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Quite a bit depends on the line and the diameter of the sheaves, as well as the type of line it is and what it is made from. Some lines don't like being bent and if you bend them under a minimum radius, they will be severely damaged.
A lot also depends on how much friction is in the system. A large diameter block with higher friction will probably take more of a load than a small diameter block with very low friction sheaves, given all other things being equal.
Also, there are often other factors to consider. For instance, in a mainsheet setup, you don't only have to worry about the strength of the shackles, becket, sheaves and line, but also the strength and durability of the cam cleat that is used when the mainsheet is cleated off. The system is only as strong as its weakest link.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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