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Mark P

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About Mark P

  • Birthday 09/08/1960

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  • Location
    Rutland, England
  • Interests
    Sailing ship models, scratch built. History, art, architecture, cultural.

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  1. Good Morning Popeye; Thank you for the clear explanation. That makes perfect sense of it all, and fills in the gaps in what I knew. Now if you can fill all the rest of the gaps which still remain..... It also means that the illustration in Lees' book, showing the driver as an alternative to the mizen sail (p 112) with no obvious reason why it should be replaced (the area of the sail is almost identical) is incorrect. The driver actually worked with the mizen, to extend its area, as your post makes clear. All the best, Mark P
  2. Good Evening Bob; Thank you for your thoughts and the video. I can see that you know a great deal about sailing square-riggers. However, you seem to have slightly missed my point regarding the driver/spanker. I do not know how old these terms are, but the first use of them of which I am aware occurs towards the end of the 18th century, and is to name the sail fixed to the mizen mast of a three masted ship, and is unconnected, at that time, with the later development of merchant ships with more than three masts. My query was in relation to the development of that particular sail, not the mast. It is necessary to remember that the original question in this post concerns the Leopard, a Royal Navy ship launched in 1790. Navy ships were never fitted with mizen studding sails, so there is nothing to be gained from trying to make this item relate to a mizen studding sail boom. The quote from the contract for Fortitude is quite specific, in that it talks about the 'driver boom', and this can only be in relation to the sail, attached to the mizen mast, the existence of which is an acknowledged fact and is the subject of many paragraphs in books on the rigging of Navy (and other) vessels. It is possible that the name of this sail later became used for an additional mast with a driver sail attached, on merchant ships, but that is beyond the scope of the original query in this topic. Regarding whether or not it would be possible to rig and re-rig a rather small sail when going about, it is not a valid comparison to describe what was done in later days of merchant sail, with relatively small crews whose size was dictated by the needs of profit generation. The Navy ships of the 18th century had crews in the multiple hundreds, and would have had no problem with finding sufficient men to perform such a manouevre. In the days of the lateen mizen, going about involved passing the fore end of the mizen yard, which protruded many feet in front of the mizen mast, to the rear of the mizen mast and then re-positioning it on the other side of the mast. This must have been a lot of work, and would have required large numbers of men, and yet it was a matter of routine. What I was wondering about in my afterthought post was whether or not the original driver sail started as a studding sail type cloth rigged to the head of the gaff, and with its foot attached to a boom fastened in the quarter. This would seem to be a reasonable hypothesis, as a short-term stage in the development process from loose footed mizen sail to a driver sail with a full-length swinging boom on the mizen mast. Any further thoughts on this, in regard to Naval vessels, would be welcome. Added a little later as a further afterthought: it would also seem a reasonable hypothesis that the driver boom referred to above is actually used in conjunction with the loose footed mizen sail, and was used to extend the aft-most corner of the sail outboard of the stern, thereby providing a means to increase the sail area. This could then easily have led, in a relatively short period, to the introduction of the driver boom, with which are all more familiar, which extended from the mizen mast, and performed the same function. All the best, Mark P
  3. Thanks Allan; It's amazing where a quest to ensure that the model you build is as accurate a depiction as possible will take you! I now get as much fulfilment from digging through archives as I expect to get from my next model; the draught for which is well under way. All the best, Mark P PS: see back to my previous post for a new thought.
  4. Good Morning Everyone; An important point to keep in mind here is that the fore and aft rigged sail on the mizen mast evolved considerably over the years. In the 17th century, all ships of any size had a lateen yard, with a triangular sail. This had no boom at its foot. This mizen sail then became shortened, so that although the yard remained at the same length, the sail ended at the mast, becoming four-sided, with the luff laced to the mast or perhaps hoops on it. This sail was still called the mizen sail, and was loose-footed, with its free corner controlled by the sheets. This sail did not extend aft of the taff-rail, and, in common with its predecessor, did not interfere with the ensign staff at the stern when going about. Numerous paintings from this period show the ensign flying from the ensign staff at the stern while the ship is under sail. Models from this period show that the ensign staff was indeed hinged at its base, normally by inserting the foot into a pivoting block, and retained in the upright position by a metal clasp on the taff-rail. The boom at the foot of the sail was only introduced in the last two decades of the 18th century. There may have been a transition phase, during which ships for a while did indeed lower and raise the ensign staff, since it was already fitted in a manner to allow this to be done. Doubtless the realisation that this was not really practical set in quickly, and the custom of flying the ensign at the gaff peak when under sail became customary. Below is a painting of the Battle of the Saints, 1782, by Nicholas Pocock. All ships have ensigns flying from the staff, and loose-footed mizen sails. Below is a painting of Duckworth's action of San Domingo, by the same artist, but dated 1806. All ships have the ensigns at the gaff peak, and on several of them driver booms can be seen at the stern. None has an ensign staff rigged. James Lees, in his book on rigging, gives the date of the introduction of the driver boom as 1793. However, the contract for Fortitude, a 74 gun ship, signed in 1778, specifies a driver boom crutch on the quarter. This was presumably to rest the boom in when not under way, as was certainly done later, to take the strain off the rigging. It would be interesting to know what length the boom was when first introduced. Did it extend beyond the taff-rail or not. I am not sure when the driver became the spanker, or what the exact difference between them was (my main period of interest stops at around 1790) but both needed a boom at the foot. All the best, Mark P Added an hour later as an afterthought, on further consideration: Is it possible that the driver, when first introduced, was actually rigged in a manner similar to a studding sail, with a boom on each quarter, and the head fixed to a short yard hoisted up to the gaff. This sail being un-rigged before tacking, then re-set on the opposite side afterwards. The ironwork on the quarter, referred to above, actually seems to describe such an item. However, I have no idea if drivers were ever rigged in this manner. Lees depicts a driver with a short yard, hoisted to the gaff, but in conjunction with a full-length boom pivoting on the mizen mast.
