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Sloop vs Cutter - moved by moderator


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#1
Bomba Bear

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Hi all,

 

I have a Mamoli kit of the Black Prince of which I have been agonizing over for about a year. I love to build models of thing with a little history and this is where I get my self in to trouble. The model maker represents the ship as being a sloop of the Revelutionary war period. the actual build how ever is more  of a Bermuda Sloop style with shallow draft and smooth narrow lines and the masts heavily rake aft.

 

In my research I found a site which contains many of the written correspondances of one of her owners one Bejamin Franklin. The Black Prince's first Captian was an Irishman by the last man of Duncan who when returning to Port would send letters to Mr Franklin, giving a report of the Black Prince's actvities. On serveral ocassions he refered to the Black Prince as a wonderful cutter. 

 

Sorry about being long winded, but I have reach a point in the build for deck furniture and armerment. I would like to be a little more correct in representation since these are those things that are seen. So my question is. Is there a relationship between Sloops and Cutters, enough so that they more similar than different. 

 

Dale  :(  :o  :huh:



#2
russ

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The Mamoli kit is a topsail schooner, more from the period of the War of 1812 and possibly even later, so it is neither sloop not cutter. It is not really the Black Prince or anything very like it, past that it is a wooden hulled sailing vessel.

 

A sloop can be a single masted sailing vessel like the ones built in the arly 18th century at Bermuda, or slightly later in the Chesapeake Bay area during the mid to late 18th century. It can also be a three masted ship rigged vessel, like miniature frigate. A cutter is generally a single masted vessel but the bowsprit can be readily adjusted by hauling it inboard or outboard as the need arises.

 

Russ



#3
Bomba Bear

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Thanks for the response Russ,

 

That is what I have been finding all over the internet.

 

I guess, :rolleyes:  I was hoping you or one of the MSW long time  ship builders and historical types would know of some information that is not so easliy obtainable over the internet. 

 

O well on with the research and the build. B)

 

I guess with all that said I'll change it to a representation of an armed Bermuda Sloop and continue on

 

Thanks again

 

Dale



#4
russ

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Dale:

Will you simply remove the main mast or will you remove the main mast and reposition the foremast? To have it really look like a sloop, you would need to reposition the foremast a little aft of where it is located. Also, keep in mind that the Bermuda/Virginia sloops most often had the raised deck aft to serve as a roof for the cabin.

 

Russ



#5
Bomba Bear

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Russ

I spent most of Saturday afternoon searching through the the NMM Admiralty Ship plans looking for examples of sloops with in the time period of 1775. It is slow work but is some what rewarding.

It does appear that I will need to move the main mast more than the fore to give more room to what appears to be a boom this will also mean redoing the deck planking as well as the deck furniture. Yes I have noticed on the five or six drawings I currently have save pictures that there appears to be a swallow/short version of a Quarter deck. This looks to be great fun.

Oh well from kit build into scratch. It is where I wanted to end up. Just did not think I would have to move there this fast. That will put a stretch in the learning curve.

Thanks for the interest I guess I will get a log started to show the mistakes and the learning process. Although it will be shallow compared to the logs of the rest of the MSM master builders.

Again Thanks

Dale

#6
russ

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Dale:

You will need to eliminate one of the masts.

 

Russ



#7
Bomba Bear

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Thanks  Again Russ

 

Are there any historical accounts on the development of cutters, or something that would have basic dimentional  points as to mast placement, length vs. breath depth of the keel.
 

There is not much to find any earlier than 1800

 

 

Dale



#8
trippwj

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According to Jenny Bennett & Veres László in Sailing Rigs: An Illustrated Guide (2005), by the 18th century the term "cutter" came to describe a boat having a single, usually aft-raked, mast stepped about 1/3 to 2/5 of the water-line length back from the bow with a gaff mainsail (often loose-footed), a top sail, and usually 2 or more head sails.  I need to check some other sources for hull information on a cutter.


