Peter Harken first designed the now iconic six-sided Hexaratchet® block in 1971. With a 17:1 holding power ratio, this meant that the trimmer had only to exert one (1) pound of force to hold 17 pounds of load. This leverage provides much-needed relief when conditions are breezy. As Peter said, “(it) has made every ratchet block in existence obsolete including our old one.” Fast forward forty-six years and Harken Ratchet blocks are found aboard nearly every class of boat across the sport of sailing.

Learn about key features of Ratchet blocks from Matt Schmidt, Harken Product Manager for Small Boat blocks:

Header Photo: © Billy Black

SHARE THIS STORY
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+Email to someone

RECOMMENDED

Event, Sailing, Video

Breeze-On for Blockheads at Charleston Race Week

Sail22 and Harken Blockheads teamed-up again in support of two youth teams competing in the J/70 fleet at

Infographics, Video

The Small & Mighty 150 Cam-Matic

The Harken 150 Cam-Matic cam cleat is the work-horse of sailing hardware. Designed by Peter Harken and introduced in

Full Send, Sailing, Video

The Tiny Rocket Ship

The Mini 6.50 is small, fast, and one of the most cutting-edge classes in the world. Measuring just

Sailing, Video

Old School Rigging Aboard the Pride of Baltimore II

Pride of Baltimore II is a replica Baltimore Clipper topsail schooner that operates as a living example of


What exactly is a Blockhead? If you are totally obsessed with how to rig and sail your boat, you might already be one! Join the community of Blockheads to learn more about the sport, engage with others and share sailing experiences. This site serves as the hub for Blockheads globally, where you can discover how to join, media, tips and tricks, contests, and events. This program is all about YOU and we want to hear from everyone! Not seeing something? Your feedback is crucial, feel free to shoot us a comment or message.