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el cid

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  1. Angle of ship masts

    Roger nailed it above. I don't have any experience sailing a square-rigged vessel, but on my little sloop, adjusting the rake of the mast even a little can noticeably change the way she handles. Below is a relevant excerpt from a message sent by Lt. Stewart, Commanding US Brig Syren to Captain Preble in USS Constitution on 01 January 1804 (during the Barbary War, sourced from the US Navy History of same)... "The 27th we sailed and kept company with the United States Brig Argus until the 29th. At midnight, a severe gale of wind came on with a tremendous sea that hove the Syren on her beam ends and filled her waist full of water. We got her before the wind, knocked out some of the ports, and freed her decks. The jolly boat was stove to atoms and lost. Nothing but strong gales from the westward, with heavy squalls (that prevented our carrying any sail but storm stay sails) prevailed from the 2nd of December to the 12th, during which time we were driven considerably to the eastward and all my officers sick but two young and inexperienced midshipmen." Later in port... "I immediately commenced the necessary repairs that the Brig requires. She leaks very much in her upper works, which has damaged some of the provisions and other articles. I am therefore under the necessity of caulking. Her rigging we take this opportunity of overhauling and also to shift her main mast further aft, which it requires, and feel confident it will much improve her sailing. I left at Leghorn Robert T. Spence, Midshipman, whose mind had been for some time deranged. He is a son of Mr. Spence, Purser of the Philadelphia". Cheers, Keith
  2. Visit To England

    You might want to check out the English Heritage visitor pass, we found it to be a good deal. After a week in London we rented a car and drove clockwise to Canterbury, Dover, Portsmouth, Bath, Conway (Wales),the Lake District, Edinburgh, Whitby, and Cambridge (and miscellaneous towns in between). We stayed in B&Bs and hostels mostly, had only a tentative itinerary, and had a great time Along with the maritime sights already mentioned, I really enjoyed Dover Castle, Bath, Conway Castle (Wales), Hadrian's Wall, and IWM Duxford. So much history it's crazy, you're in for a real treat. Cheers, Keith
  3. Thanks for the replies. To help illustrate my confusion, below is the relevant section of the drawing from Chapelle, an unknown model of Syren from the web, the USNA museum Syren (Lightly model), and the MS Syren configuration (Chuck's interpretation). I'm still conflicted on exactly which deck opening(s) would most likely be used for access below (i.e. the ladderway/companionway) and which (if any) would be a skylight for below deck lighting/ventilation. Any thoughts welcome. Cheers, Keith
  4. Ship paintings

    Wow! Just Wow!
  5. Mondfeld in "Historic Ship Models" (p. 144) indicates that an opening in a ships deck to allow access below is either a "companionway" (merchant ships) or "ladderway" (warships). He then describes a "companion" as an opening in the deck of a warship that provides light and ventilation and is normally covered by a removable "skylight" but that is not a ladderway. I ask because the plans for SYREN provided in Chapelle's "History of the American Sailing Navy" (p. 185) indicate both a "companion" and a "skylight" aft of the capstan, but no ladderway. Trying to reconcile with Chuck's plans (ie. did Syren have a skylight too?). Any insight appreciated. Keith
  6. Ship paintings

    These are amazing works of art, thank you for sharing. To me your talent is simply magical. Warm regards, Keith
  7. Ropewalk

    "Gathered 3 threads and twisted clockwise until they wanted to kink, and tucked it in my hand until I had all 3 twisted to the kink point, laid them together and from the end twisted counter clock wise, had what I needed. With the addition of some more hands or holding devices you can make rope without a rope walk". This is the same general process for I use for making up "Flemish twist" bowstrings, although I can't imagine starting out with thread. Archers also serve the center portions of their bowstrings. Not sure how ship modelers begin and end their servings, but this link provides an elegant (IMHO) method used for bowstrings. Perhaps of some use to others (and I apologize if this is old news). Keith
  8. From Futtock to Top

    I think some of the old movies (e.g., Mutiny on the Bounty) show sailors scrambling up to the top. Makes me queasy just thinking about it. Cheers, Keith
  9. A quick clarification

    Hey Mike, Are you familiar with the crew manual at Brig Niagara website (http://ssvniagara.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/niagara-crew-handbook.pdf)? On page 45 it provides a belaying diagram that shows the topgallant halyard (I think that's what your diagram is describing) belayed to a pinrail on the starboard side. Don't know which source should be judged most definative, but perhaps an option. HTH, Keith
  10. A quick clarification

    I'm no expert on the rigging question, but considering the purpose of this line, I would think it would be cleated off on something, not half-hitched to itself. Would it be wrong to have a cleat mounted on the mast there? Sorry I can't help resolve conclusively (but you probably won't go too astray if you think like a sailor, they were/are pretty practical). Cheers, Keith
  11. A quick clarification

    Good discussion and I'll add my 2 cents re: the "flemishing" of lines when not in use. I doubt this was common practice, except as someone mentioned, in preparation for an inspection or other ceremony when not underway. For longer lines that needed to run cleaning and quickly, "faking" the line on deck ensures it runs without twisting or tangling, flemishes don't necessarily run out cleanly. A longer line might also be neatly coiled on deck in what we referred to as a "birds nest." Warships are typically kept clean and orderly and I doubt lines were left faked, coiled, or flemished on deck for significant periods of time. Ships are very dynamic (rocking and rolling, shipping water on deck, etc) and crowded, so prudence would dictate that everything is well secured when underway. Found the below image from a modern US Navy training manual: Cheers, Keith
  12. 1/350 Trumpeter Warspite

    Hi Scott, I'm new to NRG and wooden ship modeling, but have dabbled in plastic and resin for some time. If you're not aware, there's another modeling site that tends to focus more on "modern" warships, primarily plastic and resin, and I've found the guys there very helpful (like NRG guys). There's actually a specific thread there on the Queen Elizabeth class battleships: (http://www.shipmodels.info/mws_forum/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=4719) If you don't get a response here, you might try asking over there. Moderators, I trust I'm not violating forum policy by linking to another site, if so please delete and I'll refrain from doing it anymore. HTH, Keith
  13. It seems common practice for modelers to leave their vessel's false keel "un-coppered", however the "General Instructions for building a Sloop of War" (appendix p. 517 in Chapelle's "The American Sailing Navy") states "The false keel as well as the bottom of the keel to be coppered before they are fastened together." I can't find any further info re: these "General Instructions" (Chapelle doesn't provide the source or date of this reference), so was hoping others here might provide insight on the applicability of coppering the false keel. Cheers, Keith

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