Features June 2011 Issue

Smooth Runnings: Bullet Blocks Battle

Rugged gear from Harken and Selden lead the test field.

Practical Sailor tested more than a dozen bullet blocks (sized 40 to 45 millimeters) from eight marinedeck hardware manufacturers: Barton, Garhauer, Harken, Karver, Holt, Ronstan, Schaefer, and Selden Mast. The units tested were ball-bearing and roller-bearing designs, and the growing trend toward more composite material and less metal construction was evident among the products. Blocks were loaded to 200 poundsówell within the safe working load for the test blocksóand testers measured the amount of force required to move a line in a closed loop set up. Once the efficiency test was complete, the blocks were subjected to an aerated saline bath to gauge corrosion and oxidation tendencies. Weight, price, safe working load, cheek material, and attachments were also evaluated.

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