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Harken Outboard Furling Blocks

posted Sep 7, 2011, 1:54 PM by Christopher Hubbell   [ updated Sep 26, 2011, 6:16 PM ]
The CS27 has relatively narrow side decks for its size.  This was a design choice which resulted in large cabin space for its vintage.  A fair trade off since the CS27 isn't a dedicated racing boat.  When I took ownership of Ravat, her furling system was a series of blocks clipped to the toe rails which ran the furling line roughly down the center of the port side deck.  This, in combination with the jib sheets, made walking that side deck a bit dangerous.

While there isn't much I can do about the place the jib sheets lie, there was a lot I could do with the furling line.  There are two options which took an interest in:  One was the Harken Outboard Furling Blocks, the other being made by Shaeffer.  the Schaeffer model looks like a ring that slips over a stanchion.  It's fairly compact and looks slick.  The Harken is a bit larger as it has two blocks in a row mounted to a bracket.

I ended up with the Harken blocks, due partially to a bit of a coin toss, but also in part because I liked them having more of their parts outboard than the Schaffer unit.  The black casing also looks good next to my black toe rails.  I think both options are high quality and would do the job well.

If you have a CS27 and want to go this route, do not buy the kit.  Yo won't be able to use the forward turning block that is intended to mount on a pulpit.  The angles for a furler on the CS27 just won't work in that configuration.  You need a block clipped to the toe rail more forward than the pulpit base.  You also need one more outboard block than the kit comes with.

I mounted the ratchet block on the stern pushpit rail, and have ended up really liking it there.  Because of the way it swivels, I have been able to work the furling line from nearly anywhere in the cockpit.  The ratchet block has been incredibly useful a few different time when I couldn't get the line cleated fast.

I am absolutely a fan of this configuration for boats with narrow side decks.  It has really cleaned up the deck, and having the line out of the deck means it's not sitting in water and getting dirty.