Rigging: HMS Victory has approximately 26 miles (42km) of hemp rope that makes up her rigging. Although the ropes were made in Britain, most of the raw hemp from which the ropes were made came from the Baltic. Victory's rigging can be split into 2 types, each with it's own specific job. These are: standing rigging and running rigging.
Standing rigging: As the name implies the standing rigging does not move. Its main purpose was to support the masts and bowsprit, helping to prevent them from falling over. Because these ropes don't move they were coated with tar to make them last longer. Standing rigging came in 2 basic types: the shrouds and the stays. The stays helped to prevent the masts from falling forwards or backwards. The shrouds were used to stop the mast from falling sideways.
Running rigging: The running rigging was used to hoist, adjust and control the yards and sails. For ease of use most of the rope led down to the upper decks where they were easily accessible. Unlike the standing rigging these ropes were in constant use and needed to be flexible. As such they were not coated in tar and would be regularly replaced. Due to the large number of ropes each man, or group of men, was allocated a specific rope to work. This helped to avoid confusion and made the sailors' task easier to complete. The layout of the rigging was also designed to help efficiency and avoid accidents. This meant that men or groups working ropes would not get in each others way. To secure the ropes at deck level they were either tied round timberheads and kevels or secured using removable belaying pins.
Approx. 768 pulley blocks were used to operate Victory's running rigging. The smallest of these is 6 inches (15 cm) long, the largest is 26 inches (66 cm) long. Blocks were also used to lower and raise the ship's boats and anchors and for the loading and unloading of stores and provisions. There were 628 blocks used to work the great guns as well as a supply of spares.