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Found 22 results

  1. The bee (and bee block) were small appendages fitted near the forward end of the bowsprit on either side and appeared around about 1700. Their function was to assist with a number of stays through the provision of one or more sheaves in each bee. Whilst Lee has accurately described these for English ships in his text, I am wondering how much they differed in structure and positioning and time when included on French ships such as the La Renommee (launched in 1744). Any guidance would be much appreciated. Pete
  2. It's a bit late in the game for me, but every time I've looked at my Sherbourne deck recently I've had a nagging suspicion that something is odd. It was this morning when I had another look that it dawned on me. All the cutter models I've seen, as well as the plans in the AOTS book of the Alert by Goodwin and the plans for other cutters, show the bowsprit supports fore of the windlass, and their bitts include the pawl for the windlass. The following are pictures I've taken during my visit to Chatham as well as at the Science Museum store: The following is from Goodwin's book on the Alert: The original plans for the Sherbourne, however, show it aft of the windlass, as is done in the kit: My question is whether this was an oddity, or was it just variable? In mechanical terms I would have thought that having it aft of the windlass would be advantageous in terms of balance and the ease of moving it in or out, but it's clear that a lot of cutter designers seemed to think differently. Having it aft does clutter the deck more, though. Tony
  3. In his table of dimensions for 90-ton cutters, Steel gives the dimensions of the heel rope for the bowsprit, and describes the heel rope as follows: the "Heel-rope reeves through a leading block, hooked to an eye-bolt in the bow, then through a sheave-hole in the heel of the bowsprit, and the standing part makes fast to a timber head or eye-bolt, and the leading part is connected to the windlass". I find this a bit hard to follow, as I understand that the heel rope is to haul the bowsprit out. I wonder how the mechanics of this worked. So I would be grateful if any one could point me to drawings, pictures or models that demonstrate how this is rigged. It may also be that the ropes are generally left off whilst not positioning the bowsprit, but I am particularly interested in how the sheave was placed in the heel of the bowsprit. As usual, any advice from the more knowledgeable will be gratefully received! Thanks Tony
  4. Sorry, everyone, but now that we've had the discussion about backstays, I've traced my puzzlement about the rigging of the bowsprit on the Sherbourne and would like to check that I have it right. My conclusion so far is that there was no need for a bobstay (or that it would hamper things) for the bowsprit on the Sherbourne because of the need to move the bowsprit in or out. Petersson shows no bobstay on his cutter, and Goodwin neither shows nor discusses a bobstay in the AOTS book of the Alert. The kit plans for the Sherbourne show no bobstay. The only reason I ask is because my pictures from NMM of the cutter Trial of 1790, seem to show a bobstay as well as the jib outhaul. But then it doesn't show any holes on the bowsprit to suggest that it could be moved. Could it be that a running bowsprit doesn't have/need a bobstay as that would have hampered its being moved? Thanks for your patience with my ignorance! Tony

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