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  1. Peter, Good question!! You are absolutely right. Duh! When I consulted Lever's reference both the jib and fore staysail downhauls were rigged through a single block at the tack and through a few of the "hanks" at the head rope to the peak. This is shown for the fore staysail in Petersson's book but it is not apparent for the jib and flying jib. Biddlecombe also shows the downhauls attached to the peaks of all the fore sails. The tack of each sail is made fast (hooked) to the bottom of the stay, or to the traveler if it is used for th
  2. Spyglass, The large triangular main sail is sometimes called a "Bermuda rig." Without the high gaff boom the weight topside is lighter, but the sail area is smaller than a gaff sail and a topsail. Did the fore mast have a gaff sail? Or did it have staysails between the masts? If it had a gaff sail it would be a topsail schooner. If it has staysails it might be called a hermaphrodite brig, or brigantine as they are usually called these days. Or maybe a Bermuda brigantine? Chapelle's The Baltimore Clipper shows a picture of a three mast schooner with these pea
  3. I have been working on a model of a topsail schooner, and had a number of questions about how the anchors were handled. Looking through the literature, and at some of the schooner models on the Forum, it seems that there are several different methods. So which was right for the model I am building? I have a 1980s Mantua Albatros "Goletta Typpica de Baltimora" kit. The kit contains a lot of the "standard" parts the company threw into many kits, regardless of scale and many of these were not well made. When I compare the kit to drawings in Chapelle's The Baltimore Clipper I see a lot
  4. Bruce and George, You beat me to it! Here are the most useful references I have found so far for topsail schooners. 1. To me the most important reference is Howard Chapelle's The Baltimore Clipper (Edward M. Sweetman Co., New York, USA, 1968). It has a lot of information about the development of topsail schooners and lots of drawings and illustrations. More importantly, it lists the dimensions of actual vessels in the early 1800s. It has many sail plan drawings, but says little about the rigging. 2. Lennarth Petterson's Rigging Fore-and-Aft Craft (Naval Inst
  5. Sail Rigging The diagram shows the parts of the common types of sails. The leech is the after or outboard edge of a sail. It is normally free (unattached). The luff is the forward part of fore-and-aft sails. The luff is often attached to a mast or stay. The square sail, gaff sail and yard topsail are four sided sails with a head and a foot. The head is laced to a spar or boom. Triangular sails (foresails and staysails) have the luff attached to stays, although this side is sometimes called a head on staysails. The foot is usually free
  6. Running Rigging on Masts and Spars Running rigging is the ropes and cables that are used to control the spars and sails. It is frequently adjusted according to course changes and weather conditions to get the desired performance from the sails. Fore Course Yard This yard had foot ropes to support the crew. It may also have been fitted with irons for studding sail booms. These yards may have carried a Jackstay, especially if the ship carried a main course sail. The yard was suspended from the fore top by a rope sling that was looped around the mast to
  7. This looks like the Mantua Albatros kit. I am building one of these. The binnacle is definitely backwards! It isn't the only problem with the Mantua drawings! The tiller should probably extend to a small clearance between it and the binnacle. 10 cm or so.
  8. Jaeger, Your questions are right to the point - at least they show the difficulty in putting a label on any sail/rigging configuration. That is why I have repeatedly said there is no "right" way to rig a ship, or at least there are as many right ways as there were ships. As an aside, in biological taxonomy there are "lumpers" and "splitters" when it comes to putting names on living creatures. Splitters tend to create new names for every possible variation and lumpers usually overlook minor variations when naming species. Personally, I am a lumper. What I find is weird i
  9. I have been studying the rigging of schooners, especially topsail schooners, for several years as part of a project to build a topsail schooner model. Determining the “right” way to rig these ships has turned out to be difficult and confusing, because there are many “right” ways, possibly as many as there were ships! There are many texts describing the rigs of the larger square rigged men of war, but there is not as much about fore-and-aft rigs. I have compiled these notes to help me sort things out and thought they might be useful to others studying these ships. In these diagrams
  10. bolin, Typically the gaff topsail will have three lines for handling: The topsail halliard attaches to the peak (uppermost point) to haul the sail up. It ran through a sheave in the mast top or a single block attached to the mast top and from there down to the deck. The topsail tack attaches to the low point (tack) of the sail near the mast and pulls the sail down, opposing the halliard. It commonly had a tackle at the deck to help pull the sail tight. The topsail sheet attaches to the after point (sheet) of the sail. It runs through a sheave nea
  11. Rachel, Good to see your post. Your Mantua kit is very different from the 1980s Mantua kit I am building!
  12. Pat, Your idea sounds pretty good to me.
  13. George Biddlecombe (The Art of Rigging, Echo Point Books and Media, Brattelborough, Vermont, 1925, reprint 2016) does mention mats (page 20) - a thick woven or plaited texture "fastened upon mast yards, &c., to prevent their chafing." On page 34 he describes "Thrumming" as interlacing short pieces of thrums or ropeyarn through matting. Darcy Lever (The Young Sea Officer's Sheet Anchor, Thomas Gill printer, London, 1808, reprint 2000) describes how to make a wrought mat (sheet 11). He says 3" pieces of old rope are worked into the mat surface to make it softer, and these yarns
  14. Waiting for your build log!
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