(28 Oct 2010) Please check out Dick Harrington's article on page 10 of the Winter 2010 SKIMMER:
Rope Jib Halyard Tensioning System
Subject: Wayfarers help out with magic box alternatives suggestions
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, January 05, 2005 12:58 PM
Subject: Jib Halyard Magic Box

Hi Al,

I've got a bit of a problem and I'm hoping you can direct me to a solution. My magic box for the jib halyard has broken, apparently came apart during the trip back from Toronto and I've lost all the bearings and pins for it.  After making some inquiries, I find that the magic box can longer be purchased.  Do you have any suggestions on rigging a new Jib Halyard tension system that leads to the thwart


Andrew Gumley

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, January 06, 2005 2:02 AM
Subject: Re: Jib Halyard Magic Box

Hi, Andrew:
Sorry to hear that - hope your 2005 is otherwise off to a fine start! I think you can get magic boxes from English places such as Holt-Allen, I think, if you rather stay with the magic box set-up. Regarding the alternate system, I believe Peter Rahn has a system that he prefers to the magic box, one that involves triple blocks. I'll copy Peter on this in hopes that he will explain it to you (and copy that explanation to me since I've had this type of question several times before. (Maybe illustrate with a pic or two, Peter??) Nap time - 0201 hrs. Three weeks and one day until Marc and I leave for the Midwinters! Good night,
Uncle Al (W3854)

... from Kevin Pegler (W1071):
----- Original Message -----
From: Kevin H. Pegler
To: AndrewGumley
Sent: Monday, January 10, 2005 9:35 AM
Subject: Magic Box


Regarding Magic Boxes,  I think Holt is making a replacement now. I think I saw it listed at the Annapolis Performance Sailing website. Look around - it's out there.

Failing that, I just ran my halyard wire out the bottom of the mast to a block and tackle system that runs along the side of the centreboard case. I used some low stretch line with a couple of triple blocks and ran the tail through a block and a Ronstan cleat back to the aft portion of the thwart so the helm can easily get at it.  Works great. Much less friction and more
power than a Magic Box. Nice and smooth.

Hope this helps.



W1071 Wildwood.

----- Original Message -----
From: AndrewGumley
To: Kevin H. Pegler
Sent: Monday, January 10, 2005 12:13 PM

Thanks Kev,

I think I'll do the same with a couple of triple blocks and some line




Marketing Manager, Life Sciences
Fisher Scientific
Phone: 613-228-6229
Fax: 613-226-8639

... a magic box source courtesy of Dave Hansman (W282)
----- Original Message -----
From: Hansman, Dave
To: AndrewGumley
Sent: Monday, January 10, 2005 1:19 PM

Hello Andrew:

A year ago, I spent quite a bit of time looking for a new Harken Magic Box but finally, after a chat with the technical people at Harken, found out they don't make them anymore.  However, they did tell me that if I found a used one they still had parts and could fix me up.

I didn't take that route, but opted to go with an RWO Powerbox.  This is the same thing as the Magic Box, still available new in two sizes, as follows:

R4500  Powerbox 8:1  127mm
R4530  Powerbox 8:1  254mm

Go to:   http://www.rwo-marine.com/rig_adjust.html

I also looked at cascade systems which seems to be the preferred route by many people giving advice.  The main theme seems to be that the cascade systems release faster.  However, I suspect it is more a function of how well maintained the Magic Box owner keeps it.  As Geoff Edwards found on his Harken unit, a little silicon spray goes a long way towards making sure it runs freely.

Whichever you choose, you have to decide what is best for your individual taste and what will work for you.  I went for the powerbox instead of cascade as it seems simpler and tidy.

Best regards,

Dave Hansman

... and an illustrated reply from Peter Rahn (W286)
----- Original Message -----
From: Peter E. Rahn
To: AndrewGumley
Sent: Monday, January 10, 2005 5:17 PM
Subject: Magic box alternative

Hello fellow Wayfarerites:

I saw Andrews request for an alternative to the magic box. On Shadow we went for the KISS principle. 


It starts off with an eye-bolt that goes thru the mast step, a shackle that holds a Harken block of three without a becket……. And another block of three with the becket, ……….that has a piece of stainless steel plate that was shaped into a hook. 


On the mast we have a cut out with a hole that allows the end of the jib halyard to exit below the boom.   The loop at the end subsequently gets attached to the hook. 


Finally it is tied off with a Holt Alan cleat that is fastened on the starboard side of the tabernacle.

I hope this explains it without creating more confusion!!!  


Peter E. Rahn

W286 Shadow