Kicker Guide and FAQ
Kicker/Vang Systems - What's Important:
In common with all control systems, the performance of a kicker system is determined by the quality and size of the blocks and the line that is used. A better performing kicker system will make it easier to pull it on.
Control Lines: The 15:1 kicker system is the only system on the ILCA/Laser that has a large purchase and where the control line runs through a lot of small sheave size blocks. This results in considerable rope/block friction from a 4mm line running around the small 18mm blocks used in the Harken lower unit and middle block, and to minimise this rope friction a more flexible secondary line is desirable. Control line type is where there is a compromise to be made between system ease of use and durability, and why we offer a range of control lines for the kicker. The most durable of our control lines is Marlow GP78 which has a very tightly woven Technora/Polyester cover and SK78 core which gives great durablity, but with some stiffness which increases rope friction in the system. More flexible control lines such as Robline Polytech and Robline Dinghy control provide better ease of use, but are not as durable. Our recommended control line is Robline Polytech as it is a middle ground - great ease of use, and good durabilty. For more information on selecting secondary lines you can read this article.
Top Block Choice: To improve the performance of your kicker/vang system consider replacing the standard Harken 466 top block with one of the new free-running high load blocks from Harken, Allen and Ronstan. These blocks provide a step change in system performance. These new blocks are available from us by themselves, or as part of a complete system. The table below shows all three block types.
Primary Line Length: All our systems are optimised for use for the Harken lower assembly which is by far the most popular. If you are using the Allen lower the primary line need to be longer for the system to work. If you are ordering a primary line, or upgrade, and are using the Allen lower unit, add a note in the checkout area and we will optimise your system for the Allen unit. If you are unclear what lower unit you have the picture below shows the two class legal lower units.
If you are unsure exactly what you should order, below is a list of commonly asked questions that will hopefully help. If not, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org as we are happy to help answer any rigging related question.
- Can I have less purchase on the kicker system?. Yes, just add the system option to remove one purchase
- You offer Gottifredi Maffioli EVO Race as a rope but not as part of the spliced systems - why? Due to the limitations of the e-commerce platform there is a limit as to the number of product variables that we can show on the website. If you would like your system fitted with Gottifredi Maffioli EVO Race 78 line to all our systems. If you want that rope order your system and add a note at checkout saying 'replace Control with EVO Race 78 and state the colour you require.
- Can I see the instructions as to how the systems are rigged? Yes, the rigging instructions for the kicker upgrade are here Kicker Upgrade Installation Guide
- I use the Allen lower base unit - do you sell primary lines and upgrades that work with that unit? Yes, add a note in the checkout area saying that you want your primary line/kicker upgrade to work with the Allen lower unit and we will make the primary line 8cm longer for you.
- I am unsure of what is best for me – do you offer free advice? Yes, we offer free advice on what we feel is best for you, based on years of sailing the Laser at championship level. Just contact us at email@example.com
- I like to rig my ILCA/Laser differently. Do you offer custom systems? Yes. A quick walk around the boat park at even a world championship will show that there is no ‘right way’ to a rig a Laser – a lot is down to personal preference, and we are happy to build up exactly what you want.
- Do I have to have everything spliced together? The answer is no, but there are a number of reasons why we splice our systems together. For the primary lines, the fixing to the new ‘soft attach’ blocks is important that it is done correctly, as an incorrectly fixed primary line can pull apart the head of the block. For the secondary lines, particularly the smaller Harken 18mm and Allen 20mm blocks, the size of the sheave makes it difficult to thread a 4mm control line through when a 3mm primary line has already been threaded through.
- Having a spliced system is great, but what happens when the ropes inevitably wear out? If you liked the original spliced system that we supplied we can rebuild the system using your original blocks. Just send the blocks back to us and we will replace and re-splice the lines for the listed price/metre of the ropes on our website – we can’t say fairer than that!
- I have just bought a new ILCA dinghy and I have the bag of blocks and ropes that comes with it. Can you put it all together for me? Yes, we have done this for a number of customers. The bag of ropes that comes with a new Laser can be daunting. We can turn all those ropes and blocks into a ready to fit system from just £75.
- Can you fit your systems with other types of control line? Yes. We offer a wide range of control lines as standard for our systems but if you have a specific requirement that can be discussed. Please note that we can also fit the Gottifredi Maffioli EVO Race 78 line to all our systems. If you want that rope order your system and add a note at checkout saying 'replace Control with EVO Race 78 and state the colour you require..