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JerseyCity Frankie

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It’s a point which weighs against us, and a fact to be deplored – 
That we chased the goodly merchant-men and laid their ships aboard.

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  1. Latest image of my Scientific Models Constitution re-build of a second hand shop purchased broken model. Deck furniture cannons and lower masts are what's new since last time.
  2. Boomkin Question

    It may be more critical to concern yourself with where their outer ends are located in space in regards to the rest of the headrig and the lead of the Fore tacks.
  3. It's totally worth your time to make a custome scale ruler for your model. One that shows ten foot intervals with five foot demarcations between. I find using these on my model makes a LOT of issues clear and puts the size of the ship and all it's components into a litteral perspective. To make one you need the scale that is often printed on the plans themselves but if your kit has none, you have to extrapolate using whichever dimensions the kit does give you. Sad is the ship model that won't give you Overall Length or Beam. google "architects scale ruller" or "engineer scale ruller". Acquiring one of each of these will cost little but come in very handy as one of the many scales provided on one of the 12 surfaces these two tools give you will greatly simplify the problem of finding the proper gauge.
  4. From Futtock to Top

    Climbing in the rig is exhilarating! Its the best part about traditional sailing, in my opinion. Nearly EVERY modern ship has mandatory safety harness wearing policies and these will have a three foot long lanyard with a double locking snap hook or caribiner on its end which the climber can quickly and easily clip onto any convenient bit of standing rigging. Typically when going over the futtocks a climber pauses and clips in to a spot above their heads then climbs up with the secure knowledge that if they fall the harness will save them. The problem is that the larger the ship, the greater the distance you must cover. On a smaller ship one may stand at the highest ratline and be able to reach the top with your hand. On big ships you can't and must commit to climbing the futtocks WITHOUT being able to hold onto anything above the level of the top. This is disconcerting. And in situations like this, your safety lanyard becomes paradoxically dangerous since you want to clip into the futtocks, but as you climb up to this point you now are obliged to unclip and reposition your safety lanyard to a higher spot. This makes you more vulnerable than if you had not clipped on in the first place since now you're hanging on one-handed while you re-clip. To deal with this many modern ships have a dedicated safety line running from above the top down to the highest ratline level. Clipping into this allows you to use both hands for the climb but if you do fall, you fall the full length of the safety line + landyard length before you fetch up. I saw this happen to a guy once.
  5. Unusual ship models

    Got to spend some time on the island of Nantucket and found this whaleship model outside an antiques store. I'm sure you're all aware of Nantuckets pride of place in the history of American Whaling. Both Starbuck and Ahab were from Nantucket.
  6. Rope edging on sails

    Gluing the boltrope onto the sail COMPLETELY AVOIDS out of scale thread and out of scale stitching. I honestly can't think of any good reason to sew the boltrope onto a model sail other than if one is slavishly sticking to real world practice out of a sense of litteral interpretation. But even then the sailtwine passes through not around the boltrope.
  7. Nail Polish

    On a whim I got some clear flat nail polish and I happily use it to seal up knots in Rigging.
  8. A quick clarification

    I think people are confused about what Frapping is and what it's intended to do. It's NOT a method of using up extra line. It's a method of drawing two tight lines together and making them both tighter, tighter than mere manpower alone could make them. The configuration of lines on the French guns in the photos is NOT a haphazard unseamanlike jumble, it's a clever calculated method of providing a secure hold on the guns. Here are two drawings illustrating the concept-the First is a simplified schematic showing the concept at work: two legs of a tackle lying between the two blocks are taken up on and made as tight as can be managed through muscle power alone. When the Frapp goes on it pulls the two legs together and this increases the power of the purchas the blocks are providing. More frapping turns put on serve to draw the two legs even closer together, creating tremendous force on the two legs, which were already tight to begin with. The second illustration shows the training tackle on the French guns, the Frapping Turn is going around the near training tackle, over the gun to the far training tackle, then back again, drawing the legs of the training tackle together and thus increasing the strain of the carriage against the bulwark eyebolts, making the gun more secure than muscle power alone could have madde it.. More Fraps ( not illustrated in the drawing but plainly visible in all the above photos) go around the two legs of the breaching rope. Since the breaching rope was kinda slack to begin with, a lot of Fraps are put around the two legs of this line and you can see them in a row across the top of each gun.
  9. American sailing warships with no plans or records

    Www.tineye.com is a good resource for tracking down the source of any image OR finding a better version of it. To get this image I clicked on then saved the picture posted above, went to tineye.com and uploaded the picture with a single click. Tineye comes back instantly with every version of the image available on the web, and convently they give the number of pixels for each choice so you can chose the biggest one. AND they give you the link to the website that has the image.
  10. A quick clarification

    Le Hermione seamed a good candidate for providing images of a non-museum ships gun stowage, she is arguably the most authentic reproduction sailing today and she HAS crossed the Atlantic. In most cases I saw, the crew have taken up on the training tackle and they used the remaining line to lash the gun to the cairage. Their technique is not elegant but it does appear practical while at the same time keeping all line off the deck.
  11. A quick clarification

    I'm skeptical This frapping of the hauling part of the line is a method used at sea. Photos abound on the internet of gun tackle demonstrating this frapping but my theory is that these examples are all Museum ships open to the public. Some curious Museum visitors have a tendency to play with the rigging if it isn't secured in one way or another and I believe this frapping is a strategy to defeat this behavior, not a reflection of actual use. Certainly a tackle can be belayed to itself, but sailors would use any of several known knots that would belay the line in a way in which the line could also be instantly cast off. Nobody at sea is going to render the falls of the tackle THAT difficult to un-belay by taking turns around something with its ENTIRE LENGTH. CERTAINLY not a Halyard! it takes too long to render all that line around and around. Also, if we can go back to speaking about Halyards, I would be very surprised to learn that any haliard wouldn't be provided with a sturdy and reliable bit of hardwear to belay onto. Balaying a tackle to itself is more in the nature of a temporary means of securing a lighter load, a Halyard on the other hand is always going to be under heavy strain when belayed, is always going to belay in precisely the same place every time, and must be able to be INSTANTLY cast off. Thus the ship would have a pin or a cleat or a knight head or kevel dedicated to the line.
  12. Diameter of jackstays

    Wavertree jack stays with a Master Rigger for scale. Solid steel. The hardwear it's being rove through is bronze and they are known as Falcons, they aren't eybolts but rather spheres with a threaded screw attached to drive them into a wood spar.
  13. Sails

    To keep the fabric in one position I have found it necessary to use one chemical or another to stiffen the fabric in the shape you want. Over the years I tried white glue and I tried laundry starch but neither of those held the material rigid. Then I found a product at a craft store called Stiifen Stuff and this I used on my sails on my cutter Le Renard model. Later I found an even better product made by Golden paint company, a water based acrylic product that worked great and I used that on my HMS Victory model- check out that build log it's ALL ABOUT sail manufacturing and little else. FINALY On my last effort, my Yawl Dulcibella, I used two-part epoxy. And I describe that technique in my log too.
  14. Ashley's Book of Knots

    It has been, since the day it was published, the best knot book ever written. It's been decades since it's release in the late 40's (I think) and hundreds of knot books have come and gone, but Ashley remains firmly in first place. No other knot book has ever come close. Having said that, it's not necessarily the knot book you need. It's got over 2,000 knots in it so Ashley wasn't able to provide complete step by step instructions, although all the knots are illustrated. Many will be fine with less comprehensive knot books and online resources. The Girl Scout Handbook has a terrific knot section, for instance.
  15. Photos of furled jibs

    This beauty shot just popped up on Pride of Baltimore's Facebook page.
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