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Schooner Belay Plans


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Hi all


Having restarted my build of H.M. Pickle, I'm needing to make some decisions for later in the build. I've learnt by reading these forums that planning ahead is vital as some things need to be done before it's too late!


Pickle builders and followers will be aware that no sails are involved in the standard kit. However, I am wanting to add sails to my model - but furled. Adding sails without the appropriate running rigging doesn't make sense, so I am wanting to add this also.


My first actions are to identify the belaying points for the three fore-sails (forgive me if this is not technically correct, but I believe Pickle would have carried a Jib, Flying Jib, and a Fore Staysail).


Pickle's belaying plans do not show these belaying points, however, Petersson's "Rigging Period Ship Models" refers to the belay points.


However, in reality, it seems as if small racks are provided on the foredeck as well as various cleats attached for the various sheets.


I was lucky enough to find a schooner almost like Pickle at a Tall Ships Day in Gloucester (UK) and took some photo's (but not enough it seems!!!!). One example shows this:




And here is another version of belaying that I have seen:




So, my question is - has anyone seen any full belaying plans for a Schooner, preferably of Pickle's size?


I know that I will also have to tackle the halyard and downhaul arrangements for all the sails - I have photographed an example here,




Again, any info on the belaying plans would be appreciated.


Many thanks





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That is a problem I had when I built my schooner.  Chapelle had a couple in his book, "The American Fishing Schooner"  and I hound a couple others on the web but no two were alike.  I also read an account where a new captain took over a ship and changed the belaying points.  I am not sure there was a written "STANDARD" for belaying.  But each boat was kept the same throughout it's voyage.



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The way a Capt. or, if they were asked, the way a crew prefers to "run the deck" would determine where best to belay such that the coiled lines, flaked lines and, stowed lines would be out of the way / not under foot.  The less often used, the more out of the way, is a good rule.  Seldom were lines coiled on the deck except as a show when at dock-side on holidays. The old time tall ships / large vessels were wood and easily altered by the ship's carpenter. Not so easy with the new fiberglass boats and even tough on steel ships.

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Thanks MAK41


Your comments make sense. As the future "Captain" of my Pickle, I guess I can therefore make my own decisions!

However, I am still keen to see if other Forum members have tried fully modelling the foredeck.


As Pickle builders will know, as seen below, Pickle's Foredeck has almost no fittings / Catheads or the like



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It seems most kits are seriously lacking when it comes to belaying points, from providing very few to none at all! :(


I'm having similar problems with my Sherbourne (ok she's a cutter, but the rigging for the fore and aft sails would be similar) and having to improvise as I go along – or preferably, before I get to the point of actually belaying the line. I might have to extend the bulwark pin rails (they only provide for six pins a side) and am also thinking of employing shroud cleats, which are period. (Victory has them and I'm sure you'll be able to find pics of those the net). I also added cleats around the foot of the mast, but I see you already have those.


Your foredeck looks a bit cramped like mine, but you might be able to drill a few holes for belaying pins in the bitts over the bowsprit, as I did with mine in front of the mast. Another thing you might also consider is fitting a 'horse' across the foredeck hatch to take the staysail sheet block. I found its positioning though fairly critical, as you have to place it so that it would be possible to raise the grating, but also make it possible to sheet the sail when set.


I would consider fitting catheads, if she had them.


Hope this helps.



Edited by Stockholm tar
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I went to the reproduction full size replica Schooner Pickle facebok page and there are some photos there, sadly the shots are all of people dressed as pirates blocking the view of the deck! 

There was a link though to this Russian language sister ship web page:  http://www.varyag.onego.ru/suda/2/29/ where I found this image:


The quality is not that good but you can see the Headsail Sheets hanging down and where they terminate.

The Sheets control the sails and the SHAPE of the sails, a straight line, mostly perpendicular to the stay, will be drawn through the point in space the Clew of the sail would optimally be when the sail is set and drawing perfectly, and where that imaginary straight line intersects the cap rail of of the bullwarks is where the line would belay.

I found  short video on youtube taken from the replica Pickle's deck while underway and you can see the sheet for the Jib for just a very brief moment and I took a screenshot:

The sheets come aboard at LEAST as far aft as the fore shrouds and much farther aft still for the Flying Jib.



Edited by JerseyCity Frankie
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Doing a bit more poking around, it looks like there were five sister ships of the reproduction Pickle, and here is some youtube video of the deck of one of the sisters, shot while underway and showing a lot of the rigging and layout:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQIQttRKPmE#t=19

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This is a great topic and sure to create hours of good discussion whatever you finally decide but, as stated by JerseyCity Frankie and, the lead I find most probable for the staysail (working jib) and indeed the only images I found of Pickle (repro.s), is where the working jib is lead to the rail. It was not a self-tending sail on a club or other spar and so a horse or bridle would not be appropriate.


There are two lines running up the bowsprit to tighten the stays (and /or the luffs of the jib and staysail ..I can't be sure from the pics) which are lead back to the forecastle deck and probable made fast on a cleat on the sprit. The flying jib is on a stay that does not appear to have an adjustment but we can assume the tack of that sail can be hauled down by a line which would run through a block at the tip of the sprit and lead back to the deck.  The flying jib luff tension would then be adjustable with that line so, a cleat on the sprit or on the rail at the bow would seem appropriate.


This is the biggest thing that stood out to me when watching the otherwise excellent videos.  H.M.S. Pickle had block and tackle and not spliced eyes at the tacks of the staysail and jib.

Edited by MAK41
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