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I am building the Mantua Albatros Art 771 kit from the 1980s. I am trying to create a belaying plan for the ship. The main mast is simple, but the fore mast is quite complex. The Mantua plans show only the basic standing rigging, and show none of the running rigging. I have eleven books that discuss sailing ship rigging, including the standards Steel, Lees, Biddlecombe, Lever, etc., but these describe full square-rigged ships and are mostly useless for deriving a schooner rigging and belaying plan. After detailed discussions of how to rig the lines on the masts, spars and sails they all finish by saying the line "runs to the deck." I do have several books that talk specifically about schooner rigging (Petersson, Underhill, Leather, Hahn, Marquardt). Most of these also say to run the line "to the deck" or "to the rail." Again, no help. Petersson's "Rigging Period Fore-and-Aft Craft" shows the belaying plan for a topsail schooner, and is the best reference I have found, but it doesn't describe the variations found on different ships. Underhill's "Masting and Rigging the Clipper Ship and Ocean Carrier" has far and away the best an most detailed discussion of ship rigging I have found, but it is mostly for full-rigged ships, with only a brief discussion of schooners. Marquardt's "Global Schooner" has good detail about rigging but it also says the lines run "to the deck." Leather's "The Gaff Rig Handbook" is nearly useless, having no useful index and focusing mainly upon 20th century racing yachts. So I have been left to my own devices to figure out how to belay the fore mast rigging. I am using two assumptions. First, lines coming down from purchases close to or on the mast lead down to ring bolts or fife rails at the base of the mast (or pins, cleats or spider bands on the mast), and lines running from the yard arms run down to the pin rails or cleats on the bulwarks or to ring bolts in the waterways near the bulwarks. Second, lines from lower purchases lead forward, and lines from higher positions lead aft. The idea is to avoid crossing lines. Here is my working plan: As you can see, there are 35 running rigging lines coming down from the foremast (not counting studding sails!). The base of the mast seems a bit crowded with 21 standing and running lines attached to ring bolts in the deck and pins in the fife rail. To achieve this I had to run the fore course bunt lines and clew lines outboard to the pin rails even though they lead from the lower top and the quarters of the fore course yard. I would appreciate comments and corrections from those who understand belaying better than I do. NOTE: I expect that as I start rigging the mast I will to have to reorder some of these positions to eliminate fouled lines.
Hi all. Anyone know of an authoritative reference showing late 19th-century merchant pinrail diagrams? It is my understanding that belaying pin arrangements were fairly standardized by ship-type throughout most of the world, or at least within a nation's fleet, so that crew could be hired in nearly any port and would be able to serve with little additional training. I am looking specifically for the pinrail layout typical of a late-19th century, West-Coast, brigantine merchant of medium size. Any assistance will be appreciated. Terry Egolf Colorado Springs, CO, USA
I'm getting nearer to finishing my Heller HMS Victory and I am at the stage where I am literally tying up loose ends. I had installed all the running rigging but most of it was left dangling and not made off to anything so I could have flexibility and access to the deck. Now I am belaying the lines going from fore to aft. The foremast looks great and the bow area is now clear of Irish pennants and lose ends.. , But I have come across something I find odd: the Fore Topsail Braces belay to the second skid beam. This strikes me as an odd and awkward and hard to access place to put these frequently used lines. There are many lines of running rigging on a ship, but the Fore Topsail braces are on the short list of lines you will be using all the time. And they are lines which will be under a LOT of strain and which will require a lot of crew to take up on. . John McKay, Longridge and the Heller instructions themselves have them belaying in this odd place (although the kit instructions may indicate the rail at the forward edge of the hatch, the kit has a molded on pin where the others say the lines belay). Lees doesn't specify where they belay in his section on Fore Topsail Yards. . The lines begin on the main stay close to the main mast then run to the blocks on the yardarms. From there they come right back to lead blocks on the stay, close to where they originated. From there they run forward down the stay to another pair of lead blocks on the stay above the belfry, and from there to a lead block on the forward edge of the hatch (or a fairlead in a timberhead there?) then belay to a fore and aft pin which pierces the second skid beam. The references I have that show the pin show it several feet away from the gangways, not within easy reach of someone standing there. . The only way this makes sense to me is if the crew were intended to handle the line from the gundeck below. Which makes me wonder then why it wouldn't belay on a big hefty cleat on the bulwarks there. Why above their heads in a place difficult to access? Why not on one of the timberheads at the forward edge of the hatch? The way it is rigged it zigzags through space quite a bit and I believe it could have been lead nearly anywhere with the resources it is using. So why is it 1/4 of the way inboard on a skid beam, which I believe would be a difficult place for anyone to manage it?
Hi Folks, Are there any standards for bulwark-mounted belaying pin racks? The kit-provided parts for my HMS Mars build, which I am replacing, are 16 scale inches deep, which seems a bit large. She's a late 18th century, 18-gun brig, and specifically I'd be interested in standards for: depth of rack (from bulwark to inboard edge) mounting height off of deck Thanks, Robert