Hi guys, greetings from Brazil. First post trying to give some context... its a little bit long. Apologize for that.
Me and my friend are partners in a Hobie 16 that has +/-10 years (I think its a 2003/2004 model) we bought together a year and a half ago. The HC16 is the first cat I sail... I come from the monohull world. I'm a bowman by choice and I'm passionate about the "crew craft". Since we start to sail we've learned A LOT, notably how different race tactics and how the boat loves to reach. I readed a lot of articles in this forum, acquired Rick White's book and video, learned how to roll tack, how to adjust sails and not backwind the main (NEVER, NEVER!).
We are doing well on the races and I'm always thinking in ways to make the boat going faster (you know... the bowman has some time to look around and appreciate the tell tales behavior... have ideas... while the skipper needs to sail!
))). Our boat came with standard 6:1 mainsheet 57mm blocks (top is Harken bottom is Nautos), so we couldn't play a lot with the mast rake. We adjusted the mast rake with the help of a more experienced friend and handn't changed dramatically it since then (he was emphatic: "this is what you can get with your standard blocks") . We are able to sail block to block a lot since we sail in a near dam (same place where Robert Scheidt started his career) and the water is mostly flat. The wind is not like in the ocean of course, but its not uncommon to have 15-20 knots of wind but we have a 7-15 mostly of the time.
Since last race, we tough it should be time to start play with the mast rake and I started to research about it. I went to all block manufacturer website on the planet (I try to spend my money wisely) and compared a lot of 40mm blocks. Researching the Harken line I saw that the 29mm can hold 8mm cables and handle 490kg working load (same as the Nautos bottom block). I then readed that some aussie guys are using it as the top block in the mainsheet system. I also checked the class rules... and its ok, if you keep the 6:1 ratio, its the same blocks shipped with the newer boats, I discovered later.
I decided to borrow one with a friend and put it to the test...
Since this blocks appear to fit ok, it can hold the load, the lines run smoothly, it doesn't jam even when block to block AND it allows more mast rake (or at least give more room to tight the main sheet), its cheaper and its class legal.... why I do not see more people using it?
Thank you for all help you already provided us!