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A wooden or metal case into which one or more sheaves are fitted. They are used for various purposes in a ship or yacht, either as part of a purchase to increase the mechanical power applied to ropes, or to lead them to convenient positions for handling. Blocks are of various sizes and powers: a single block contains one sheave, a double block has two, and a threefold block has three, and so on. Modern blocks used on yachts are generally made of aluminium or stainless steel and are fitted with roller, or ball, bearings and a shackle or pin connection in the place of a strop.

See also fiddle block; tackle.

See also fiddle block; tackle.

Single stropped block

Modern blocks for racing yachts, like this 80mm (3 in.) single one from Lewmar, have alloy cheeks and alloy sheaves which run on Torlon rollers with dual Delrin ball side thrust races

Subjects: Maritime History.

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