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Thimble vs Bullseye


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the problem with using a block as a means of deflecting the angle of a stay down to the deck, or wherever, is that the pin for the sheve is taking the entire load and is the weak point that will break. The sheave doesn't need to be free to turn once the stay is set up so a thimble is a better solution: no moving parts and the entire fabric of the thimble is taking the load.

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  • 2 weeks later...

To me the difference of a thimble/heart and a bullseye is that the thimble/heart is meant to keep the eye in a rope/wire at a safe radius, when attached with a shackle or hook; it also protects the rope/wire from chafing, when there is a movement between the eye and the shackle/hook. To the contrary, a bullseye either serves as one part in a purchase or an arrangement to redirect the run of a rope, when there is no movement of the rope under normal circumstances. It appears that bullseyes were favoured over deadeyes when used in stays from the late 18th century on, though 'traditional' Dutch (merchant) vessels seem to have used deadeyes right to the end of the 19th century.


The explanation above concerning the advantage of a bulleyes over a block is certainly true for rope-rigging, while from the later part of the 19th a block with a metal casing seems to have been used in conjunction with wire-rigging.

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