Edited by trippwj, 19 February 2013 - 09:58 PM.

Wayne

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#9
capnharv2

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On more modern sailboats, mast placement defines the Cutter vs. Sloop. The Cutter has the mast farther aft (I believe about 1/3rd of the WL length) and has proportionally larger headsails and smaller mainsail.

 

For a long time I thought the definition was 2 headsails makes it a cutter. Then we got our Friendship Sloop, with 2 headsails and the mast way far forward. Since then I've found the Friendship Sloop is classified as a "Twin Headsail Sloop".

 

But, like anything else, YMMV

 

Thanks,

 

Harvey



#10
probablynot

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When I was a kid, I seem to remember that rigs were defined roughly as follows:
Sloop = a mainsail and a jib.
Cutter = sloop plus an extra jib, possibly on a bowsprit.
Yawl = Sloop (or Cutter) plus a pointless and tiny sail on an extra mast perched uncomfortably close to the tiller.
Ketch = Yawl with a sensible mizen mast and a more useful sail.
There were similar definitions of schooner, brigantine etc., but sorry it was a while ago and they've slipped out of my menory!


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#11
trippwj

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Specific to the Black Prince, may want to look into some Irish historical information.

 

Going through a sampling of the Ben Franklin papers led to a whole web (no pun intended) of tantalizing possibilities. It appears that the story relayed at this link captures the meat of the ships history:
http://www.historyir...eatures/?id=196
Here are a few excerpts:
"Luke Ryan and Edward Wilde of Loughshinny had become partners in a large smuggling vessel, the Friendship with fourteen swivel guns and a crew of sixty Rush men. In February 1778 the Friendship was fitted out at Sir John Rogerston’s Quay and converted from smuggler to privateer."
"The Friendship sailed from Dublin in February 1779 and returned by the end of May. It now appears that the Friendship was bought by the Dunkirk armateur Jean Torris, and both Ryan and Wilde (sometimes known as McCatter) were minority owners. Torris was in the unusual position of owning a privateer that still carried an English admiralty letter of marque.
The Friendship had returned to Ireland with contraband goods probably bought from Torris. The Irish revenue defined both Ryan and his first cousin Wilde of Rush as piratical smugglers. John Draper, Superintendent of Excise for Dublin Port, arrested the Friendship at Rogerstown with Wilde and some crew members and impounded the goods. Later, Wilde and some other members of the Friendship crew broke out of Black Dog Prison at Ringsend and boarded armed wherries which had arrived from Skerries. They took the Friendship, the revenue guard cut the anchor line, and they sailed back to Rush. Here, they collected Ryan and more men and sailed south-easterly to Dunkirk after leaving the revenue men on shore in Dorset."

"On arrival in Dunkirk, Jean Torris renamed the Friendship the Black Prince with Ryan in command and Edward Wilde (alias McCatter) and Patrick Dowling as his officers. Later Benjamin Franklin through Torris had commissioned the Black Prince as an American privateer with an American letter of marque. The only stipulation was that an American merchant seaman Stephen Marchant from Boston would be listed as captain to fulfil the legal requirements."

So - may be able to track back a bit further into the Friendship.

Note that there are conflicting descriptions in various sources - some describe her as a Sloop, others as a Corvette, and still others as a Cutter.


Wayne

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Epictetus


#12
Bomba Bear

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Wow Wayne great find.

 

I to have been digging a little deeper. Not so much as to the Black Prince specifically. But more into the use of the term Cutter as it relates to sailing ships during the time period surrounding the Princes existence.

 

One such article by a KJ Olsen titled "A History of the Revenue Fleet" The Sailing Cutters. In his article he points out that the term Cutter was used to describ the a smugglers ship or illicit trade vessel more that the actual contructed ship it shelf. That alot of the ships used during the late 17th to early 18th centuries were in all actuallity anything from a Wherries to Smacks from Sloops to Ketchs. It wasn't until the end of the first quarter of the 1800s the Cutters where coming into there own as defined shps built for a specific purpose.

