/4 which is ridiculous to have all that in the cockpit.

I'll send you a pm shortly as well.

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