Top Tips For Summertime Sessions!

49er sailing skiff in weymouth harbour

Summer’s in full swing in the UK with some parts of the country hitting a whopping 36C recently. So, it’s no surprise then that many are leaping at the chance to get on the water! The team at Allen has a couple of top tips to consider when heading out in the heat! 


UV Damages – Not only your skin but also rope, hardware and foils. It is vitally important to lather on the sun cream before heading out on the water, but it’s just as important to perform regular checks on hardware and rope that may be left out in the elements all year round. UV deteriorates most materials, including nylon, which is utilised in many Allen products. The plastic parts of the blocks and cleats may start to appear faded and they will start to become brittle if left to succumb to UV over long periods. The same goes for rope, it may start to appear faded and will lose strength as the fibre’s breakdown in the UV. It’s important to keep an eye on these fittings to avoid failures when on the water. You may also want to consider keeping your centreboard and rudder out of direct sunlight for long periods, as heat can cause some materials to warp and twist out of shape. 


Fresh Water – Keeping hydrated in the heat is a key factor in maintaining performance when sailing, but, freshwater also extends the performance and life of your kit. If you sail in salty water, it’s important to always wash your boat and hardware off after each session. When seawater evaporates it leaves behind the salt crystals which can clog and even jam some bits of kit. If left to dry and not washed out, the salt will act in the same way as sand if it gets into your blocks and cleats, slowly wearing away the internal mechanisms reducing the performance and longevity of the product. 


Bung removal – When storing a dinghy in the heat always remove the drainage bung or hatch covers to allow air circulation. Not only will this help keep your hull dry, but it will also stop the boat from popping. As the air inside the hull expands in the heat it will find a way to escape, usually through deck fittings, meaning that your dinghy is more likely to have small leaks when on the water. It is also important that you have a breather hole (usually a small hole in the hatch cover) to allow air to be sucked in or out. This is important when going from the land on a hot day to launching the dinghy into cold water. The air inside the boat will compact and, in some cases, could cause foredecks to concave under the pressure, weakening the integrity of the hull.


For more tips, rigging guides or general sailing news head over to where you will also find the full range of Allen hardware available to purchase directly online. All Allen hardware is made in Essex, UK. 


#equippedwithallen #madeintheUK #sailingtoptips 

Lockdown Sailing With Allen Academy Optimist Sailor Patrick Bromilow.

Lockdown began for us on 20th March. It was my last day in school, and also our first and last junior club racing of this season.

Following the lockdown, we had our remaining Winter squad weekend at Pwllheli cancelled. Luckily we had enjoyed lots of windy weekends for the other ones and had even sailed with dolphins in Sunderland!

Then, event after event got cancelled…Spring champs, Braassemermeer, Garda, Inlands, Selections and finally our National Championships were cancelled which were due to be held in Largs in August. It was very disappointing.

During the start of lockdown, I got a hiking bench, so each day I went on it and kept a chart to time how long I could hike for, and how many sit ups I could do on it. The RYA started their Sail from Home programme, so I found some of these quite useful and interesting – particularly the workout Wednesday fitness sessions. I tried to get out for a run or a cycle each day with my family, but it was very frustrating not being able to go sailing – especially as we live on the coast and the weather and conditions for sailing were perfect!


Roller Fairlead Assembly

Introducing a new friction-reducing fairlead – The A.597 roller fairlead

The A.597 roller fairlead is a cam cleat accessory for mainsheet jammers and is designed to reduce friction and wear from your mainsheet system. This product was developed on feedback from some of the World’s most knowledgeable Finn sailors at the 2019 Finn World Masters. Feedback from some of these greats in the sport included; reducing the friction involved when pumping or playing the mainsheet through a mainsheet jammer.


Choosing the correct Cam Cleat.

Cam Cleats are available in different materials, sizes and have a wide range of accessories to suit many different applications, so it can be daunting to know which type or accessory is needed to suit specific cleating needs. Here you will find all the information required to make the right choice – all from the designers of the original aluminium cam cleat!

First, a bit of history behind the Allen Cam Cleat – The Allen Brothers, Tony and Glenn, were the inventors of the original aluminium cam cleat. They developed the idea whilst building a Hornet “JACK-O-LEAN” number 205. The brothers had started off using Tufnell cam cleats but decided they were not good enough. The Tufnell cam cleat gripped well when they were new but would make releasing the rope difficult. Once they had worn-in, just a few sailing sessions later, they would slip and be useless.

After many months of researching, designing and prototyping Tony Allen had built a machine in which he could pressure die-cast what is now known as the A..76 – Aluminium Ball Bearing Cam Cleat – although the first design did not include ball bearings. Tony and Glenn then went onto sell their version of the cam cleat for 5 shillings each.

