05 December 2008

the working end

Aboard the Royal Clipper / Windward Islands, Caribbean
In sailing, the mechanism used to raise and lower sails is referred to as "block and tackle". The block is one or more mechanical pulleys, usually made of wood or metal, that provides a leveraged advantage to maneuvering the sails; especially helpful on windy days. When rope or line is run through a block or a series of blocks the whole assembly is called a tackle. For those of you who recall high school physics class, it is a compound machine. And - every tackle has a working end which is usually tied off where the final run of rope leaves the last sheave.

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