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Hardware

How to Tie a Cleat Hitch, Three Ways

Tying a line to a cleat should be easy and secure, but walk down any dock and you will be amazed at the creative ways lines are ‘secured’ to cleats.  We will show you the correct and the incorrect ways to secure a line to a horn cleat using a cleat hitch.  You might be surprised what you learn, even if you’re ‘salty.’ Half Wrap Cleat Hitch This is most commonly seen as the standard cleat hitch in North America, […]

How to Install Stand Up Springs & Boots on a Block | Expert Advice

What are Stand Up Springs & Boots? Common sailboat block accessories, stand up springs and boots are meant to keep a block upright. Metal springs come tapered or straight in various sizes to fit a range of blocks. Stand up boots made of PVC are offered in large and small sizes and black or gray. After installation when the line running through the block is slack, the block will not collapse on its attachment point (deck of the boat, traveler car, etc…). Why […]

How to Choose and Use a Trigger Sailboat Shackle | Expert Advice

Trigger release shackles come in various sizes and configurations that are ideal for jib or spinnaker halyards, spinnaker sheets and guys, and tack lines; or jobs where you would want to release the shackle under load.  More efficient than the snap shackle, the trigger shackle has a streamlined design with no external parts to catch, so they run smoothly. The release mechanism, the trigger, is located inside the housing of the shackle making it very unlikely that it will catch […]

How to Choose and Use Sailboat Snap Shackles | Expert Advice

Snap shackles come in a variety of sizes and configurations, and are generally used for halyards, sheets, guys, and tack lines, along with a few specialty applications.  The beauty of a snap shackle is the easy open and release function. Let’s take a closer look. HOW DOES IT WORK A few basic components are found on every snap shackle. The hinged bail, the shackle body bail to which your line is attached, a spring loaded plunger pin with a pull […]

Sailboat Blocks Explained | Expert Advice

In sailing, hardware pulleys are referred to as ‘blocks.’ Blocks are used to create purchase systems, increase mechanical advantage or redirect and guide lines (ropes). There are many different configurations, attachments and design functionalities in the world of sailing blocks today. Parts of a Basic Block Bushing- Lining for sheave. Transfers load from the sheave to the cheeks. Sheave- Wheel with groove for rope to run on. Cheek- Encloses the sheave. Transfers the load to the straps/strop Strap or Strop- Lays on […]

Advantages and Uses for Plain Bearing Sailboat Blocks | Expert Advice

Plain bearing blocks are the original blocks that started it all. They paved the way for more advanced and higher performance blocks like the ball bearing and roller bearing blocks. Plain and simple is the name of the game for these guys. They have a simple construction with the least amount of moving parts you can find in a block. Generally they made of a plastic or metal sheave (the wheel thing) rolling on a metal pin or bushing. In some instances, they were made of Bakelite […]

Advantages and Uses of Roller Bearing Sailboat Blocks | Expert Advice

So you may be asking yourself, Why would I need a fancy shmancy Roller Bearing Block? What makes them so special anyway? Well..we are here to show you. One of the greatest advantages of a Roller Bearing Block over a Plain or Ball Bearing Block is the low friction safe working loads.  Highly loaded lines in a Roller Bearing Block will run faster, and adjustments are much easier. Roller Bearings may not necessarily run as free as ball bearings, but they do offer a significantly higher working load. Ball […]

Advantages and Uses of a Ball Bearing Sailboat Block | Expert Advice

Today we are highlighting ball bearing blocks as part one of our three part discussion on blocks, their characteristics, and uses. So, what is a Ball Bearing Block?  In its simplest form, a ball bearing block it is a housing containing a rolling sheave with balls lining the race on the either side of the sheave.  The balls reduce friction by minimizing bearing surface and roll between the moving surface and the non-moving part of the block. Because of this, lines are able to slide […]