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I recently ordered Rigging Period Fore-And-Aft Craft by Lennarth Petersson.  I picked it up from Amazon in the paperback edition for about $24.00.  I would highly recommend this book, especially for anyone new to ship modeling that may be confused by the multitude of rigging lines.


It’s 111 pages long with about 200 diagrams that clearly show you where each separate item of both standing and running rigging lines are fitted, led, and belayed.  The book is divided into three 18th century ship types.  The first one is an English 18 gun naval cutter similar to the Expedition.  The second section is a French 8 gun 3 masted lugger similar to the Le Coureur.  The last section deals with a 2 masted American schooner similar to the Experiment.


The book clearly illustrates the details of the connections of the various lines including their attachment points and tackle arrangements.  I found it to be well worth the investment.  As a matter of fact I plan on getting a copy of his previous book Rigging Period Ship Models.

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I'm going to post a dissenting opinion of this book and warn model builders to keep a strong sense of skepticism in their model building minds when taking information from it. Peterson says he's based all his rigging on only three unidentified models for the three rigs he is describing. Red flags should pop up right there. That's not a strong base to build on. Although there are many detailed illustrations in this book I see inconsistencies and inaccuracies on almost every page on every drawing. How much of this was due to Peterson not understanding what he was seeing and how much is due to the models themselves having built in inaccuracies, we will never know. But my point is that there are SURELY a lot of inaccuracies in the book.

sadly, there aren't easily available alternatives for the subject matter he is dealing with. There SHOULD  be a real Rigging book available for those interested in rigging these great smaller vessels. I'm surprised these books don't already exist.but this book is NOT the source it should be for accurate information. There are Schooners  Cutters and Lugers sailing today, there shouldn't be any reason we can't have a book that is perfectly accurate.

if anyone wants discussion on examples I've found of bogus information in the book I would be happy to go into detail. But I will point out just one example so as not to make this too long. Page 18 is devoted to the Toprope. It's the line used to set and strike the Topmast. He's depicted it with a tackl rove to disadvantage SPLICED onto its hauling end. This line is now too short to allow the spar to lower to the deck AND with the block rigged in its end, it can not be unrove. The spar can't reach the deck since you will two-block at the odd masthead sheave with the spar only halfway down the mast. Even if you could reach the deck, you couldn't move it away from the base of the mast since you can't cast off the tackle. In actual practice a Ships Toprope is not left in place but rather it's only rigged when setting or removing the Topmast, so it shouldn't even be on the model. It does NOT require, nor can it have, tackle on its end for hauling, as in actual practice the line is taken to the windlass. With the tackle rove upside down, hauling the spar aloft is made unnecessarily difficult and shows someone didnt understand the use of blocks and tackle. The block spliced to the end of the too short line completes the picture of a giant inaccuracy. The idea that Peterson devotes an entire page and two drawings to this suggests to me that he was not being carefull when planning the book, he should have caught this mistake or at least explained that it was an eccentricity of the source material, if that's what it was. It's damaging to our shared understanding of rigging that this book is out there in the world full of so many inaccuracies, allowing model builders to unwittingly perpetuate mistakes. This is one of the worst examples in the book but believe me: there are MANY other  issues with this book.


Eddie, Canute, catopower and 4 others like this

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I like this book for the nice clear pictures but understand its limitations.  


I wonder what Lee's says about the specific example above.

mtaylor, Canute and thibaultron like this

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