Ronstan International
Product Technical Data


Orbit Block™ Usage & Considerations

Orbit Blocks™ have been specifically designed and optimised for use on racing sailboats and the conditions encountered in this unique application. They should not be assumed suitable for other non-marine or industrial applications. Implications & risks associated with any other application or use will relate to the unique characteristics of these high performance blocks.

Some of the relevant factors being:

  • Safety factor - the safety factor of Orbit Blocks™ may be lower than some more conservatively designed, traditional styled blocks. A safety factor of two has been maintained between the M.W.L. and B.L. for Orbit Blocks™. Traditional styled blocks may have a more conservative, higher factor of safety.

  • Overloading - Overloading is generally not as apparent with the composite frame blocks such as Orbit Blocks™. Due to the fibre reinforced polymer construction visual yield/deformation is low prior to failure (B.L.); unlike stainless steel which begins to yield at ~50% of the B.L.

  • Tamper resistance – Orbit Blocks™ are designed for quick and simple rigging and attachment when creating racing sailboat purchase and control systems. Tamper resistance of Orbit Blocks™ is not as high as traditional shackle head blocks (eg. The Dyneema Link can be “unseated” by hand).

  • Requirement on mounting point - the Dyneema® Link must be attached to a smooth, well rounded mounting point; without sharp edges or burrs. If in doubt, a shackle should be used.

  • Service life – the balance between robustness and performance sees Orbit Blocks™ positioned strongly in the performance area. Traditionally styled blocks are more likely suitable where maximum durability, and longer service life are required.

  • Maintenance – as a high performance piece of equipment, Orbit Blocks™ must be inspected, cleaned and maintained regularly to ensure optimum performance. They should be replaced if any sign of degradation or damage is detected.