The tour guide explained that the sails on this particular vessel were furled by using pulleys instead of the more common method of men doing the work by hand. Columbus realized that if a man fell and became incapacitated, the crew member couldn't be replaced on the voyage.
If you think of how stresses can fray the ropes, and note the size of them, you can understand how much they were a part of the sailors' daily routine.
I believe the frayed scraps were even used as fuel by the ship's cook.
Any change in the wind could necessitate a change in the sails which meant the ropes were tightened or loosened. The men were kept busy.
In the book Two Years Before the Mast, by Richard Henry Dana, Jr.,the author recounts his days at sea during the 1830's. I admit, I didn't read all of the book, but I read the parts recounting the beginning of his voyage twice and often put placeholders on the pages so I could go back to certain details.
The book gets a bit monotonous in the middle—but it's understandable. So did his voyage. Closer to the end of the book, the author explains that when his commitment was over and he was scheduled to leave the ship, he was told he could not go. He admits that if he hadn't had influential friends back at home, he might have been forced to stay two more years away, or perhaps indefinitely. Recruiting sailors wasn't an easy task for some captains but when you read true accounts of the voyages, you understand why. (Dana's story is free on Google books.)