MESSIS

Capstan functions

 
 
I wonder about the function of the two capstans on my
french frigate.
The one is for the anchor... ok.
 
What about the second one? In his book the director
of Rochefort museum names the capstans,
the one as "the small capstan" and the other
as "the main capstan"



Here are the plans taken out from

De Fontanieus book, showing both

capstans position on the ship. 

Any one knows what each one does?

1488717549_4809_FT0_scan_.jpg

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The large one (on the gun deck) was for anchor handling and when set up with the proper blocks, could handle the heavier lines on the main mast including the braces that came in through the side of the ship.   I'm also of the belief that it was also used in handling the ships boats.  The "small one" was for handling lines on the foremast, possibly assisting with anchor and ship's boat handling as well as the loading of ship's stores.  

 

Just curious.. are you doing a build log of her?  I'd like to see it.

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Possibly the smaller unit was for "warping" the ship? I do know that sometimes both were used in unison with the "little nippers" scurrying quickly with the gaskets to purchase the hawse

 

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Capstans are devices to put a strain and hold that strain on a line. With Fair leads and Blocks a line can be lead to the Capstan from anywhere on the ship, up and down decks, forward or aft or in the rigging. Would expect may things were moved by capstans, probably some strange things like gun barrels. Rode a Caribue to an Army base out of Sigon, walked down the road to a PBR Base then two different PBR's to my new duty station LST 821. Long day and sure was glad to tie up to the boat boom, climb aboard and haul my sea bag up on deck, that is when I was ambushed. Go to Mount 41, leave your stuff here it will be fine but get up there now. There had been a fire support mission that morning and the left gun on mount 41 was wedged out of battery by it's extractor pin. That was not a common problem and that gun did not come with jacking gear to jack it out of battery against the recoil spring, the Captain wanted his gun repaired and told the Gun Boss to stay on the gun until it was, now I became part of the sad crew who did not know what to do. Didn't take me long to rig the Capstan through some fair leads and blocks with a mooring line to that gun barrel, less than an eight of an inch freed the pin, let the gun back into battery, repairs were made in time for chow. Need something pulled, don't forget the capstan, no matter where the damn thing is, this one was on the port Bow, LST's only had one anchor forward, had another aft attached to a windless, part of the beaching gear.

jud  :pirate41:

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mtaylor thank you for yor response. I havent started building yet... am in the prosses of  studying the ship. I always keep a log and take pictures but never did it publik. I allways publish later with a video on youtube. I dont know may be this time I try this here in our blog.

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Jud   thats a very reallistic and dramatic  response, reflecting the answer as a picture of 1000 words! Thank you very much. Its out of a seamans (officers) logbook I guess...

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The forward, smaller, one is sometimes called the 'jeer capstan'.  I suspect it was used for raising the lower yards into position on the masts, among, as said above, other tasks.

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Jud, A genuine sea story by a person who lived it. Someone should collect these for a book.     

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