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Ships boats 1776 & getting them over the side in a single masted vessel

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Just realized in the scratch build  question is the wrong place. It belongs here. So here goes.


1.The plans for my Sloop Providence show a 14' boat on the main deck. I suppose the crew had to get ashore now and then.

There is no detail on the style of planking the boat has, carvel or lapstrake. So what was common in1776 ?


2. How would the crew get such a deck stored boat over the side and afloat. Easy with two masts and yards , but with a single mast.

I figure some combination of the one yard braced into position and maybe the gaff run up to a suitable height and with vangs to the end of the gaff to enable it to be swung out to the needed position over the side. Then lines from the shrouds on the opposite, control the swing outboard.

I would appreciate any answers.  





New Bedford Whaleboat build. Kit by Model Shipways



I've been making progress on my model and according to the instruction booklet I should be painting it, at least parts of it.

Are acrylic's ok ? I did apply a sanding sealer. but I want to stain the untreated floor boards which are walnut.









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A 14' boat could be either carvel or lapstrake planked but I would guess in this situation it would be lapstrake as it would be lighter and easier to manage than a carvel boat of the same size.  As for how it was launched and recovered it was probably just manhandled over the side and recovered the same way.  These old sloops had relatively large crews and could handle a boat of this size.  Alteratively could be a spar from the mast rigged as a crane.

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The best reference I know is in Seamanship in the Days of Sail by John Harland and Mark Myers. They describe and illustrate just about every conceivable operation in a sailing ship throughout different eras. It's a great reference. You can probably find a copy on a used book site such as www.abebooks.com

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14" is a heavy wooden vessel, too heavy just to "manhandle" back aboard. I suggest the hailyards could be cast off the gaff and attached to the boat and this tackle could help lift the load, with some other tag line on it to keep it over the part of the deck it is to rest on.




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Grand banks fishermen had some sort of mast head tackle for working the dories which I have not been able to figure out.  They tended to have two or more masts, but no yards, so perhaps this is a direction to pursue.

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I don't recall Harland talking about single masted vessels. There certainly is a description of how it was done in ships with 2+ masts.


For single masted vessel I could think of two variants and believe they have been used some time in history. Whether this would be correct for the period you are interested in, I cannot say:


- either the boom or the gaff could be used as a crane; it was probably the boom, as you would need some firm pivotal point (though you could arrange this with the throat halliard and the downhaul for the gaff); the boom would be raised using the topping lift and controlled by the sheets; one would need to rig a tackle for the boat to hook onto; the boat would have a … (forgot the English term at the moment) rigged between an eyebolt in the stem and the stern into which the tackle would be hooked.


- similar to above, but in addition one would use the fising tackle for the anchor; the fisihing tackle is hooked into a lanyard that has an eye that goes over the mast usually between the stay and the shrouds; the fishing tackle would be hooked into the fore ringbolt of the boat, while the boom tackle would be hooked into the stern eyebolt; however, I think this method would only work, if you can also rig a tackle or line from arm of a yard; otherwise, it would be difficult to swing the boat clear of the ship.


The first method was used at least in the later decades of the 19th century on trading smacks, when they did not have yards anymore. They had a heavy pulley to be hooked onto the boom for loading and unloading purposes, which would be also used for the boat - however, due to the hard work involved in getting the boat out and in, it was usually towed.



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