Allen Wave Ratchet – more grip, less slip!

Looking for more grip from your ratchet block but don’t want to shred your ropes with an overly aggressive sheave? Then look no further.

Introducing the wave ratchet block range from performance hardware manufacturer, Allen. The wave ratchet range offers between 20 to 40 per cent* more grip without adding any additional wear to the rope. 

Ratchet blocks are a very important part of performance sailing and can give the sailor a huge reduction in fatigue, when used appropriately. The ratchet block works by increasing friction to the system that is being trimmed. The more friction a ratchet block adds to the system, the easier it is for the sailor to hold onto higher loads.

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 testing some new designs and working on feedback from the team on board the Australian 16ft skiff, Eric’s Storage, the Allen design team came up with a simple solution which improves grip without chewing away at your expensive rope.

Standard sheave on the left VS wave sheave on the right.
Standard sheave on the left versus wave sheave on the right.

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 wave 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.

Nathan Edwards, crew member on board the 16ft skiff, has been working closely with the Allen design team over the last few years to help develop both the X2 AutoRatchet and the wave sheave.

“The wave sheave has added a new dimension to the range of 60mm ratchet blocks Allen offer. The added grip is fantastic and reduces the load of the kite sheet without wearing the rope. The sheave design isn’t aggressive, so you always have good feel of the sheeting and load. The sheets certainly don’t skip when easing like many aggressive tooth designs and as such provides a perfect balance between feel and hold,” Edwards said.

Wave Ratchet Block range information table.

Allen, the performance hardware manufacturer, is based in the UK and manufactures all its products in house. However, in the UK sailing slows down over the winter but product development still needs to continue. So, Allen has been utilising its connections with Australasian distributor, DeckHardware. During the Aussie summer many of the top-level sailors are taking the lead in product development for Allen, which ensures the UK products are developed to meet the demanding level of performance required on high octane skiffs.

For more information about the wave ratchet blocks or any other Allen products, please contact either DeckHardware or Allen.

*Percentage of grip depends on type of rope in use. Softer rope offers more grip when compared to firmer rope.

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