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RPaul

OcCre Dos Amigos - foresail

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Hi All, 

I'm continuing my battle with OcCre's instructions for Dos Amigos, this time with the foresail. I've got a few questions; one 'how to', and a couple of 'what for', or 'why'.

The 'how to' is about the foresail sheets. Basically, the clew is quite far aft, and it goes beyond the mainmast (first picture), but by the instructions, the sheets are supposed to be tied off to the first (fore) peg on the stern side pin rack (it's no. 273 on the second picture). This would effectively mean that the sheet is going fore from the clew - the peg is about an inch fore from it. Is it me, or does it really not make sense? Photos aren't much help, although on the best one available (third picture) it does seem that whatever is tied off at the first peg is not the foresail sheet - it's something that goes straight up, and the sheet is somewhere further aft. So what do I do with it? I could try to change the sequence of what is tied off to which peg - most of them are still available - and find a peg for the foresail sheet further aft, but I suspect it might mess up other rigging.

Oh, and even when I figure out... If, let's say, the sail is on the port side, what do I do with the starboard sheet? It will have to go around the main mast, to the fore, and then what, tied off loosely to the corresponding peg? 

The 'whys'... As you can see on the third picture, the foresail goes between two stays (it's the same on pictures and instructions, so I am assuming this is the way it's intended, not my mistake). How's that supposed to work? The stays would restrict the sail's movement a lot, flatten the camber, and possibly take some additional sideways load. Is this how it's been done it real life? I can't claim I have any experience sailing gaff-rigged boats, but you wouldn't want either of that on a Bermudan rig. 

Another one is about the sheets and pegs again, but this time - why pegs? The sheet just going straight there, no pulleys or anything. Sorry if it sounds stupid, but even on a 40 ft. Bermudan yacht you wouldn't be working jib sheets by hand, although the jib would be what, half the area? 

And the last question is, since the foresail protrudes so far aft, it would get in the way of the mainsail if both are fully out, so it's either-or. Forgive me my ignorance, but does it mean they were not supposed to be used at the same time? 

 

Any help would be much appreciated.

 

Thanks, 

RPaul

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Edited by RPaul

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I suspect that the sail would be set outside the stays and not between them.  It also looks like the sail is too big.  I doubt it would extend beyond the main mast.  The lee sheet would be slack over the stays.  That is how the sail gets to the other side on the opposite tack.  The sail would be brailed up and the clew hauled over the stay using the sheet.

 

Regards,

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Thanks Henry.

With the stays, well, at least that's some comfort in the sense that it's not me. I'll probably try to put the sail outside the stays, although by their design it's impossible - there are yard braces (see pic below) tied off to the stays, and they would get in the way of the sail. I will try to move the top end of the braces further up the stays, where there's no. 240 on the pic, unless someone tells me this isn't kosher for some technical or historic reason?

The size of the sail - yep, having the foot shorter by an inch or so would solve it. I even suspected I managed to put up  the sail upside down, but no, there's a seam where the reefing lines are supposed to be, and it's towards the foot, where it should be. Besides, their own photos show the clew going aft from the main mast; interestingly enough, that's not the same on the plans - there it's just about level with the main mast, and the sail shape looks different, too. To add to it, the head is too short, too - it's supposed to reach the end of the gaff, but it's half an inch off, which is why I thought of the upside down thing - although the gaff I made is exactly to plan... but if I flip the sail, apart from the reefing lines, the head will be an inch or so too long, so it's not that.

The issue with the foresail getting in the way of the mainsail - well, now I know why the photos show the mainsail hoisted up a bit... And I suspect I will have the same issue with the foremast.

So what would you advise with the sheets then? Having thought about it overnight, I am tempted to put cleats on the deck somewhere further aft. I'll be doing these sheets last thing, by the looks of it, so I'll figure out where exactly to put the cleats then. Or are there any better options, what do you think?

 

As an aside, the big arrrgh goes to OcCre for the quality of the kit as a whole - really cheap and nasty ply; wrong quantities on wood, cord and even pegs (how hard is it to count them?); one metal part  - bell support - came broken in two (how???) and the nice and shiny bronzed cannon has oxidized into dull patchy grey in two months; design issues like the one above (sadly, it's not the only one); inaccuracies and mismatches in plans/pictures/parts lists.  It's only my third build - the other two were by AL - so I have little to compare it with, but although OcCre's plans are better than AL's as a whole (despite the fact some areas are so unclear, you spend ten times the time it takes to do a job figuring out how they'd meant you to do it, not from the techniques point of view, but in terms of what goes where etc.), the rest of the kit is far inferior, I'd say. Only putting it here in case if someone is trawling through the forum later on, thinking whether to go for an OcCre kit or not. 