  5. Good Morning Vladimir; You are making good progress. She is certainly a big model! Nice work with all the bits of machinery on deck. all the best, Mark
  6. Congratulations Vladimir on all your work. She looks impressive. Are you going to fit masts and rigging? Keep up the good work. I shall follow this with interest. I visit the Maritime Museum at Greenwich as often as I can (I use the archive there) and when I get off the Underground I walk past the Cutty Sark. If you would like some pictures let me know. Not sure when I will be going again though, with all this virus trouble at the moment. All the best, Mark P
  7. Two train tackles is definitely wrong. The trucks are all the same size also, which I would be very dubious about. Also, when a gun is run out for firing, the train tackle would not be attached. The solid bed of the carriage is quite right, though. The barrel should be lower in the carriage also. It appears to be sitting much too high. The top of the trunnion was located at the horizontal centre line of the barrel. A minor point is that the gun, if fired, would recoil over the rope of the gun-tackle, which, if it was trying to run through the blocks at that moment, would snap the rope like a thread. Tackle falls were laid clear of the recoil path. I would also check on whether or not double blocks would be in both ends of the gun tackle. It may well be a single and a double. All the best, Mark P
  8. Good Evening Everyone; Thank you all for your helpful suggestions. Wayne, thank you for the offer. if I ever do manage to locate a copy, I will let you know. I found the Anderson article previously. Chuck, I have already contacted Kurt, and he was unable to find out anything about it. Certainly there are no copies lying around at HQ, more's the pity! Dave, I do have a copy of Marquardt's book, and the appendix is very useful. But from what I have read, the remainder of the book would be full of information also. Thank you for the thought, though. All the best, Mark
  9. In 1711 John Davis, who had been boatswain on various ships for the last 30 years, published a book called 'The Seaman's Speculum, or Compleat Schoolmaster'. This has extensive rigging tables, and much other useful information. Unfortunately it now seems that no original copy exists, as none of the major repositories hold a copy. The only seeming survival is a volume which existed in 1945, and had been acquired by the library of the US Navy Department. Not sure if this copy still exists, and if anyone here has contacts with the library, would they please ask about it. The Smithsonian has a photocopy, but as it is a photocopy they do not supply copies of it. However, in 1985 the NRG published a limited edition reprint of 200 copies. If anyone here has a copy of this reprint, and would be willing to either sell it or send me a copy (I will ask the NRG for permission for this if required) I would be very grateful. All the best, and hope to hear from someone soon! Mark P
  10. Good Evening Everyone; Further to the query above about the use of tackles, see below excerpts I have just taken from a list of gunner's stores which were remaining in the Triumph when surveyed at the end of a voyage. This is dated 1609, and quite clearly lists both breechings and tackles. Unfortunately it does not give lengths, but I will look further, and see what I can find for other dates. The first one is just giving the date (12th September) and vessel: The second one gives spare truckes iii pr (3 pairs) And spare extrees (axletrees) viii (8 I am not sure what the 't' means; it might just be part of the spoken sound 'eight') And the last one gives Breechinges lix (59) (not sure what the 'e' something means) And Tackles xxxvi pr (36 pairs) Her total armament in this survey is given as: 4 cannon perriers; 3 demi-cannon; 19 culverins; 16 demi-culverins; 13 sakers; 4 fowlers; and 8 chambers for them (not sure which guns the chambers were for) This information is from a record in the National Archives at Kew. All the best, Mark
  11. Good Evening Bear; (Anaxamander, this should be of interest to you, especially) Before you decide to use a modern style of gun-carriage, do an internet search for gun carriage from the 'London', a 2 1/2 decked ship (no guns in the waist) which blew up in the Thames in 1665. Divers have recovered a contemporary gun-carriage from the remains (which are disappearing fast as it lies right on the edge of a very busy shipping lane) This is very different to an 18th century carriage, and may help you to decide what might have been used. All the best, Mark P
  12. Good Evening Mark; For tapering deck planks, take a look at my suggested method below. This will set them out nicely for you. Best drawn on a plan of the deck. Very simple, just an equally divided bar scale, rotated a little more each time as you approach the bow or stern. Then draw a gentle curve through all the left hand points, or bend the plank slightly to fit, if it will do so without buckling. All the best, Mark
  13. Good Evening Dan; Like some of the others on here I have followed your build logs (mostly after you finished them) without exchanging any posts. From what I have seen, all the comments above from others are well justified, and it is a matter of great sadness that no more examples will come from you. On the other hand, such talent will undoubtedly have its place on the other side, in that big shipyard where the ships sail between the stars. And the modeller's club there must be the largest that any of us could ever dream of. One day I hope to meet you there. All the best, Mark P
  14. Good Evening Glenn; I take your point; I was looking at the sequence of posts, and missed the quote at the start of yours. I need to look a bit harder before replying! All the best, Mark P
  15. Looking at all the posts above, it is obviously a matter of personal preference, which is all quite normal. Both materials seem to work for some modellers, in some situations. Sometimes one might be more suitable than the other, but that really seems to be down to each individual's experience. Don't be too hard on poor Spyglass: as he said, he was not condemning MDF, merely seeking advice on how it might be treated differently from plywood, as he was discovering that it does not work in the same way. He was not advocating ply in preference to MDF at all. All the best, Mark P

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