Today Allen has two main styles of cam cleats available; Aluminium Ball Bearing or Allenite Plain Bearing. Allen cam cleats are suitable for any rope up to 10 mm diameter and have a maximum working load of 150kg. This makes them suitable for both small dinghies and yachts.


Got ya!

If you saw our post yesterday, you may have been gutted at the news… Fortunately for Dylan Fletcher, he hasn’t broken his legs and James Grummet won’t be filling his Olympic spot with Stuart Bithell.

April Fools! Got ya! Here’s the original video…

Breaking News

Some unfortunate news this morning. Our condolences go out to Brtish Sailing Team 49er and Team Allen sailor Dylan Fletcher. We wish you a speedy recovery and hope you can make it back in time for Tokyo.

Congrats to James Grummet for getting the call-up, well deserved.


Which Block Do I Need?

Choosing the correct piece of hardware when making a system upgrade or replacing a broken piece of kit can sometimes be more difficult than first thought. So, we have put together this article to try and help you make an informed decision on which block to choose.

The most common reason for an aftermarket block replacement is usually down to breakages and, in most cases, sailors tend to stick to what they know and simply replace a broken piece of kit with a like for like swap. This method is usually the easiest option but, in most cases, isn’t the correct one.

Choosing a like for like replacement when the existing piece of hardware has already broken will usually lead to another major failure, in the same way, this means the piece of equipment your choosing isn’t designed for the job it performs. So, what factors should you consider when choosing a new replacement?


High Load Range Expands

The range of High Load Blocks from Allen is expanding with additions such as doubles, triples and Tii-On’s now available.


As technology and design have evolved over the past few years it has led to the loads on sailboats increasing and rope diameters decreasing. These changes denote smaller but stronger blocks are required. To meet the needs of our ever-evolving sport Allen has broadened its range of High Load Blocks to facilitate these changes.


Allen High Load Blocks fit between the standard dynamic range and the XHL range. The blocks feature a stainless-steel sheave which runs on a double race of stainless-steel ball bearings. By utilising a stainless-steel sheave with a slight V shape profile, the Allen High Load range offers the ability to be paired with both wire and Dyneema®. This design also reduces deformation of the sheave under high static loads. These combinations result in less friction, higher working loads, better performance and durability over the acetal sheave Dynamic Block range.


New variations of the High Load Range are;


A2030TiiHL – 30mm Tii-On High Load Single.

Tii blocks are designed for soft attachment applications. Perfect for use in systems where weight saving is a necessity or there is no requirement for a metal shackle. More info about the Tii-On Range.

Working Load – 300Kg

Breaking Load – 800Kg


A2030HLF – 30mm Fork Head High Load Single.

Ideal for use as an ILCA Dinghy Vang top block or any other application that benefits from a removable clevis pin at the head of the block.

Working Load – 300Kg

Breaking Load – 750Kg


A2022HL / A2032HL – 20 & 30mm High Load Double.

For reducing friction in any system or using in a highly static loaded application which still needs to be dynamic, such as a rig tension system.

Working Load – 325Kg / 450Kg

Breaking Load – 600Kg / 1250Kg


A2024HL / A2034HL – 20 & 30mm High Load Triple.

For reducing friction in any system or using in a highly static loaded application which still needs to be dynamic, such as a rig tension system.

Working Load – 400Kg / 650Kg

Breaking Load – 650Kg / 1750Kg


A2020HL-4036 – 20mm High Load Single with Offset Lacing Eye.

Can be used to attach an A2020HL directly to surface whilst eliminating the need for a shackle.

Working Load – 250Kg

Breaking Load – 540Kg


Working Load – The load at which a component part may fail and cause a reduction in performance.

Breaking Load – The load point at which a major failure is likely to occur.


For further information about the range please get in touch with the Allen sales team.

Allen Endurance Series 2020 launched at the RYA Dinghy Show 2020

Announced at the RYA Dinghy Show were the dates for the third season of the Allen Endurance Series, which now includes an additional event and prize fund for 2020.

Over £1000 worth of vouchers and other merch will be available throughout the 5 events, as well as, the overall series prizes of £500, £250 & £100 vouchers for 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively. Competitors will also be in with the chance of winning a complete Catamaran mainsheet system worth £600, drawn at random, just by entering an AES Event. For each entry into an AES race, the competitor will receive an entry to the random draw.

After the launch, there was also a brief prize-giving for the 2019 overall winners, of which Simon Northrop and Caleb Cooper took first place and the £500 voucher. Simon commented “I would just like to thank Allen as the title sponsor of the Endurance Series. As Catamaran sailors this is the support we need and it’s very much appreciated. So, thanks to Allen and may 2020 be as good as 2019.”

