Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Recent Profile Visitors

511 profile views
  1. Small note this is the flag modern day folklore attributes to Blackbeard, but that actually wasn't his flag. In Charles Johnson's A General History of the Pirate, published 1724, there's an engraving of Blackbeard with his ship in the background flying a black flag with a skull https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackbeard#/media/File:Edward_Teach_Commonly_Call'd_Black_Beard_(bw).jpg
  2. It wasn't usual for pirates to add carvings to a ship, much less skulls (skulls weren't a common art form on ships). Pirates often changed out their ships within a few months and didn't have time, skill or the desire to make wood carvings. If I remember correctly Benjamin Hornigold had to sell of his favorite ship the Besheba because it was being ate up by worms. Instead pirates would devote most of their effort for ship maintenance and upgrades on other tasks, such as cleaning the bottoms and adding more cannon or swivel guns. As far as flags goes the skull and crossbones didn't come around until the early 18th century. During the age of the buccaneers they used a black flag. Also some pirates didn't fly the flags we think they flew. For example, Blackbeard never flew the popular flag that was attributed to him. Instead he just had a black flag with a skull on it. Also keeping a dead, rotting corpse on a ship is a precarious thing. Not saying it didn't happen, but it surely didn't happen often at all. I heard somewhere pirates wore jewelry to finance their own burial on land which isn't true since they wouldn't have kept dead bodies aboard.
  3. Please excuse me while I remove my foot from my mouth. Probably not the best way to describe how confusing naval jargon sounds. I think you're referring to the deck stoppers that held the anchor cable while riding. I meant the piece of rope or device that held the anchor to the cat head so the cat block could be removed and then when ready a rope was pulled to release the knot or the device, letting go of the anchor to fall into the ocean.
  4. Jud, normal people would have no clue what you just said and would simply assume you're having a stroke. I'm still quite puzzled by the cat stopper (that's what they called the piece of rope that dropped the anchor, right?). I did some research have found how to tie a Farrimon friction hitch and it would seem possible that knot with a good, strong rope could hold up a 1 1/2 ton anchor on a cat head, but apparently this knot was invented in 2008. I know large ships in the 1800s had a metal device for releasing the anchor, but I seriously doubt they had something like that for sloops in 1715.
  5. Someone sent me a small excerpt from one of Chapelle's books "The absence of a windlass, or capstan, in many of the American schooners of this period requires explanation. The relatively large crews, particularly in privateers or letters-of-marque, could manhandle the cable and anchors by means of tackles stopped to the cable. The tackles were double or treble purchaces laid out on deck on each side, one block secured aft and the other to the cable near the hawse. The tackes were worked alternately, and the running block was secured by strops (short pieces of rope) passed around the hook or eye of the block and then around the cable. The strop was passed so that it jambed on the cable and could either be quickley thrown of or secured. " So it seems it was possible to forego the use of a windlass or capstan for light anchors. But here's another question. How was the cat stopper rigged on a sloop with a anchor typical of a ship this size? I'm assuming it was a simple slip knot passed around the cat head and the anchor ring with the running end leading aft clear of the laidout anchor cable. I would image a couple strong sailors would be able to pull it to drop the anchor.
  6. Ok, awesome picture. That cannon though, oh Lord. So it would be okay to assume that a traditional windlass would be in its place in the real Providence. Does the providence have a metal frame? Then it's not a realistic replica, like the Le Hermione is.
  7. Does the sloop Providence have a windlass or capstan? I can't find any pictures of Providence with a capstan. She clearly doesn't have a windlass. I know it's a replica, but surely they would have included a capstan if she did carry one.
  8. I'm making a 3d model of a generic sloop circa 1715. I thought that they were omitted from the plans for simplicity sake, but then why does everyone make ship models without those parts? To be honest, I don't think they had riding bitts for some sloops. Instead I think they rigged stoppers from the ring bolts on the deck and that was sufficient to hold the cable while riding.
  9. I mean a true sloop, not a brig, snow, brigantine, cutter. Most models I see of a sloop don't include a windlass, a capstan or riding bitts. https://modelshipworld.com/uploads/gallery/album_266/gallery_2684_266_123723.jpg http://modelshipbuilder.com/e107_files/public/1417092562_4_FT0_mediator-final1_.jpg It's not easy to just attribute the issue to an error in the drawings and craftsmanship of people's model. They spent a lot of time researching their models to get everything right, so I'm compelled to believe some sloops didn't have windlasses, capstans or ridding bitts. I can see that to fish that anchor shank, but I don't see how it could raise the anchor from the ocean floor. You would have to constantly bend two tackles to the cable with nippers, one after another as the anchor is raised, and remove them at some point. And if the tackle is going to the yards how would they remove the tackle from the cable? They would have to wait until they can detach it at the yard, and then let the cable drop or lower it. Wouldn't it have been easier to attach the other end of the tackle to a ring bolt on the deck?
  10. I know how they raised and lower the anchor on a man-o-war or frigate, but how did they do it on a sloop...that didn't have a capstan, windlass or riding bitts? How where they able to haul up the anchor? Did they bent two tackles on the cable and secured the other end of the tackles to a ring bolt somewhere and hauled it up that way, switching between the two tackles? If they didn't have a fish davit how did the fish the shank up? Did they run a tackle from the crossjack to the shank with the running end going to the deck? I'm also guessing when riding at anchor they secured the cable to the deck with stoppers from the deck ring bolts.
  11. Anybody have an idea what kind of table or chairs were used on an early 18th century English Man-O-War? Specifically the kind of table or chairs in the ward room or great cabin? Thanks!
  12. timboat

    18th century sailing commands

    Ok, what would be the appropriate action to set and take in the jib and stay sails?
  13. timboat

    18th century sailing commands

    Ok, so would "Take in T'gallants'l" be appropriate to clew up the T'gallant for battle sails?
  14. timboat

    18th century sailing commands

    So commands where not generally used for individual lines. What would you call it though if you hauled in clew lines and bunts for an individual sail? I know it's not "shorten sail" as I would imagine that implies using the sail gaskets to shorten the sails.
  15. I'm making a 3d model of an 18th century 6th rate frigate for a computer game. In the game the player has a rather primitive ability to set sail by running up to where the different lines are belayed and selecting a command but I don't really know what to label those commands. For example, what would be an appropriate command to turn the fore course yard? I'm thinking it's something like "Haul in Fore Course Starboard Brace" to turn the fore course yard to starboard. Or to clew up the fore course sail would be "Let Fore Course Tacks and Sheet fly and Haul in Clew Garnets". I want it to sound authentic so simply "furl fore course sail"/"unfurl fore course sail" won't do. Any suggestions, ideas, comments or thoughts?

About us

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research

SSL Secured

Your security is important for us so this Website is SSL-Secured

NRG Mailing Address

Nautical Research Guild
237 South Lincoln Street
Westmont IL, 60559-1917

About the NRG

If you enjoy building ship models that are historically accurate as well as beautiful, then The Nautical Research Guild (NRG) is just right for you.

The Guild is a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to provide support to our members in their efforts to raise the quality of their model shipcraft.

The Nautical Research Guild puts on ship modeling seminars, yearly conferences, and juried competitions. We publish books on ship modeling techniques as well as our world-renowned quarterly magazine, The Nautical Research Journal, whose pages are full of articles by master ship modelers who show you how they build those exquisite details on their models, and by maritime historians who show you what details to build.

Our Emblem

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research