 

So I am going to keep diving in and looking for more data and validate able evidence to bring my adventure to a more believable conclusion

 

Thanks Again

 

Dale


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#13
Dave Fellingham

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I was doing some research on the internet the other evening and came across British Admiralty definitions (in effect during the period in question) for Royal Navy armed sailing vessels. Ships over 400 tons were classified into six rates. All decked and armed vessels under 400 tons were defined as sloops, whatever the actual rig whether it be a cutter, snow, brig, ketch, schooner or ship. For this period, "sloop" simply refers to size. I hope this helps a little.


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#14
russ

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For the Black Prince, the best book I have found is Ben Franklin's Privateers, by William Bell Clark.

 

Russ



#15
Bomba Bear

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Thanks Russ

That price tag will send the house hold in arms, and the nearest library is in Germany. I have decided to follow the Sloop configuration. Due mainly to the fact that her current hull build and deck lines are more in line with that type and style of design. As well as that seems to be the more general and popular description of the Black Prince.

I am not sure whether to go to a single mast format or stay with the current two. Although it is very clear that they will need to be straightened.

Everyone has been a big help and I am greatly appreciative of all your help. So I guess its back to the drawing broad and on with the kit bashing

Dale

#16
Elder Jim

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The term "cutter" has not  been very precise over the years; occasionally you even run across a sailing ship's long boat, set up either for sail or oars, referred to a cutter. It was frequently applied to any small, fast & handy boat, fore and aft rigged; pre-1900 they carried gaff rigged mainsails. Probably about the turn of the 20th century, the definition became more precise; today a cutter is fore and aft rigged, usually a Marconi but may still be gaff rigged, and has the single mast set about 40% of the LOD back from the bow stem, not the bowsprit, and is designed to fly two headsails both flown from deck level; it may, but does not have to have, a bowsprit.

 

The Friendship sloops may have been called cutters because they were small, fast and handy, but even though they fly multiple head sails, there is only one large headsail with a tack on deck and its head to the mast; the others are flown aloft and are thus called "flying jibs"

 

The foremost sail, technically known as the forestaysail but frequently today called the "jib" is a masthead sail flown from the bow stem or fore end of the bowsprit to the masthead; it is usually a 100 to a 135% sail.  The staysail is a considerably smaller & fractionally rigged and flown from a second stay located approximately half way between the mast and the foresail tack on a boat with a bowsprit but further back if there is no bowsprit.  Although generally not as fast as a similar sized sloop, the advantage of the cutter is that it is usually easier to sail as the sails are smaller (lighter) and in a blow there are more sail combinations available than on a standard sloop.

 

Not to pick an arguement with "Probablynot" the yawl was far from a useless rig; they were designed as "rule beaters" vs. ORC design limitations. There are many famous models in their ranks--the Hinkley 40 was a knock off of the Block Island 40, Alden, Sparkman & Stephens, and Rhodes all designed them as racers & cruisers.  Although the rig has fallen out of favor, it is fast and a great  bad weather & ocean boat as it can easily be reduced to a furled jib and mizzen thus balancing the center of effort making the boat more easily controllable, reducing the heel and not making the crew "walk on the walls";  that was called sailing on the "jib & jigger".  I'd also point out that a yawl has the mizzen mast aft of the rudder post so it should not be "uncomfortably close" to where the helmsman/woman is standing or sitting.  A ketch on the other hand may have the mizzen mast very close to the tiller.

 

Elder Jim


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Real boat: Island Packet 32 cutter

Ship/Boat models:

Billings Boats "Bluenose II" changed to look more like original

R/C Victoria Sailboat

Mamoli "Yacht America" - abandoned

Bluejacket "Grand Banks Dory" in process

Model Shipways Fishing Smack "Emma C. Berry" in process


#17
Ricky

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I think the confusion here is that one might think the boat is either a cutter or a ketch or a sloop etc.

