tall ships

Wooden Blocks from Tall Ships

The tall ships that visited Toronto for the Redpath Waterfront Festival 2013 were wonderful. I took many photos. Here are some of Wooden Blocks. I call them blocks but not all pictured are blocks, I've included them for interest.

The vocabulary is varied and somewhat contradictory, what else is new when you are talking about boaty things. Besides blocks, there are monkey blocks, dead eyes, hearts, tail blocks, bob stay collars, and any number of variations.

Many of the blocks had sheaves made of bronze/brass, aluminium, iron and wood, some had bearings but a few were all wood.

Finishes went from tar mixtures, oil, varnish or nothing at all. I find them to be lovely sculptural objects.

For a list of the ships see my page on the Tall Ships. There is a list with links on the right box.


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The small cream block is about 6 inches. The large ones are more than a foot long. On the right (or bottom photo if you're on a mobile) is a "tail block" I believe.

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Most of the ships on display had modern ropes made of imitation manilla. Stronger and rot proof they provide much more strength and durability.

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A tall ship would have several hundred blocks in her rigging.

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The left photo (upper photo on a mobile) shows a "heart" while the right (or lower on a mobile) one shows a row of "dead eyes".

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I try to be accurate and check my information, but mistakes happen, especially to me. If you are interested in the rigging, look up the reprint of THE YOUNG SEA OFFICER'S SHEET ANCHOR, A Key to Leading, Rigging and Practical Seamanship, Algrove publishing. Original 1808. My copy comes from Lee Valley, where a girl and her money are soon parted!

email me if you find mistakes, I'll fix them and we'll all benefit: Christine