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Top Mast Shrouds


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I'm currently building a 1958 kit by Marine Model Co., Inc. of the GERTRUDE L. THEBAUD fishing schooner ca. 1929. It's a solid hull model. I'm not using any of the kit parts except the hull; I'm scratch building almost everything. The plans are crude and the kit has no instruction manual. Are the topping lifts tarred? I can't find the answer anywhere; not even in Chapelle's "American Fishing Schooners 1825 - 1935." I know that standing rigging is...any clues?

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Thanks NJ Frankie,

In looking at the plans, the lines ("lifts") are referred to as topping lifts. However, they are fixed to eyebolts on the spreaders (trestletrees) and are served at that point. They also are fixed to eyebolts at the mastheads and have no other function other than supporting the topmasts like shrouds. They're definitely not running rigging, seized to deadeyes and have no other apparent function beyond acting as shrouds. I don't want to tar them unless it's proper?!

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A Quarter Lift or a Topping Lift is used to hold the boom up off the deck when the sail is not drawing. Without such lines the boom would rest on the deck when the ship wasn't underway. These lines run from the mid or after part of the boom up to the area around the underside of the Crosstrees or Trestle trees on the same mast the boom is on.

I think what you are describing are Topmast Shrouds. Topmast Shrouds on a schooner run from the upper sides of the ends of the Cross Trees (not the Trestle Trees) all the way to a collar near the top of the Topmast, they do not run to the deck.

And they would then tarred, likely served and tarred.

If your lines ARE on the Trestle Trees ( which run for and aft, not port and starboard) and run up from there to the topmast head, then I am not at all sure what they are. I think I can say with certainty that no shroud ever ran from any trestle tree.

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Thanks again Frankie,

You are correct; they have to be topmast shrouds. They run from the tops of the cross trees to a collar atop the topmasts. I guess i get mixed up between crosstrees & trestletrees. I always believed they were the same? They do run P & S and have nothing to do with spars. I will use black shroud lines. Thanks much; you've cleared up my problem.

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