In fact the term 'Cutter' I believe, refers to the fact that more than one stay is fitted. Usually one at the end of the bowsprit connected to the head of the mast, the other mounted some distance back (probably on the foredeck) and attached to the mast at about 3/4 height. some times this stay (referred to as the inner-stay) can be removed whilst sailing. This frees the foredecks and avoids fowling the genoa or spinaker when going about.

 

My own boat is a Ketch (in my avatar). This has 2 masts (obvious). The mizzen is foreward of the rudder post. If it was behind the rudder post then it would be a Yawl. The centre of pressure difference on these 2 setups causes big differences on the handling of the boat hence the reason that yawls have a smaller mast.

Both yawls and ketchs can be cutter rigged - mine is!

Sloops can be either normal or fractional rig. Normal has the forestay to the top of the mast. Fractional has the forestay attached at about 3/4.

At least, this is the modern view of rigs.

 

You also have the term Gaff rig. I suppose this means you could have a 'Gaff rigged, Cutter rigged ketch' ??!!??

 

Does this confuse things nicely?

 

Ricky


Edited by Ricky, 26 February 2013 - 08:04 PM.

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#18
Bomba Bear

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Thanks for your response Rick. and sorry Elder John for taking so long in getting back.

 

I am greatful to everyone who has offered their advise and experience. The build of the Black Prince has been to this point a great build. If for nothing more than the knowledge I have gain from the research of the ins and outs to the world of smugglers and privateers and there prefered mode of transportation and operation. As well as the governemts they infested and the government efforts to try and gain some control over what they saw as chaos.

 

Let see if I understand what I have learned to this point. In summary a sloop and/or a cutter are normally found as single masted gaff rigged sail with a running bowsprit for the use of a stay or jib type sails. I use the word normlly because both of these ships were very versitile in nature that changes were easily made in rigging format and masts added. I have also learned that most often a ship was identified or type cast more on her rigging layout than her build, and that know two countries used the same identity format. Even in the same country the ship identity would change from port to port.

 

I relation shipping and ships up until about the early 1800's the title "cutter" not only was reference as to the type or rigging of the ship but also as to the ships trade. In this case cutter could also be used to indentify a ship as a smugglers.vessel regardless of her build or rigging.

 

So with all that said. The model manufacturer has produced the Black Prince as a two masted schooner bermuda rigged with a top square sail. And I am going to finish her as such.

 

See you in the build logs

 

Dale     :piratetongueor4:



#19
Elder Jim

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Dale,

 

As soon as you add the second mast, the vessel is no longer a cutter and becomes either a Schooner-- and there are many variations, a Ketch or Yawl; the difference as Rick and I pointed out is the relative position of rudder post not the rudder itself and the mast.  Although there are still a few gaff rigged cutters around, they are older boats.  Except on schooners the boom and gaff rig has also fallen out of favor; the schooners still use it to fill up the huge space between the main and fore-mast.

 

My Island Packet is typical of a "modern" cutter rig.  If a ketch or yawl flies a second headsail, it is still a ketch or yawl;  I've never heard the term "cutter rigged ketch". They can, with the addition of a staysail stay, fly an inner staysail, but because of the fore mast location, the Center of Effort" may move forward of the "sweet spot" range and give the boat a lot of lee helm.

 

Elder Jim


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Jim

Real boat: Island Packet 32 cutter

Ship/Boat models:

Billings Boats "Bluenose II" changed to look more like original

R/C Victoria Sailboat

Mamoli "Yacht America" - abandoned

Bluejacket "Grand Banks Dory" in process

Model Shipways Fishing Smack "Emma C. Berry" in process


#20
trippwj

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Dale - you are correct. During the time period of interest, the description (such as cutter) was based on hull, use, and local custom not rigging (see plate 62 in Chapman's book from 1768 for example). Good luck with the build!

Wayne

Neither should a ship rely on one small anchor, nor should life rest on a single hope.
Epictetus





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