Ratchet blocks

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21 Feb 2006 12:50 #18963 by ASW
Ratchet blocks was created by ASW
After scrutinising the rules prior to getting the boat measured - i was amazed to find that only 1 ratchet block is allowed. This is only allowed for the mainsheet.
I know the mirror kite is tiny but ratchets allow far finer and smoother adjustments to made in a blow regardless of how strong/weak you are.
My boys have the 40mm Harken ratchets on their kite and say it is an excellent improvement - tell me i don`t have to put on the 29mm standard blocks just to satisfy an other outdated rule.
I cannot believe that the Class association & the RYA have not picked this up - bearing in mind the amount of small junior crews in the front of mirrors.

One for the forum meeting - if I can get there on Saturday.

Andy


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25 Feb 2006 09:31 #11586 by Martin Egan
Replied by Martin Egan on topic Ratchet blocks
Hi Andy,

I agree with your reading of the rules - 6.2.1 (iii) clearly states that only one rachet block is allowed, for the mainsheet.

I'm not sure about the history here, but I think this may have been introduced to keep costs down (or rather, to try and limit the advantage to be gained by those with a lot of money to spend). At £39.08 each (from P&B) 40mm Harken ratchet blocks are over 4 times the cost of a single harken air block (£8.63)and over ten times the cost of a plain bearing block like a Sea Sure 25mm dia (£3.66).

Another rule with the same objective is the one that limits you to one suit of sails per regatta.

We had a lot of feedback at the 2004 Forum in Plymouth about the need to keep the cost of the boats down. As an option it won't affect the cost of a "basic" boat, but if we end up with a situation were "most racers" feels they have to have them, it will tend to push up the cost of a racing specification boat.

I have to admit, I've never even thought of having ratchet blocks on the spinnaker, and I can see it would help small crews in heavy winds.

The rules can be changed - if enough people (here in the UK and then worldwide) are in favour. They only become "outdated" if people can't be bothered to try and change them or can't be bothered to come to AGMs and vote on them. If you think there is enough support for this, why not put a proposal to the AGM in August ?

MCA Webmaster 2011 - 2018

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25 Feb 2006 10:41 #11588 by ASW
Replied by ASW on topic Ratchet blocks
Thanks Martin,
You are correct in the ethos of that and some of the other rules in that keeping a limit on boat and equipment prices is important to stop 'cheque book' sailing.
Unfortunately this is not the case when Mirror's are seen for ridiculously inflated prices at £3500+ it`s no wonder the Feva is such an attraction.
My point is that there are a number of rules that need looking at in order to bring the class inline with what else is on offer. If the class as a whole had cost as it`s driver, it would look at the fundamental rules that affect the cost of producing kits, whole boats and replacement parts for old boats in need of refurbishment(we're back to the ply issue again) instead of potential cost implications like the Bermudan rig!

You are absolutely right about change, but I believe you may also be right about the will to change. I sailed a Mirror when I was 9 (36 years ago)and apart from a few minor changes the rules are still the same as then. I will raise the issues at the AGM and the Forum (if I can get there) but judging by the response to this string - perhaps I am the only one who thinks this way!

Cheers,
Andy


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25 Feb 2006 10:43 #11589 by Trevor Lloyd
Replied by Trevor Lloyd on topic Ratchet blocks
You've got my support on that one Andy. I am writing a proposal to be put forward that cover just one or two things we've talked about here.

N2O

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25 Feb 2006 10:50 #11590 by ASW
Replied by ASW on topic Ratchet blocks
Thanks Trevor,
Martin, just as a thought, how about getting some feedback from members to some of these ideas, a questionaire on the forum or email. At least it would give a feel of where the members wnated the class to go the AGM could then be used to debate the more popular ideas!

Andy

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25 Feb 2006 12:39 #11592 by john mcnulty
Replied by john mcnulty on topic Ratchet blocks
Purely on a practical note of managing the AGM it would not be wise to open a debate there as experience showsit would drag on forever and, perhaps, without a clear outcome. Better to have an AGM forum online for each proposed change so the matters can be debated and definite resolutions put forward for a clean vote. The resolutions will be known well in advance and members can make up their minds what to vote for. What about setting a target to have the debate wound up by the end of the Nationals/Europeans with the resolutions to be voted on posted by 5 August. That would give 5 months to sort out the rules discussions.

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25 Feb 2006 13:24 #11593 by ASW
Replied by ASW on topic Ratchet blocks
Excellent way forward, thank you John.

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