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Old 17-07-2017, 01:26   #1
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Quarter Turning Blocks

I have a proliferation of turning blocks on my quarters. There are two powerful chainplates for the running backstays. Then there are bails a little ahead of those, to which were originally attached furling line turning blocks and jackstays.

Last year, a crewman broke one of the bails by over furling a jib (force is doubled around a 180 degree turning block!).

Meanwhile, I added turning blocks for my twing control lines.

It's become a mess, especially on the port side where the bail is missing. I badly chafed a control line this year by hauling on it I didn't notice that it had gotten fouled in a running backstay block.

What the heck to do with this mess? I think about putting some of the turning blocks on dyneema strops so that they stand at a different level.

I am tempted to turn the control lines forward of there -- attaching the blocks to cleats with dyneema strops. That would get them well clear of the others and make the whole thing much neater. But then I would have to detach them every time I wanted to use those cleats for docking.

Any tips?
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Old 17-07-2017, 02:09   #2
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Re: Quarter Turning Blocks

The Spectra loop thing to attach them to cleats is an option. And sometimes you can do it in such a way as to be able to get away with not removing the blocks/loops when using the cleats.Including cleating the dockline overtop of the loop or lashing.You can always try it, & see if doing this causes any appreciable wear on either the dockline, or loop.

Plan B would be to add a padeye for the blocks, or add blocks with integral padeyes.

Plan C, Try a Ropeye fitting in lieu of a padeye. They make a whole family of products designed specifically for this kind of thing. Some of which have fairly decent load ratings. And they’re a fairly KISS option. One even has a 6t working load, so... https://www.ropeye.com/

And of course, you could always have some new bails welded on. Port & Starboard.

Post some pics of your configuration, & we can toss out a few more ideas.

BTW if you’re winching on your roller furling’s reefing line that hard, perhaps you need to rethink some things. Better leads, including no 180 degree turns.And more proportionally more easing of the sheet as the sail is rolled up.Powered winches definitely have their hazards.Not being able to feel the load on the line being one of the primary ones.

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Old 17-07-2017, 02:17   #3
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Re: Quarter Turning Blocks

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Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
BTW if you’re winching on your roller furling’s reefing line that hard, perhaps you need to rethink some things. [/SIZE]Better leads, including no 180 degree turns.And more proportionally more easing of the sheet as the sail is rolled up.Powered winches definitely have their hazards.[/COLOR]Not being able to feel the load on the line being one of the primary ones.[/FONT]

Yes -- new crew, not familiar with the boat, powered winch . . .

I don't think there is any way to rig a boat to withstand that kind of accident. I've just bought new smaller rope for a new furling line -- 10mm dyneema instead of 12mm poly -- so now there will be room in the drum for plenty of extra turns.


Welding on a new bail means cutting holes in cabinetry to get the padeye off It's through-bolted through the hull-deck joint -- typical Moody structural detail. I guess I need to do it, but maybe not now.

Maybe really I'll try to use the cleats. Some shock cord would keep the block off the deck. Release it and let it lie on the deck for when I use the cleat . . .

Only thing about that is that I use these cleats (incredibly handy, second pair of midship cleats, just aft of midship) for all kinds of things, including warping the boat onto a windward dock by running a line through the middle of them to a sheet winch. Also preventer fairlead, pole guy fairlead, barber hauler fairlead -- you name it. So it's pretty busy around there as well
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Old 17-07-2017, 02:35   #4
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Re: Quarter Turning Blocks

With powered winches, I always try & get folks to tail them manually instead of using the self tailer. Especially newbies. That way you can tell how much load's on the line, & you can't accidentally "overhoist" something. Since the winch drum could turn from now until the Rapture, but if no one's pulling in the line (tailing it, manually), then the line won't move. The drum will just spin.

It's a basic trimming technique that everyone needs to learn & practice/use. Since if they don't, well, imagine what'll happen if they hoist you up the mast using a power winch with a self tailer, & they goof. You either get pulled up into the underside of a spreader at Warp 9. Or have your family jewels sucked through a masthead sheave via a 24v motor, or hydraulics.
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Old 17-07-2017, 08:53   #5
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Re: Quarter Turning Blocks

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Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
With powered winches, I always try & get folks to tail them manually instead of using the self tailer. Especially newbies. That way you can tell how much load's on the line, & you can't accidentally "overhoist" something. Since the winch drum could turn from now until the Rapture, but if no one's pulling in the line (tailing it, manually), then the line won't move. The drum will just spin.

