Something about simple machines always impresses me. A few nights ago I purchased a ½ ton chain hoist for my garage. I promptly used it to lift SV Serenity from its trailer and onto a pair of sawhorses. I did this lifting with one hand…
That, my friends, is awesome.
In the sailing world, one uses blocks all the time to obtain a mechanical advantage. For example, Serenity’s mainsheet has a 2 to 1 purchase, (also known as a “gun tackle”) to help manage trimming in her sail. Without that advantage, I doubt I’d be able to even keep her mainsheet in during a gust, or even steady winds for any length of time.
The more I look at sailboats, the more I appreciate the beautiful simplicity in what they achieve. Harnessing the wind with simple machines; pulleys, winches, and cleats (wedges). Amazing stuff, and I’m filled with respect with for the people who have been improving the design of these crafts since the first person decided to stick a mast and sail on their boat.