 

Thanks, 

Pavel

 

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Edited by RPaul

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To be honest, it seems rather strange to me to have a gaff rigged sail here in the first place.  A better option, especially with a square fore sail set, would be a stay sail.

 

Regards,

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Yep, I've googled 'brigantine schooner', as OcCre describe it, and although gaff-rigged foresails do come up, they seem to be in a minority.

Emailed OcCre with all those questions, we'll see what they say.

 

Pavel

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I love these ship model rig conundrums! Looks like the logical problems are in your documentation. But loose footed forsails with pairs of mainstays do exist in the real world, notably on the Pride of Baltimore II. When going about, the crew has to slack the leeward stay. Every time they go about! The sail always remains inside the two stays. when I look at photos of Pride, it looks like they sometimes slack both stays leaving only the springstay to support the Main. But only under certain points of sail.  Moving on, the braces for the square sail on the Fore attached to the stay are clearly wrong in my opinion. If the stay is being slackened it would be an impossible location for a brace. If it was me I’d lead the braces to the mainmast hounds ABOVE THE HEIGHT OF THE PEAK OF THE FORSAIL, so it can clear.

The sheet for the forsail must certainly lead aft from the Clew of the sail, in all circumstances. So the pin is the wrong pin OR the sail diagram is wrong and the foot of the sail is too long? There are certainly issues with the model photograph and how the square mainsail is touching the forsail, these two sails wouldn’t be set at the same time OR the forsail would be smaller to prevent the two sails fouling.

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Thanks Frankie.

1 hour ago, JerseyCity Frankie said:

I love these ship model rig conundrums! Looks like the logical problems are in your documentation.

At the very least. Although I suspect the sail shape is not exactly right either - the foot is too long, the head is too short (it doesn't reach the top end of the gaff by quite a distance). Yet it matches what's on the sail diagrams, i.e., that's intended to be that way. 

1 hour ago, JerseyCity Frankie said:

But loose footed forsails with pairs of mainstays do exist in the real world, notably on the Pride of Baltimore II. When going about, the crew has to slack the leeward stay. Every time they go about! The sail always remains inside the two stays. when I look at photos of Pride, it looks like they sometimes slack both stays leaving only the springstay to support the Main. But only under certain points of sail.  Moving on, the braces for the square sail on the Fore attached to the stay are clearly wrong in my opinion. If the stay is being slackened it would be an impossible location for a brace. If it was me I’d lead the braces to the mainmast hounds ABOVE THE HEIGHT OF THE PEAK OF THE FORSAIL, so it can clear.

Now, that's interesting, and would explain the stays (their ends have deadeyes with lanyards on them, so could be slackened/tightened). But the brace - you are right, they would get in the gaff's way regardless of whether the sail is between or outside the stays, so I am planning to put them up as high as I realistically can... or at least so that the gaff isn't impeded. 

 

1 hour ago, JerseyCity Frankie said:

The sheet for the forsail must certainly lead aft from the Clew of the sail, in all circumstances. So the pin is the wrong pin OR the sail diagram is wrong and the foot of the sail is too long? There are certainly issues with the model photograph and how the square mainsail is touching the forsail, these two sails wouldn’t be set at the same time OR the forsail would be smaller to prevent the two sails fouling.

You know what, my hunch is that they've changed the foresail in the kit, and didn't update everything else. If the foot was shorter by something like an inch and a half, it would be OK both with the pins and the mainsail. Having said that, why would they want to lengthen the foot of the foresail? Or change anything, for that matter?

So, am I right in assuming that it was common practice to sail under both the fore-and-aft foresail and the square mainsail? I.e., it's not like it's only one or the other? 

 

1 hour ago, JerseyCity Frankie said:

An existential question raised by these issues is: is she a Topsail schooner or is she a brigantine? If she’s a schooner her forsail will certainly have a gaff. If she’s a brigantine, I’m not sure she’s allowed a Main squarsail. Discuss. 

 

Actually, having looked around, are any of them allowed a square main? According to venerable Wikipedia (and a quick sniff around the Internet - so must be true!), on a brigantine you get a square rigged foremast, and fore-and-aft main mast; on a topsail schooner, there's gaff rigged stuff at the bottom, and the topsails are square-rigged. Neither seem to say that you can have both square and fore/aft sails on the same mast at the same level - whereas on Dos Amigos both masts have a big square- and a big gaff-rigged sail roughly at the same position vertically.  

Getting back to my question about whether the square main and the gaff foresail were supposed to be used at the same time (incidentally, also coming out as a total ignoramus), could it be that the square sails were used on broad reach and running, and the gaff ones on beam reach/close haul? 