It's a basic trimming technique that everyone needs to learn & practice/use. Since if they don't, well, imagine what'll happen if they hoist you up the mast using a power winch with a self tailer, & they goof. You either get pulled up into the underside of a spreader at Warp 9. Or have your family jewels sucked through a masthead sheave via a 24v motor, or hydraulics.
Really hot tip; thanks very much for that. Never ocurred to me, but makes great sense.
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Old 17-07-2017, 09:10   #6
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Re: Quarter Turning Blocks

Depending on direction of pull, you might replace bail-attached blocks with through-bolted cheek blocks.
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Old 17-07-2017, 09:46   #7
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Re: Quarter Turning Blocks

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Depending on direction of pull, you might replace bail-attached blocks with through-bolted cheek blocks.
In the deck, this won't work.

And in general, I'm trying to avoid drilling holes in the teak deck, cutting out cabinetry below, etc.

That's why I'm trying to figure out how to get multiple blocks on my running back chain plates without creating a tangle.
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Old 17-07-2017, 10:01   #8
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Re: Quarter Turning Blocks

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...I'm trying to avoid drilling holes in the teak deck, cutting out cabinetry below, etc...
I think you are overstating the issues and ignoring the possibility of overloading backstay chainplates in a direction and with a combined force for which they were not intended, not to mention overcrowding multiple functions.

Bolting through the deck is a well proven and traditional method of attaching hardware. I have done this type of work for a living for over 40 years and can't remember an instance of having to "cut out cabinetry" in order to through-bolt deck hardware.
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Old 17-07-2017, 10:29   #9
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Re: Quarter Turning Blocks

Pull off the runner blocks, put the pin back into the chainplate. Then put a fixed pin, or bolt through the base of the runner blocks. Use one loop to attach the runner block to the chainplate pin, & a 2nd loop to attach the second block to the chainplate pin.

Or, have a metal plate fabricated to the same effect. Something shaped like a Y, or a triangle, with 2 holes in it for blocks; 1 for the runner block, & 1 for the other block. Just as is done on boats with runners & check stays, where they connect to the block that's just above head height when the runners are tight. Something like this http://www.harken.com/productcategory.aspx?taxid=1534

Though, yes, you do have to be sure not to overload the chainplate, or it's pin. And I really can't see adding hardware to your deck being a traumatic experience. Perhaps there's a section of the cockpit coaming which is stout enough to be load bearing? If so then simply attach a padeye or Ropeye to it, & then attach your secondary block there.

Or even have a custom plate made which connects both to the coaming & the deck, to which the block is attached. That way the load is spread out over an even greater area.

Where's the drama with drilling the deck? I've done it on hundreds of boats, sans issue. Heck, if you look at the decks of some one-design boats, it looks like they had the chicken pox, from all of the holes which have been filled but not painted, where hardware was installed & then moved. Dozens, upon dozens of them.

Honestly though, any more, lashings are the way to go. Though I'm loving the Ropeye setups. There are even similar systems for attaching synthetic rigging to masts. Which especially on carbon, & or wing spars, could make life a LOT simpler.

Did we mention that pics, & load numbers would help? Ditto on pin & chainplate scantlings. Plus a sketch of where the deck is solid, & where it's cored.
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Old 17-07-2017, 10:45   #10
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Re: Quarter Turning Blocks

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Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
Pull off the runner blocks, put the pin back into the chainplate. Then put a fixed pin, or bolt through the base of the runner blocks. Use one loop to attach the runner block to the chainplate pin, & a 2nd loop to attach the second block to the chainplate pin.

