Yacht Ropes

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Types of Rope and Rope Materials It has only been in recent years, relatively speaking, that wire (metal) ropes were created. In 1834, the first wire ropes, then called Albert ropes, were made in Germany for use in mining. It is certain that prior to 1939 natural fibers, both vegetable and animal, were the only materials (other than metal) that were available to cordage manufacturers. It was then that the laboratories of E. I. Dupont de Nemours developed nylon, a discovery that revolutionized the cordage and textile industries.The discovery of polyester followed in the 1940s, and polypropylene in the1950s.

Possibly by 1500 BC people in Mesopotamia used rope pulleys for hoisting water. Archimedes of Syracuse invented the first compound pulleys 287 BC - 212 BC. Plutarch reported that Archimedes moved an entire warship, laden with men, using compound pulleys and his own strength.

Block and Tackle PulleysBlock and Tackle Pulleys
Spanish BastonsSpanish Bastons

There are different types of pulley systems:

Fixed or class 1 pulley has a fixed axle. That is, the axle is "fixed" or anchored in place. A fixed pulley is used to change the direction of the force on a rope (called a belt). A fixed pulley has a mechanical advantage of 1. A mechanical advantage of one means that the force is equal on both sides of the pulley and there is no multiplication of force.
Movable or class 2 pulley has a free axle. That is, the axle is "free" to move in space. A movable pulley is used to multiply forces. A movable pulley has a mechanical advantage of 2. That is, if one end of the rope is anchored, pulling on the other end of the rope will apply a doubled force to the object attached to the pulley.

Compound pulley is a combination fixed and movable pulley system.

Block and tackle - A block and tackle is a compound pulley where several pulleys are mounted on each axle, further increasing the mechanical advantage.
Sources: Wikipedia, Mechanics By Henry Kater

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