Replacing jib blocks

I just bought my first Flying Scot last week . It was made in 1971 and I'm trying to get the boat back in stock condition. The last owner put these cheap swivel cam cleats for the jib sheets. Its the exact same cam cleat I use on my sunfish for the main sheet.  One broke on our first outing. I've been looking to put back the orginial hardware back in its place. The Flying Scot website sells a harken ratcheting cheek block. What is the purpose of a ratcheting block for the jib? Why can't I use a regular cheek block? Am I correct that a ratcheting block only goes one way? Thanks
Robie Gardner #1853

There are two popular setups. Most family and casual racing boats have ratchet blocks, on wooden blocks about midway between the skipper and the crew, when on the side deck. They then have a cleat in the line of the jib sheet and the crew, or on some boats an old-school cross-sheeting setup.

The newer trend in boats set up for racing is to have "seat cleats". This moves the ratchet block and the cleat down onto the seat, forward of where the crew would normally sit for racing. This clears the side decks of hardware, allowing for a third (middle) crew to sit comfortably on the side deck, without sitting on the ratchet block.

When this is done, the spinnaker sheet system is run under the deck, or the forward turning ratchet block is set out towards the rail, to keep it out from under your crew's butt.

Both setups are shown on Flying Scot Inc website. One big benefit of getting a kit from Harry is that they include all the parts you need, like fasteners, and instructions. They have very fair prices, usually a couple bucks less than trying to figure it out at West Marine.

Ratchet blocks are usually used on the jib. This allows the cleat to hold some of the sheet load when it's blowing. This way the crew is not as tempted to leave it in the cleat all the time.

Trimming the jib is faster than set and forget.

If you are in a fleet, one of your fellow fleet members may have some ratchets around from a seat cleat upgrade.

A ratcheting block usually has a switch that eliminates the ratcheting.  So, in light winds you can "switch off" the ratcheting if you desire.  This allows the block to run free.
Hope this helps.