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Kevels use the same friction principle as Belaying Pins and Cleats do. The end of the working line is taken to the Pin, the Cleat or the Kevel and three figure eight turns are taken around the two projections each of these things have. Its assumed the line is under strain or will be under strain. When the strain comes on the line, friction occurs where the line crosses over itself at the center of each figure eight turn. There is also friction where the line makes the 180 degree turns around the projections, but the main holding power comes from the line being made to press down on itself at the center of those figure eight turns.

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As Henry says above, they are for larger stuff. If there is a haws hole indicated on your model near the location of a kevel built into the bullwarks,  this is where a dockline would come inboard and be belayed to the kevel. So it may be you won't have any line on your models kevel unless you're intending her to be tied up on a pier.

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