What is the issue?Light air sailing can cause blocks to lift and crash down on decks as the wind fills and un-fills from the sails.
Why address this?The repetitive banging of the blocks can be hard on the nerves, particularly so for crew who are trying to rest down below off watch.
How to address this?Prevent the blocks from falling on the deck by using blocks with springs as presented in figure 1.
If you have established blocks and do not want to reinvest, or blocks attached to track cars where springs are not suitable, a similar effect to the upholding springs can be achieved by inserting a short cut-off section of thick walled polyurethane hose pipe. The diameter of the pipe should be just wide enough to allow you get the shackle on inside the hose and the shackle itself should be dampened (see the tip - Quietening 'shackle crack' when sailing in light airs). If possible clear transparent hose pipe makes future shackle inspection easier.
Another approach is to lay a thump mat around a stationary block. Place the mat around the shackle padeye to cushion falling blocks. This traditional damping mat approach is typically made from a three strand flat Turk's head and can be highly decorative.
If the blocks are located close to guard rails hooking them by thimbles to the lower guard rails with a nylon hook, incorporating a keeper as presented in figure 2, and shock cord is highly effective. If you do not have a nylon hook with a keeper a clove hitch will work.
With thanks to:Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession.
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