 

Thanks, 

Pavel

Edited by RPaul

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I’m always surprised when manufacturers drop the ball on stuff that will CERTAINLY come up later when people start assembling their kits. Wouldn’t you assume they’d do their homework and observe existing examples of the rigs they are using? That they would have already had this conversation we are having now? Apparently they don’t count running rigging accuracy among their chief concerns. An odd turn of events since I’m CERTAIN all manufacturers bestow upon themselves words like “museum quality” and “historically accurate “.

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Pavel,

IF shortening the sail would "solve" the problem (for some value of "solve), could you trim it and re-stitch.  AL in the past pulled some sloppy quality control (still do) and Occre is all former AL designers, etc.  

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8 hours ago, mtaylor said:

Pavel,

IF shortening the sail would "solve" the problem (for some value of "solve), could you trim it and re-stitch.    

Hi Mark,

Yep, that's what I'm thinking of. It's a bit of a bother, but working in the spirit of doing things right no matter the hassle, I reckon it's worth it. I'll wait for OcCre's response to see if this all has been done for a reason, but if not, I can't see any other options. 

It won't solve the issue with tying off the sheets on the foremost peg - I won't be able to trim the sail far enough to make the designated peg work in a conventional way. Now, this made me think; could it be that both the leeward and windward sheets are supposed to work at all times?  I mean, usually I'd expect only the leeward one to be under load; but it would have to be tied off, or fed through a pulley, way further aft in order for it to work. But if both the windward and leeward sheets are tight, they would hold the clew in a desired position even if they are tied off level with it. I've seen something similar on mains on relatively modern boats, when the mainsheet is fed through two blocks on the sides, rather than one (or one system thereof) in the middle. I know I am trying to fit a round peg (proverbially) into a square hole here, but in principle, this would work I reckon - provided, of course, that the clew is at least a bit  fore from the mainmast, and clear of the mainmast's pinrack and whatever is going on it. And it would need to be between the says, probably working as Frankie described. Don't know. What do you think?    

 

8 hours ago, mtaylor said:

Occre is all former AL designers, etc.  

Well, funny you should say that :) That was exactly the reason why I started looking at OcCre's range - I've seen it a couple of times on forums, people saying that they are AL's spin off, and are probably better in areas AL were lacking... Well, that much is true, in the sense that their plans, although still a shambles, are better than AL's, which was my only gripe with my first two builds. The downer is that everything else is, ahem, more interesting.

 

Thanks, 

Pavel

 

 

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As too the sails... I'm not sure.  Someone more versed in sails and rigging than I would be needed.  Up until my last (Triton Cross Section) and my current project, they've all been kits and I blindly followed directions although I had help sorting out getting Constellation's rigging right.  AL's instructions were sorely lacking to say the least.  But then, that kit was lacking anything resembling accuracy.

 

 

As the story goes, AL didn't spin Oocre off.  AL's owner moved to Vietnam and took the company with him and left the staff behind.   I'm not sure that's the 100% truth but given the number of times I've heard it, I suspect it's something those lines.   So other than "former employer" and perhap wood and style choice, Oocre is a different company.

Edited by mtaylor

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OcCre responded, which is already a pleasant surprise. Here's what they said:

 

"In the case of the thread no. 273, you can knot it further back as I show you ne the attached image.

 

Before placing the sails, you should check that they match the figures drawn on the plans. These same will help you identify each sail.

In some cases, not all the sails are deployed at the same time, but to make the model more attractive, we place them all unfolded.

We are talking about a model, (a scale reproduction of a ship model). The sails will never work. What we try is to stick to a design that is attractive. Surely, you must adjust some pieces and place them in the model as you can, always clear, following the instructions."

 

So, tie the sheet as far back as you want (and what about whatever it is that's supposed to be there already?), and if things are functionally/historically inaccurate, it's because they look pretty. Interestingly enough, the website says "We take care of every last detail, so that our kit models can offer a design that is true to life". Anyway. Mustn't grumble, I suppose. I'll just shorten the sail - looks like two inches off the foot will do it. 

As an aside, more issues and inaccuracies keep coming up...

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There we goo... Had to call out the ex - twice - to show me how to use the sewing machine... She was most entertained :)

 

 

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RPaul...Although Occre was very quick to send me (free) some parts I broke, I echo your thoughts about the kit, plans, and instruction quality. I'm building this ship now, and no way am I going to try to decipher how to rig the sails. I love the lines of this ship, but the love ends there.

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On 3/10/2018 at 11:19 PM, bigcreekdad said:

RPaul...Although Occre was very quick to send me (free) some parts I broke, I echo your thoughts about the kit, plans, and instruction quality. I'm building this ship now, and no way am I going to try to decipher how to rig the sails. I love the lines of this ship, but the love ends there.

Rigging actually ain't too bad... Instructions are reasonably clear (compared to others), and the issues I've had were more with the design, fundamentally... If you need any pics/tales of how I've done it, give me a shout. 

 

Pavel

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