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December 15, 2016 2 min read

Harken Ratchet and Ratchamatic Blocks

Do you need a switchable Harken ratchet block or a Harken automatic ratchet block? We look at the difference between the popular pulleys and help you choose which is best for you and your boat.

There are three options available for Harken blocks:

  • No ratchet - just a simple pulley or block
  • Switched ratchet block - you are able to flick a little switch to turn the ratchet on and off easily
  • Ratchamatic/Automatic ratchet block - the ratchet will kick in automatically based on the load going through the block

Why use a switchable Harken ratchet block?

  • Can we easily adjusted (on or off)
  • Great if people with different strengths are sailing the same boat
  • Can we changed for different wind conditions

Why use an Automatic/Ratchamatic Harken ratchet block?

  • Best for skiffs and trapeze boats where you can't easily switch a ratchet on and off
  • Great for gybing where the pressure will be released allowing the ropes to freely run through the block
  • The point of where the ratchet engages can be adjusted using an allen key which comes with the ratchet block

Available Products

Harken ratchet blocks are available in sizes 40mm, 57mm and 75mm from Sailing Chandlery. There are two types, the standard Harken carbo blocks and the new Harken T2 lightweight design.




Video from the Harken Tech Team

More Questions?

If you've got questions then please feel free to give us a call on 07793 953564 or drop us an email to

Thanks for reading.