I’ve always used Harken on my boats, ever since I can remember. For some reason I’ve always had this idea that Harken are the most reliable blocks out there, although when I think about it I’ve never had any proof for this belief. Maybe it’s just one of those ingrained things that you pick up when you’re a kid and take as Gospel truth without actually considering the facts. Anyway, I know Harken are good so why change?
Well, Ronstan have just launched the next line of their Orbit range of blocks, and quite frankly, I’m impressed. Ronstan have improved the look and solidity of their blocks over the last few years (in comparison to their cheap looking blocks of the late 90’s) so perhaps it’s about time I give them another chance? Anyway, have a look for yourself, and next time you’re in a dinghy store why not give them a spin.
I’ve just had a final thought. LDC offer a package upgrade on all of their RS boats. For £80 or £90 you can upgrade to a full Harken set up which I’ve always done (Over the years I’ve bought a new RS200 and now a new RS800, both with the full Harken package). Ronstan need to approach more manufacturers to offer this service. The word “upgrade” on any price list is always going to make you think that the blocks are better. So surely this is the message they want to be sending. But the question remains, just because it’s an upgrade for more money, are the blocks actually any better on the water? Do we believe what has been ingrained into us, or is this just psychology and manufacturers playing with our brains? Someone needs to run a proper side by side test to once and for all prove which block is best.