Or, have a metal plate fabricated to the same effect. Something shaped like a Y, or a triangle, with 2 holes in it for blocks; 1 for the runner block, & 1 for the other block. Just as is done on boats with runners & check stays, where they connect to the block that's just above head height when the runners are tight. Something like this http://www.harken.com/productcategory.aspx?taxid=1534

Though, yes, you do have to be sure not to overload the chainplate, or it's pin. And I really can't see adding hardware to your deck being a traumatic experience. Perhaps there's a section of the cockpit coaming which is stout enough to be load bearing? If so then simply attach a padeye or Ropeye to it, & then attach your secondary block there.

Or even have a custom plate made which connects both to the coaming & the deck, to which the block is attached. That way the load is spread out over an even greater area.

Where's the drama with drilling the deck? I've done it on hundreds of boats, sans issue. Heck, if you look at the decks of some one-design boats, it looks like they had the chicken pox, from all of the holes which have been filled but not painted, where hardware was installed & then moved. Dozens, upon dozens of them.


Honestly though, any more, lashings are the way to go. Though I'm loving the Ropeye setups. There are even similar systems for attaching synthetic rigging to masts. Which especially on carbon, & or wing spars, could make life a LOT simpler.
Well, I don't like holes in the deck, first of all. How many boats have I seen with rotten cores in the decks because of added hardware. I also have a horrible allergy to deck leaks in boats -- and every new hole is another potential leak. My deck is still virgin and solid and I just hate the idea of cutting more holes in it. I might if I had no other good choice, but if there is another good choice, I will prefer that.

Secondly, all this is above my cabin, which is finished with nice teak cabinetry all around. I would have to start chopping it up -- something I am also loathe to do.

The runner chainplates on my boat, are like all the other chainplates, something which might have been stolen off the Brooklyn Bridge. There is no problem with strength, pulling anything from any angle. You could certainly lift the boat by them.

A cheek block on a cockpit coaming is another idea -- my jib sheets are turned like that. But my twing control lines run along the stanchions, so I don't know how I would turn them from there into a cheek block. Unless maybe I re-routed them more inboard, along the coachroof. Hmm, I'll have a look at that.

I like your Harken y-shaped tang! That's a hot tip. Maybe something like that really would do the trick. I'll study that as well. Rather than paying Harken $355 each for those , I know my machine shop in Cowes could whip up a couple of those for 50 quid or so.
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Old 17-07-2017, 10:52   #11
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Re: Quarter Turning Blocks

There are, of course, always soft shackles. Or to give you a visual demo, watch the video of this hardware that's similar to Ropeyes Antal's T-lock t-lock


In this instance we're talking at most of adding one padeye per side of the boat. So an area half the size of a playing card, with a backing plate maybe 1 1/2x that size. Which shouldn't entail any cabinetry surgery at all, nor much, if any to the deck either. There are a lot of painless ways to do it.


The one catch to the stainless "Y-plates" is that the leads going to all 3 pins must be 100% fair. And even then there needs to be a built in facility for each loaded component to flex on all axis. Otherwise torsion & flexing loads will quickly destroy it.
In other words, all of the loads coming into it need to be "dual toggled" as is standing rigging on both it's ends.
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Old 17-07-2017, 11:07   #12
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Re: Quarter Turning Blocks

I can't think of too many boats with an aft cabin that would be easier to drill the deck on than this. And come on...it's a Moody, so no real hardwood just veneered plywood.
Plus, you can probably do it within a cabinet overhead.

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Old 17-07-2017, 11:13   #13
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Re: Quarter Turning Blocks

That cabin's bigger than my bedroom!
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Old 17-07-2017, 11:17   #14
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Re: Quarter Turning Blocks

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That cabin's bigger than my bedroom!
Well it is a 54' center cockpit sloop. They have some walking around room
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Old 17-07-2017, 11:18   #15
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Re: Quarter Turning Blocks

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Originally Posted by funjohnson View Post
I can't think of too many boats with an aft cabin that would be easier to drill the deck on than this. And come on...it's a Moody, so no real hardwood just veneered plywood.
Plus, you can probably do it within a cabinet overhead.

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My cabin is similar to that, but isn't that the Moody 49?

But to get to the broken bail backing plate, I would have to chop up that teak cabinet in the corner. The insides of it, of course, not the face boards, but still.

I don't want to take the headlining out, because Moody built them with crap plastic clips that break when you take them out -- they harden with age.

OK, but anyway, I never said it's impossible.
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