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DonnRW

HMAV Bounty: Gaff-Boom Rigging?

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I am in the process of finishing the rigging on the Bounty (Caldercraft). Overall, the experience has been very good, although I have found what seems to be a number of discrepancies in the plans, I have been able to work my way through most of it. I am, however, a bit stumped with rigging the gaff-boom. The plans are confusing (seemingly contradictory and incomplete). Before I go and do my own thing, I thought I would consult with those on this site to see if anyone has faced this particular dilemma. Thank you.

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The Gaff is the upper spar, the boom is the lower one. The gaff has two hailyards: one at the "throat" ( parallel and within inches of the mast) which is hard to see on plans sometimes, which has one block right on the Jaws and one under the top. Plus it has a more complex zigzagging Halyard called the "Peak" and this one features two blocks farther out on the Gaff itself and two more on the after side of the masthead, with one long hailyard running through all the blocks. Often a Gaff will have a pair of Vangs, one on each side, which control how far out to each side the Gaff can swing. But many vessels omitt the Vangs.

the boom has at the very least a Sheet, which controls how far out it can swing port or starboard. It's likely to have a Lift of some kind to keep it from laying directly on the deck.

Edited by JerseyCity Frankie
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Can't beat Lees "Masting & Rigging English Ships of War" or Steels Mast Making & Rigging which is available on-line at:

http://www.hnsa.org/resources/manuals-documents/age-of-sail/the-elements-and-practice-of-rigging-and-seamanship/

 

My question would be did the HMS Bounty have a boom? I would think a gaff with a loose footed mizzen sail., not technically a driver or a spanker. Any one else have a thought on that?

The 1960's replica had a boom and a true spanker, but it's rig incorporated a cornucopia of obvious anachronisms, not the least of which were the main and mizzen royals.

We do have, or at least I thought we had, a pretty definitive list of spars as fitted by Bligh. I would not depart from that.

Edited by michaelpsutton2
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JerseyCity and Michael, thank you both for taking the time to respond, I am very appreciative. The plan sheet refers to the piece in question as a "gaff-boom", consequently, that is what I called it. Since I originally posted the question, I have looked up various pictures of other models as well as the full-blown replica of the Bounty. Although the pictures are not crystal clear, I have been able to tease out enough detail to determine that there is a considerable amount of variability as to how various models are rigged. At this point, I am not sure exactly how I will approach the problem, but it would seem that I have options. Again, thank you for your insights and input. Donn

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Here is a drawing from the Anatomy of The Ship book by John Mckay.

 

The detail is hard to make out, and there may be different opinions as to the accuracy.

 

Bounty1.thumb.jpg.6a8868e80a02e0f5c06878ee4e5d3074.jpg

Edited by Gregory
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Ooo interesting especially as I haven't got close to rigging on my own Caldercraft Bounty yet. Having taken a quick flick through the Anatomy book, Lees and Peterson  all I could come up with was that from 1793 booms were fitted to Mizzen masts and from 1745 a gaff was rigged to small ships. The Anatomy ship also shows a gaff in some of its mast component drawings so since that agrees with Lee's I would go with a gaff and no boom. The isometric spars drawing in the Anatomys also shows just a gaff and no boom.

 

Looking throught the Caldercraft plans I think it was named gaff-boom just because it is carrying out the same action as a seperate gaff-boom would. So just pretend it is just called gaff.  I noticed no discrepancy accross the plans with regard to it though. All I saw showed just a gaff in the 'high' position on the mizzen mast which is as the Anatomy book also indicates..

 

Could you say what it is exactly on the plans that is confusing as I doubt it isn't the intellectual issue of what it was actually called and presumably is one of the supporting bits of rigging which might differ between plans...

 

 

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Gregory and Matrim, thank you for the input. The drawing is a bit busy, but it clearly shows more stays than I have seen on most of the other Bounty pictures that I have reviewed, which is very interesting. Matrim, my version of the Bounty was purchased at least 10 years ago (long story), so perhaps the plans have been cleaned up since my purchase. One example of "discrepancies" I have experienced is that the plans for rigging the "gaff-boom" clearly show a 3mm block attached on top of the gaff at its base (portion nearest the mizzen), however, none of the other plan sheets show this block and therefore no rigging is shown to the block.  That said, it has been a lot of fun building this model, I am thoroughly enjoying the process!

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K, I will check it over when I get home later. I only have one more margin plank to put down and the deck (bar sanding) is finished on mine. Saying that probably still a long, long way from masts and rigging..

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K found it. The 'extra' block is in the plan showing the spars etc on their own. From the books it looks like that is the throat halliard

 

Lees

 

Quote

Gaff throat halliards used an eyebolt set into the jaws of the gaff on the upper side; a double block on larger ships and a single block on smaller ships was hooked to this eyebolt and a fall rove between this block and one hanging from the mizen mast head on a long strap, the block coming between the tresteltrees aft; the fall led down to the bitts on the starboard side.

 

If you have the swan series book 4 describes it for that sloop in section 18.51 and makes the valid comment that the block was used to hoist the gaff up to position.

 

The Bounty book does show the eyebolt in some shots but it it a very busy section of the ship for running rigging so it might be a missed for clarity option.

 

The written instructions dont mention it and I notice they do reference a belaying plan - this I dont seem to have so I wonder if it would appear on there..

 

I have emailed Caldercraft to see what comments they have to make on the block/belaying plan

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JerseyCity, wow, this is a very clear picture and very helpful! I will be using this as a guide for the placement of blocks and rigging. Thank you! 

 

Matrim, I recently learned of the belaying plan for the Bounty. Although I learned of it late in the process, I too emailed Caldercraft and requested a copy of the plan. As of this writing, I have not heard from them (it has be at least three weeks). Once again, thank you for your assistance.

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JerseyCity, great pictures...thank you! I have looked very closely at the pictures, it is amazing how much variation there is with respect to the rigging plan. I suppose this means that there is more than one "right" way. I like the approach depicted in this model!

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On the McKay drawing posted by Gregory the rigging attached to the gaff is as follows: Vangs which lead down from the peak of the gaff to the deck on either side, the peak halliard which leads to a block at the mizzen mast head, mizzen topsail braces which lead from the mizzen topsail yard arms to small blocks sized to the gaff peak, and the brails used to gather the mizzen sail to the gaff and the mast. The peak halliard appears to be a simple single lead. There would also have to be a throat halliard which would be used to haul the end of the gaff at the mast up under the mizzen top. It would hoist to a spot roughly 2/3-3/4 the length of the mizzen mast head below the underside of the tressle trees. The peak would be hoisted to about the same angle as the mizzne stay or mizzen topmast stay.

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