Harken blocks: ratchet vs. ratchamatic

Harken has put together a nice video that explains the difference between a ratchet block and a ratchamatic block.

the main difference is that the ratchamatic blocks are load-sensing and have a “ratchet that instantly engages when a predetermined load is reached. When unloaded, the ratchet pawl seamlessly disengages to allow the sheet to run out instantly during mark roundings and jibes. The Ratchamatic allows lightly-loaded sheets to run freely in both directions for fingertip control” (source: Harken Q&A)

Sunfish sailors often use one of the following blocks for their mainsheet control:

I’ve traditionally used the 2135 (shown here on my mainsheet controls upgrade post), as it is usually cheaper, and the switch is usually easy enough to reach if I wanted to release the ratchet mechanism to allow the line to run freely. for a Sunfish sailor looking to race, the 2625 might be a better option as it will let the mainsheet out easier when your time spent changing tacks could make the difference in a race.

h/t: @harken

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