Allen ratchet block for mainsheet

I recently installed a new Allen 60mm ratchet block on my Sunfish. the Allen Pro-Ratchet 60 (A2160WAVE) is a selectable ratchet, 60mm size, with Allen’s new wave sheave.

The NEW wave ratchet offers 20 to 40%* more grip without adding any additional wear to the rope.

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. 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. Instead, 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. 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 sheets.


I’ve posted previously on my Sunfish mainsheet controls upgrades (ratchet block, spring, etc.), now I’ve now just opted to try this new ratchet block.

I moved the Harken 2135 over to our Minifish.

here is a pic of both blocks – the Allen 60mm and the Harken 57mm 2135.

I used the zip-tie trick to compress the stand-up spring again, such a simple and clever trick makes install of the mainsheet block so much easier.

Tillerman over at Proper Course (and now blogging about his RS Aero at Aerobian) a while back posted a snapshot from his RS Aero instructions that details this zip tie trick quite well:


13 Responses to “Allen ratchet block for mainsheet”

  1. 1 Jim Bosman June 20, 2020 at 11:14 pm

    In your experience, what is the main advantage of having the spring? I got those parts but never installed them – my block flops around but I’ve never had any trouble with it that way.


  2. 3 Clyde Osterhout June 21, 2020 at 4:32 pm

    I got my Minifish out on the water for the first time this year. As always, it was amazing, even with the 3-5 mph winds that changed direction every couple of minutes. After 40 years of sailing it is still a thrill!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 5 Clyde Osterhout June 22, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    After reading your blogs on the subject, I have decided to try something similar. I have seen numerous videos on,where to out inspection ports on a Sunfish, but none for the Minifish. I noted that you had the forward hatch off to one side. Where would you suggest that I place them?


    • 6 my2fish June 22, 2020 at 2:39 pm

      Clyde, I cut an inspection port off to one side of the daggerboard slot area.
      You’ll likely hit a foam block – you can leave it, or cut away some of foam as necessary to install the fasteners.
      It helps to leave the port off until after you’ve installed the ratchet block hardware – just easier on your arm to reach inside there!

      Liked by 1 person

      • 7 Michael Coats June 15, 2022 at 11:30 am

        ^I so need to do the ratchet block and I’m just hesitant to drill holes in my boat – no access ports yet, I think my AMF is about a 74. The cam cleat looks like it would go in easy. Both of them should I guess – just… screws…fiberglass. I will look at it again this year. (boat is at summer place, so I only get to see it a couple weeks a year). Thanks, love the blog! Building a dolly right now.

        Liked by 1 person

      • 8 my2fish June 15, 2022 at 11:32 am

        Michael, if your AMF is a Sunfish, the cockpit lip overhang is plenty of room to install the ratchet block (and no need for an access port). some people use backing blocks on the bottom, I think on my older Sunfish I just used the larger “fender” washers to help spread out the load. just go for it!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. 9 Sailor5467 May 14, 2021 at 9:32 am

    What do you think of the Allen A2160WAVE vs the Harken? It looks neat…


    • 10 my2fish May 14, 2021 at 10:00 am

      honestly I only used it a few times last summer – it worked just fine. I’m not sure I’m a good enough sailor to know if it made much real difference, but I imagine the 2135 is a nice upgrade over the previous model we had mounted on our Sunfish.


  5. 11 Clyde Osterhout May 14, 2021 at 2:02 pm

    I have been sailing my Minifish for three years now without ever bothering with the ratchet block. Our lake is tricky to sail on, as sudden 90 to 180 degree wind shifts are the norm. I need to tend the main sheet at all times. But I am hoping to get her out on Pamlico sound this summer, and I will have to give it a shot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 12 my2fish May 14, 2021 at 2:05 pm

      the ratchet block doesn’t change that – you still are always tending the mainsheet. the ratchet block just (in theory) reduces the load that your hands see by some amount (varies based on line angle, line diameter, and how “grippy” the sheave block actually is). I agree for your situation, a cam cleat doesn’t make sense…. but a ratchet block might be a nice addition.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. 1 sailing log: October Sunfish sailing | my2fish: a blog about sunfish sailing Trackback on October 29, 2021 at 6:32 pm

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