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Tyes, slings and halliards on a 1763 revenue cutter


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I'm still beavering away at working out the rigging for my Sherbourne cutter of 1763. For reasons given in my build log, I decided to go with the rigging plan shown by Petersson in his book on rigging period fore and aft craft -- rather than the plan shown with the kit. However, this has led me to a few puzzles, current of which is how the lower yard was held.


Having prepared the shrouds, backstays and Burton pendants, I was looking at the plans for holding the lower yard. Petersson shows the following:




This leaves me puzzled as to how the yard was lowered or raised if just a sling was used. The books I have don't give me a straight answer. Several, such as those by Marquardt, show halliards with blocks (as do the plans for the Sherbourne). Others show just a sling, as does zu Mondfeld:




Models in the Royal Dockyard at Chatham show some with a halliard and blocks, whilst others show just a simple sling. Thus a model of a 1763 cutter in Chatham shows the lower yard with a halliard and blocks as follows:




I'd be grateful if someone could explain to me whether tyes with blocks were used instead of slings (or vice versa), or whether a ship could be fitted with either (depending on circumstances), or whether both were used together. I have a feeling I'm missing out on understanding function here, so any guidance will, as always, be very welcome!




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Someone may offer corrections on this because I am not as familiar with fore and aft rigs, but I believe your answer is both were used.  There has to be a means of hoisting the yard up into place.  That is the halyard, whether it be rigged as a tye or jeers.  Once the yard was hoisted to its proper height the slings were passed.  Often the jeers were slacked off slightly so that the yard hung mostly by the slings. This relieved the strain on the tackles.  Since this yard is not often struck or shifted the sling is semi-permanent and set up with lashings.  The slings had the added benefit of holding up the yard if the halyard was shot away in battle.



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  It would be nice to have a table showing what the diameter of line would be required for a variety of different length yards.

I know modern ropes come with information on breaking strength and SOME modern line is vegetable fiber line, but I would like to see a table with it all laid out for the lazier sort of ship model builder, someone like myself for instance. 

Then it makes me wonder what the all up weight for a yard and all its gear and a wet canvas sail would be for given sizes. Intangible stuff like the plunging motion of the ship and the pressure of the wind would make it hard to come up with minimum safe rope diameters…..

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When I saw this question it occurred to me, just like Henry mentioned, that the sling is 'temporary' and that, when the yard needed to be lowered, the halyard would raise the yard a bit so the sling could be slipped over the back side of the mast.

The main yard would seldom be lowered to the deck unless damaged, in which case the sling would be cut.

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