The Ronstan Orbit 55 and why we like it | Baltic Sails - Progresss through Research
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The Ronstan Orbit 55 and why we like it

Baltic Sails - Progresss through Research
Published by Yannic-Tim Noack in boatworks · 2 April 2021
Tags: cleats_and_blocksronstanwhat_we_sail
The ronstan Orbit 55 Series has been around for quite some time now. I first came across them back in 2014 when I first got my O'Pen Bic and I have loved it ever since.

The option to have a non, automatic and fixed ratched mode is just breathtaking in some situation like mainsheeting in weak vs strong winds, spinnaker sheeting in extremely mild conditions and just imrpoving general feel of the system.

The parameters that we are looking for when switching between modes are:
  • Are we aiming for feedback? (mostly low wind)
  • Do we need to conserve energy and just perform as good as possible (strong wind and regatta conditions where self control is essential)
  • Are we looking for some of both worlds (training)

The special attachment mechanism that is unique with Ronstan products. Its literally just a normal soft shackle, that has been stitched in place. We would typically use a brumming lock soft shackle with 2 or 3mm dyneema but the factory one is safe and always fits perfectly.
We like it because it elliminates risks of pins or screws becomming loose at that position. The loop also enables a more optimal mounting methods for standup applications. The wing is a typical location where I would both tie it up with shock cord and tie it to another fixed point to fix its orientation. That works wonderfully.

The damage that accumulates over time with the typical steel shackles is also eliminated. In general the whole block doesn't have many places where it could damage the deck.

Ratchet action
In terms of Grip on the sheet, this block is state of the art. Allthough he is a little rope hungy, the block manages to cling to any rope and hold it in place tightly until eased. The increments of the individual clicks of the ratchet are also tighter than they would be with comparable Harken hardware that we have tested.

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