Ball Bearing Blocks

Blocks with rolling elements are an engineering development of the plain bearing block.
Ball Bearing Blocks are ideal for running rigging applications where the line needs to run fast through the system and where there is...

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Blocks with rolling elements are an engineering development of the plain bearing block.
Ball Bearing Blocks are ideal for running rigging applications where the line needs to run fast through the system and where there is a need for constant fine tuning adjustment of the line under load e.g. racing sheets - "release, pump, tension, release, pump, tension"

Ball Bearings in blocks are designed to rotate freely and can be identified by the fantastic whizzing sound they make when they are spun by hand under no load.

Ball Bearings are a set of multiple, relatively small diameter, spherical balls encapsulated in a ball 'race or cage' between the sheave and the rotating axle.
The inner and outer ball race holds the balls captive and allows them to roll so freely that they are close as you can get to frictionless.
The hardened, round surfaces of the spherical balls can handle both radial and thrust loads.
The minimal contact surface area between the small spherical balls is the reason for their minimal resistance to movement.
However, because the load bearing surface is also low, ball bearings are susceptible to distortion when subjected to heavy force.

The picture shows a Harken ball bearing block, a ball bearing and a Selden ball bearing block.

Ball Bearing Blocks


Ball bearing block features:

Virtually frictionless sheave rotation for free running lines

Outstanding response under dynamic loads

Ultimate performance functionality for Racing

Suitable for rapid release and continual tuning

Excellent durability with Torlon ball bearings 




Parts of a Yacht Rigging Block, traditional and modern

Block Parts Block Parts - Barton