Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
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Basically, aside from what TOmmays said about how much line is involved, the more blocks a line goes through, the more friction it experiences. Having four sheaves in a typical 4:1 setup creates less friction than the six sheaves in a typical 6:1 setup. The better the sheaves, the less friction they create.
For dynamically loaded lines, like a main sheet, you generally want roller or ball bearings, which are good at reducing friction, but aren't very good under static high loads. For a halyard, which is primarily a statically loaded line that isn't often adjusted, you usually want sleeve bearing blocks, since the sleeve bearings are generally less likely to deform under a high static load.
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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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