8th November 2006 at 9:29pm #178
I am developing the kicker system for my ok at the moment after removing my rubbish drum system. I have seen various boats with lever systems, which look ok but why does no on use a cascade kicker system, this must be lighter and easier to use? i would however like to follow the rest and have a lever system, so i am going to make one. A few questions though. I havnt found anyone hat sells a lever so if i make one obviously it pivets in the middle, are there any bearings used to make sure the lever doesn’t stick ?? Does anyone have any diagrams?
Any help is ratefully recieved
Russ9th November 2006 at 1:18pm #1864
The basic problem always with OK kickers is that you have very little height between the boom and deck at the mast relative to the length of boom you are trying to pull down. This means that the loads on the wire/rope/cascade or whatever are very high.
The most effective angle is 45 degrees for the kicker and you will not have much room to fit in a cascade. They have been done but I have not found anything as effective and reliable as a lever. It was a major improvement when we found levers- previously there were all sorts of lever/winch combinations which worked but were unreliable. The incidence of failures in the lever system is very low nowadays (in the 70’s, there were always kicker failures if there was wind about and we all carried loads of spare wires and stuff).
If you use the regular lever (same as the Finn I think- for supply look at the new gear suppliers bit on the website) it is simple to fit. Set the pivot high enough on the boom so that you get a decent angle from the wire to the mast. It doesn’t matter if the top touches the sail but the first reason for the lever is that you can effectively have a booms depth of extra height,. The distance from the gooseneck is chosen so that it doesn’t clout the centerboard and the wire angle is about 45 degrees. The lever should not then bodge holes in the deck when you lower the sail.
I am not sure what my lever lengths are but I think it gives about 7:1 advantage (someone out there will know- I will have to go and measure mine) and then I use 6:1 on the control lines. The friction needs to be reduced by using ball bearing blocks but there is no problem with just a bolt through the boom. You may want to do a posh doubler in the boom as the load is quite high and you will get an elongated hole in the boom quite quickly.
If you do come to visit us at South Staffs I can show you the setup and we have plenty of examples of effective arrangements.
Bill10th November 2006 at 3:12pm #1865
I’m bloody confussed by all this mast deflection and bend figures, i thought my merlin and phantom where complicated!! i have a black top mast at them moment i weigh 14.5 stone and i’m 5″10 i know i am a little bulky to be an ok sailor, but from the short discription is my mast right for me? i have an old batt main, which i thought was blown out as it seemed to have a lot of bag! in the luff, but after sailing with it it didnt seem so full. So am i waisting my time with this mast sail setup? if so what should i look for second hand wise for my weight, i’m used to and like sailing with stiff rigs on boats. What do i need ? and has anyone got any old kit that would suit? I would messure my mast but to be honest i have no bloody idea? i only kust got used to messuring spreader rake and deflection!!!!! HELP10th November 2006 at 8:57pm #1866
It’s not really necessary to know a mast’s bend numbers unless you are going to get a new sail cut for a mast.
A good general guide to a metal mast’s stiffness is the height of the joint of the lower section with the upper section/s. This measurement is easily taken. It is the distance from the upper edge of the black band at boom level up to this join.
I believe 2600mm was the standard height with a lower distance/joint height giving a softer mast and a higher one a stiffer mast.
Just get out and sail it as is and enjoy. Sail against some other OKs. Then you can see what, if anything, needs changing.
Some time ago I emailed Richard Battey some pics and measurements of my home made kicker lever set up which works well and is typical of many. I see from another posting that he is going to email you these. If he does’nt, let me know and i’ll run a tape measure over it again.
Alan10th November 2006 at 9:13pm #1867
Alan he sent me the pictures but not the dimensions and where to drill etc.
my e-mail address is
Thanks Russ10th November 2006 at 10:25pm #1868
Just sent you Alan’s excellent lever dimension document renamed ‘ OK lever dims’!
Ps. Alan – excellent document and pictures and well worth posting on this site for those that don’t want to spend a fortune on a ready made lever!11th November 2006 at 1:08pm #1869
Cheers Richard11th November 2006 at 8:33pm #1870
Made lever today principally based on the dims from Alan. Will email you picture of the finished product.
Took no time to make, a little rough round the edges but in essence will do the job!
Richard26th March 2019 at 8:44pm #18995
Can you sent me the picture an dimensions of the kicker you made your self .
It’s diffucult find a new one.
Peter Vande Sompele28th March 2019 at 9:44pm #18997
It’s a bit old (from the 80s?), but there is some quite good stuff on the OKDIA website under \The Boat \Technical Manual on the menu. The page on the link below has some further links at the bottom of the page to photos showing deck and kicker arrangements including a kicker lever made from old spreaders
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.