Allen Endurance Series Events

The Whitstable Forts Race – 23rd & 24th May (2019 write up and results here)

A long-distance race which has evolved over its 24-year history into a well-balanced test of sailing and racing skills, attracting top national helms as well as experienced club racers and international entries. For 2020 the Saturday afternoon will feature a shake down race to the Forts and back – a single leg for boats with 1000 PY and below. For those boats of 1000+, there’ll be an inshore race. On the Sunday, laid out in hub and spoke format with each leg returning through a gate near the club, will be the Endurance Race. The full course covers 85 kilometers in estuary, coastal and open sea conditions, and provides racing at all points of sailing. The flexibility of this format differentiates the Forts Race from other marathon events.

Solent Forts Race – 13th & 14th June (2019 write up and results)

The Solent Forts Race is a long-distance event for sports Catamarans and is set in the Eastern Solent, with Hayling Island and Portsmouth to the north and the Isle of Wight to the west. The race comprises several legs radiating out from a gate (like a star), allowing the course configuration and length to be adjusted according to the conditions prevailing on the day. The race gets its name from the Napoleonic Channel Forts that comprise two of the marks of the course. The race has a unique ‘time out’ feature that allows boats to take an optional 30-minute break during the race. This time may be used for a comfort break or for tactical purposes. Saturday also features a shake down race.

East Coast Piers Race – 27th & 28th June (2019 write up and results)

Open to fast dinghies and Catamarans, the East Coast Piers Race is a major charity event raising funds to support “The Cirdan Trust” to further support their important work with socially or physically disadvantaged children. The race is based at Marconi Sailing Club on the River Blackwater in Essex and goes all the way up the East Coast to Walton and back again. There are three course options available, the Bradwell Race – 13 miles long open to fast dinghies. The Colne Point Race – 27 miles long open to fast dinghies and Catamarans. And the Endurance Race, the full ECPR which is 48 miles long open to Catamarans only. Saturday Features a round the cans shake down race with an excellent party in the evening.

Anglesey Offshore Dinghy Race – 1st / 2nd August (view advanced NoR)

The Anglesey Offshore Dinghy & Catamaran Race is The North West’s premier offshore dinghy race, covering over 15 nautical miles around the South East coast of Anglesey. Frequent visitors include Olympic sailors, and past and present National Champions. The race starts on the Royal Anglesey start line at Beaumaris in the picturesque Menai Straits. Then through Puffin Sound and passing the rugged cliffs of Anglesey. After crossing the glorious sandy beaches of Red Wharf Bay, the fleet head for the famous Lifeboat station at Moelfre. The finish is at Red Wharf Bay Sailing Club at Traeth Bychan. Rated by Yachts and Yachting as one of the top events to compete in. For 2020 the event will also include a shake down race from the Royal Anglesey Yacht Club on the Saturday night followed by a social evening before the Endurance Race on Sunday.

IOS Round the Island Race – 5th & 6th September (2019 write up and results)

IOS Round the Island Race is a long established, long distance event designed to test sailing skills and endurance over a 40-mile course. Sailed clockwise around the island of Sheppey, starting and finishing at IOS Sailing Club. The race includes tidal sea, river & estuary sailing. The event is the longest dinghy and board race in Europe —The race is open to all classes of dinghy, catamaran and sailboard and there is a shake down race on the Saturday.

Visit for more details and entry.

Allen named as official hardware supplier to the Swedish Sailing Team

UK manufacturer of performance sailing hardware, Allen, has been chosen as the official hardware supplier to the SWE Sailing Team, the team incorporates the best talent in Sweden for both Olympic and youth classes.

The Swedish sailing team boasts an impressive 35 Olympic sailing medals and for Tokyo 2020 the targets for the sailors are set higher than ever. With four teams selected to represent the Swedish Sailing Team in the Finn Dinghy, 470 men, ILCA Standard and ILCA Radial classes in Tokyo it comes as no surprise that the team opted to choose Allen as its hardware of choice before the games.

Thomas Hansson-Mild of the Swedish Sailing Team, stated, “We will benefit a lot from this collaboration. Allen have a 60 year heritage of making good products. With your knowledge and your technical experience, and the quality of the products… well, we are super happy!”

Managing Director of Allen, Liz Adams, commented proudly, “It’s very important for Allen, as a UK manufacturer, to build strong bonds with sailors around the world. It will help in our R&D programme. The Swedish Sailing Team will contribute to our product development, which will be a fantastic opportunity for all of us. We wish you every success and hope we have many happy years working together.”

Allen is based in Essex, UK and the team of highly skilled engineers and designers work closely with some of the World’s elite sailors to ensure the sailboat hardware they manufacture performs to the highest level. Allen can rapidly prototype products and produce custom parts for elite sailors with its impressive range of in-house resources including toolmaking, CNC machining, Injection moulding and assembly to name just a few.

To find out more about Allen and the huge range of hardware go to

If you would like to find out more information about the Swedish Sailing Team go to