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Laser mainsheet -- cleat or no cleat?

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Eisvogel View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Eisvogel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Laser mainsheet -- cleat or no cleat?
    Posted: 06 Jul 17 at 2:36pm
I bought a Laser 1 earlier this year, and it has a cleat on the mainsheet block. A fellow club member said I should get rid of it, and recommended a ratchet block instead. Another possibility is to put cleats on either side deck.

I usually sail an Ent, without mainsheet cleat, and I generally don't like cleats on the main. However, I find it's nice and easy to just cleat the main when messing about with the controls on the Laser (which I do more often than on the Ent). One drawback is that the mainsheet often gets snagged in the block when it is twisted around, and can't run freely. Not sure if that would also be an issue with a simple block.

What is your experience? Will a ratchet block be sufficient to hold the main while pulling on the kicker? Should I put cleats on the sides?
Enterprise 20361 (Eisvogel), Laser 102727 (Halcyon), Laser 121986
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rich96 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rich96 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 17 at 3:11pm
side cleats are very useful
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PeterG View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PeterG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 17 at 4:29pm
Personally I wouldn't sail a Laser without side cleats. I'm well aware that those at the top of the fleet spurn them, and if you are aiming for that sort of level then it's probably best not to get in the habit. For mortals I'd suggest that not having side cleats ends up trying to appear professional at the cost of performance, and ease of handling! 

While cleats on centre mainsheet blocks work well on many classes I think the geometry of the Laser means that side cleats are much better and easier to use.

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bustinben View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bustinben Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 17 at 4:46pm
Sheet loads in the laser aren't high, so you should be able to just hold it in your tiller hand while you adjust other control lines.  Some people do use the side cleats, but most find that they get in the way and stop you from using the optimum body position in light airs.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rich96 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 17 at 5:03pm
You will also need a ratchet

The 'new' controls do make it easier to pull on the kicker etc without cleating the mainsheet but the ability to do so is very useful for the average sailor
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Riv Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 17 at 10:08pm
If you have the pulley and block fitted to the laser a long time ago time it is really awful. I had one and got rid of it asap. I replaced it with a harken ratchet block and use a 8mm mainsheet. Works fine and is easy to hold. I would not fit side deck cleats as they are so painful to sit on. I also wear rubber gloves which almost hold onto the mainsheet by themselves which really helps as well.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Eisvogel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 17 at 9:05am
Yes, it's an old block-and-cleat arrangement with sharp edges... easy to cut your legs on it when sitting forward!

Thanks for all the replies -- I will try just with the ratchet block, and if I find I can't handle it, I'll fit side deck cleats.
Enterprise 20361 (Eisvogel), Laser 102727 (Halcyon), Laser 121986
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Post Options Post Options   Quote laser193713 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 17 at 9:56am
Go completely cleatless. A good ratchet block is enough. The best ones are probably the old freddie blocks which are now sold by ronstan. The black one with the cross drilled holes in the sheave.

As for the mainsheet... 8mm is way too thick. It won't run through the blocks properly and also when sailing downwind in light wind it will pull the boom to the centre with its weight. The best option is either the rooster 7mm or the Southern Ropes sheets. They do a 5.5 and a 6mm, yellow and red respectively. I always used their 6mm red sheet. A good pair of builders gloves is needed in any breeze.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JohnJack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 17 at 10:09am
Don't want to be a fun sponge, and this horse has already bolted long before barn doors were jammed closed. Isn't the Laser a one design. Isn't a ratchet block and cleats specified? and technically not having them, or a centre jammer be out of class
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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 17 at 10:24am
The Laser has always had the centre jammer and side cleats as allowable alternatives.
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