Please select your home edition
Edition
Allen Brothers

OK Dinghy Specific Gear from Allen Sailing

by Karen Robertson / Ben Harden 11 Mar 14:51 GMT
Karen Robertson at the 2021 OK Nationals © Richard Bowers

Allen, the UK hardware manufacturer, has been manufacturing performance sailboat fittings since before the OK was designed. The British company has a long history of supplying fittings to the OK fleet, most notably their radiused corner boom. More recently Allen has supported the UK OK National and Inland Championships with a very generous spread of prizes and probably more important, beer!

Hardware can often be overlooked on sailboats, but in fact it's quite an important part of how your boat feels and performs. Especially on the OK where each sailor has their own variation of deck fitting layout to suit their sailing style. So, for those who like to get technical here's a few details about existing and upcoming parts from Allen that might help you get that extra bit of performance from your boat.

Mainsheet Roller Fairlead

A quirk of the OK is the class rule of only being permitted to pump the mainsheet via a 3:1 purchase through the final block, which typically means pumping the sheet through a mainsheet jammer. This was introduced as a reaction to the unlimited pumping seen in the bigger, although similar Finn and it has been a measure that sits well with the class and is seen as encouraging skill and finesse over strength.

Mainsheet jammers feature a fairlead around the cam cleat to help guide the rope into the cleat from any angle. However, to do this the fairlead needs to be tight around the cam cleat which will usually add friction to the system. The standard fairlead is great for when you want to cleat the mainsheet but not so great when trying to pump and catch a wave!

Fortunately, the Allen design team came up with an ingenious solution. The roller fairlead is designed with rolling sides and top, so any upwards directional adjustment of the mainsheet is not affected by the friction of a normal fairlead. This design allows the user to pump the mainsheet from any angle and with reduced friction when compared to a standard mainsheet jammer system. The roller fairlead is also shaped to ensure that the mainsheet can still be guided into the cam cleat with ease.

The roller fairlead is a cam cleat accessory which will fit any cam cleat with a 38mm fixing hole centre. The assembly also comes with extra-long threaded bolts to allow for customisation with cam cleat lifters and wedges. The bolts can then be cut to the desired length to suit your needs.

Video showing how to install the roller fairlead:

New Allen OK Boom

Allen OK booms are known within the fleet for having their radiused corners which help to reduce the damage when sailors inevitably hit their heads! However, the design has been around for some time and the lever and fit-out is starting to look a bit dated. The design team from Allen have shared a pre-production render with us of a new design they have been working on and will soon be available to the public.

The update will include a brand-new lever design. The lever will be made from lightweight aluminium and anodised blue. The design will also feature caps on the end of the lever to reduce any damage caused by the lever if dropped onto the deck as well as specially designed sheaves for the vang rope to run around. A few of the other features include the use of Pad-Tii fixings to give neat and streamlined tying off points for blocks, as well as through deck bushes to allow for easy attachment of mainsheet configurations. More news about the Allen boom will soon be available, so keep an eye on the news section of the Allen website over the coming months.

In the meantime the OK class are looking forward to another great season being supported by Allen, especially when the fleet returns to Herne Bay SC for the National Championships which is being sponsored by Allen. As always the class demo boat is available for use at your club, at open events and especially for the UK Nationals. Please contact for more details.

Related Articles

André Budzien wins OK series at Kieler Woche
After a shortened series ended on Tuesday Germany's André Budzien has won the 2022 Kieler Woche for OK Dinghies after a shortened series ended on Tuesday. Denmark's Bo Petersen took second while Greg Wilcox from New Zealand took third. 35 boats from five nations took part. Posted on 23 Jun
Bourne End Week 2022
The event took place on the Jubilee bank holiday weekend Bourne End Week took place on the Jubilee bank holiday weekend, but despite the draw of celebration parties and television coverage of this once in a lifetime event, substantial numbers of the sailing fraternity chose Bourne End to do their celebrating. Posted on 22 Jun
128th Kiel Week Day 4
First Kiel Week winners from five nations The first Kiel Week 2022 winners have been determined and saw four Germans, three Danes and a Norwegian plus Hungarians and Kiwis in front in the international classes. Posted on 21 Jun
OK Dinghy Class online platform for charter boats
Sailors find problems sending their boats overseas due to vastly increased cost of shipping boats One of the great aspects of sailing an International class such as the OK Dinghy is the international competition and travelling to events to meet sailors from across the world. Posted on 16 Jun
OK Dinghy World Ranking list restarts
Fredrik Lööf back on top as the overall leader After more than two years in stasis, the OK Dinghy World Ranking list is back, with a new overall leader. After briefly taking the No.1 spot in April 2019, Sweden's Fredrik Lööf, is back on top, though without sailing any more events. Posted on 13 Jun
OK Open and Southerns at HISC
Tight, tactical and tense racing A small but very competitive fleet took battle at the HISC OK open and Southern Champs. On arrival a 20-25kt NW breeze greeted the competitors, so the decision was taken to delay the start and sail in the harbour on a full tide by the PRO Zeb Elliott. Posted on 6 Jun
OKs set for the HISC Whitsun Regatta
The home club fleet boasts some serious quality sailors Over the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend, the OK Class will be taking part in the HISC Whitsun Regatta as part of the North Sails Super Series. Racing will take place in Hayling Bay, known for its fantastic racing. Posted on 21 May
OK Sprint Championship at Burghfield
Fast and furious with eight races held on the day Burghfield S.C attracted 13 entries for the OK Sprint event on Saturday 9th April. The racing was fast and furious with 8 starts split by a lunchtime break. The race management was superbly handled by Ann and Nick Jackson. Posted on 11 Apr
OK class during the Ovington Inlands
A full-on weekend at Grafham Water The OK fleet were grateful to Ovington Boats for an invitation to the Ovington Inlands event hosted by Grafham Water S.C on 19/20 March. Posted on 22 Mar
OKs at the RYA Dinghy Show preview
Plus Henry Wetherell Interview ahead of the 2022 season! With the RYA Dinghy Show just over a week away, the OK class association is getting ready for exhibiting OK legend and renowned sailmaker Dick Batt's new Ovington built boat on out stand C20. Posted on 18 Feb