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Main Sheet Cam Options ?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:03 pm
by RobH912
I have spent some time searching the forum (under rigging) looking for options on the main sheet cam.

Previous owner(s) somewhere in the past installed a traveller and a lot of posts I found were all about new / "better" ways of configuration, e.g. a wishbone setup, etc.

Not ready to remove & replace the existing traveler system, but have been looking at options because the more I sail the DS1 the less I like the existing Harken down release cam that is built into the lower block... had a fun windy day sailing last Sunday and it took some effort / concentration to get the main sheet to released.

Here are some pictures of my existing set up

I've not been able to find a block that would attach to the existing traveler car that has an "up release". New to hardware searches, but Harken does not seem to offer this. Other vendors I might search?

I did find this traveler replacement as one option, though since my traveler is pretty old I would need to do some double checking that this would work with other parts of the traveller. ... cordNum=21

I would then need new blocks, as the cam does not seem to be removable from the existing blocks.

Any thoughts are always greatly appreciated :D

Re: Main Sheet Cam Options ?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:34 pm
by jalmeida51
Have you tried adjusting the bracket which the cam cleat is attached to? I owned a Rhodes19 which had the same setup for the traveler and was having the same problem. When the wind picked up over 15 it was hard to lease the cam cleat. After adjusting the bracket it did help but I was still unhappy with it so I called Harken and they sent me a new cam cleat base at a larger angle and it fixed the problem. You can buy these angles at West Marine. Harken sent me 2 of them and I still have 1. It's yours if you like, I won't ever use it. John

Re: Main Sheet Cam Options ?

PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 10:18 am
by RobH912
John thanks for the reply. I will first make the adjustment to the bracket so that the cam points up at a better angle.

When I got the boat in the spring and saw that the main sheet released down, I thought that did seem like a good idea and tried to remove the bracket / cam from the block and see if I could just flip the entire bracket / cam over and have an up release. While I got some of the screws out (angle adjustment screws) I could not completely remove the two other top screws from the block After much cussing I tightened it all back up and left the angle of the bracket the same as the previous owner had it set to.

The toughest part of this was the reattachment of the block to the traveller car, it needed "three hands" (only had two) to press the clock down on the spring / car, get the pin through, and then the circle clip in. I'll get a friend to help next time.

Do you have a picture of the new cam cleat base? Is it something like this wedge? ... cordNum=14. I am better with pictures.

Re: Main Sheet Cam Options ?

PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 3:32 pm
by jalmeida51
Hello Rob, The p/n is Harken 296 it is a 15 degree wedge. Sorry I can't send you a picture for some reason I can't upload pictures. West Marine does carry them in their catalog (online ).

When I replaced my mainsheet blocks I used Ronstan and I had a hell of a time attaching the fiddle block to the cam cleat base. Just like you I needed 3 hands so I compressed the spring by twisting safety wire around the spring. With the spring compressed it was much easier to connect the block to the base. When it gets real gusty and I haven't reefed I will not use the cam cleat, with the ratcheting block I can hold the mainsheet with my hand. I usually reef early because I do mostly single handed sailing.

If you need this wedge let me know and Iwill mail it up to you, John

Re: Main Sheet Cam Options ?

PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 10:03 pm
by hsumralljr
You'll definitely want to angle the cleat up, and you have plenty of adjustment left in the bracket. As far as compressing the spring, a lot of people use electrical tie-wraps for this purpose.

Re: Main Sheet Cam Options ?

PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:30 am
by RobH912
Herb - good idea, yes electrical tie wraps would work to keep the spring compressed while reattaching the fiddle block.

John - the Harken 15 degree wedge looks good, much better than the flat one I found, and I'll send you a PM.

Re: Main Sheet Cam Options ?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:40 pm
by RobH912
Well first step on adjusting the cam bracket went pretty well after using some automotive penetrating oil to soak in to the 4 screws on the block for a couple of hours. Angle looks much better. It was a little too windy / cold today to sail with my wife, but hope to try it out in a day or two. Still need to add a wedge under the cam cleat.

Also re-strung a new outhaul line through the boom today replacing a very thin line which was too thin to properly stay cleated in the clam cleat under the boom.