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Alberta's Boom End

9" ash blocks with 5" sheaves, two doubles and one single that I made and added to the tackle making it a 6:1 purchase on the mainsheet. Normally only 4:1 with just the double blocks but I'm getting old! The blocks are not varnished but finished with tung oil which doesn't form a skin but soaks into the wood and takes knocks better. The bottom double block (out of picture) used to be shackled to an iron hoop on the centreline but now slides on a rope horse from rail to rail. Usually the horses are made of iron. Note the bit of car tyre fastened to the underside of the boom end. This is to protect the end when it is dropped onto the deck and lashed for reefing the main; with heavy gear it is too dangerous to leave the boom swinging on the topping lift. The clew outhaul is run under the boom to a 4:1 tackle near the mast; a critical sail control with a loose footed main. The clew of the flax mainsail has the cringle worked into the boltrope in the traditional manner.
The bottom picture has a packet of fags nestling amongst the mainsheet blocks to give an indication of the size of the gear.