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Positioning of a Kedge Anchor and the side Davits on Ships of the Line esp. HMS Victory

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McKay talks about a kedge anchor in the mizzen channel for the Victory. Also Steel describes one of them. So far so good :-) 

 

 

 

f805t4740p82923n2_pThzRojX.png

 

For the journey it could have been place in the hold. But how was it stowed up there in the channels?

 

For that I am missing contemporary sources. Sometimes the stream anchor can be seen lashed onto the bower in paintings, drawings or models. But I am missing evidence of the kedge ...

 

Just to try things I hooked a boat unto the davits.

 

Victory-Kedge-anchor_9159.jpg

 

If you lift it up to the level of the channels, one see that nothing should protrude, especially no palms.

 

Victory-Kedge-anchor_9163.jpg

 

Lashed to the "shrouds" tried some variations ...

 

Victory-Kedge-anchor_9166.jpg

 

... upright does not work ...

 

Victory-Kedge-anchor_9167.jpg

 

... covers the gunport ...

 

Victory-Kedge-anchor_9165.jpg

 

... laid down the shaft is in the way of the gunport ...

 

Victory-Kedge-anchor_9171.jpg

 

... easy to be seen ...

 

Victory-Kedge-anchor_9168.jpg

 

... but also the davit is obstructed.

 

 

The only way I see is ...

 

Victory-Kedge-anchor_9173.jpg

 

... is one of those two ways.

 

Victory-Kedge-anchor_9172.jpg

 

Or am I blind and there is something else?

 

XXXDAn

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Thank you Maurice! Nice to see your beauty again :-)

 

That was my first thought too, but the arm avoids the boat to come near the channels to climb in and the palm is not that compatible with the boats side ...

 

I believe I once saw one lashed vertically to the shrouds but no idea if on a contemporary source or where ever.

 

XXXDAn

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Great archives are great but sometimes it takes time to find the right stuff ...

 

Here a similar solution to BE´s from a wonderful japanese 1:48 Vic.

 

post-182-0-65601400-1452070158_thumb.jpg

 

And here is the solution from the Götheburg :-)

Not historical, not the mizzen, but real life ;-)

 

post-182-0-59735200-1452070166_thumb.jpg

 

XXXDAn

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I suppose a lot of things got in the way aboard 18th C ships, but they had the manpower to fend off the boat from the ships side, gun port lids would have been another hazard from a swinging boat.

 

The arrangement on the Gotheburg, looks a practical solution, and sailors were/are nothing if not practical.

 

M.

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This is McKays hint for the research to start.

 

post-182-0-28033400-1452105751_thumb.png

 

So far my "authorities" in the german forum claiming not having heard from the kedge in the mizzen channel so far. Are there any clues from the english savants?

 

And another surprising hint came about the davits´ introduction: When was this claimed to be? No traces to be seen from all the drawings from 1805, 1806 and 1807 and from 1824 on they are very very prominent in all the drawings ;-)

 

XXXDAn

 

 

PS: Research can sometimes take funny turns ...

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Daniel,

 

One thing I noticed is that in your first picture, is the position of your davits.  I would expect the davits to swing fully out with the boat high on them and then lower which would give more clearance. 

 

As for paintings, historical references, etc.  I have no idea when the davits were first used on this ship.  It's possible they are an "after the fact" add-on.

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As definitely not a savant, I'm checking my books, but I don't think you would absolutely find the quarter davits much before 1810.

 

OK, have checked.  According to a reliable source, you could find quarter davits 'certainly' by 1805, apparently earlier on larger ships than on smaller.

 

Yes, Mark, I think the davits would swing out to clear the side (remember there's a lot of tumblehome) and then the boat be lowered.  There would probably be a couple of men ride it down to breast it clear, then the crew would come down the tackle falls.  The boat wouldn't be strong enough, nor the tackle, to have the full weight of crew, boat and gear all in while being lowered.

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Did too some homework and not only the kedge on the mizzen channel is doubtful, also the davits are ;-)

 

Checked all drawings from Turner, Pocock, Livesay and Dodd from 1805 to 1807 and no davits displayed. 

 

All drawings from 1824 onwards show them quite prominently ...

 

As I said, some people worry about the 50 shades of pink, but there are bigger things awaiting ;-)

 

XXXDan

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Quarter davits are, I believe, an early 19th century development, so I agree with Dan's comments. I am completely puzzled as to why a kedge anchor would be stowed in the mizzen chains (awkward!), far from the apparatus for raising or lowering anchors, never mind the stowage of their cables. My feeling is that this is bogus.

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Thank you Robin, any referenece is welcome! Will have a look, for further details I am thankful!

 

Druxey, in my understanding those were intended for balancing and swinging the ship while warping and anchoring. So it makes some sense to have them on the other end of the ship. As they are not that heavy some yards or spars could have done the job to hoist, and the aft capstan is not that far if laid  out by the stern ports or aft gunports.

 

XXXDAn

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It would appear, from various sources, that quarter davits appeared on the larger ships of the line from around 1800. I can't find any definite reference as to when those on the Victory were introduced but McKay, in his AOTS book 'The 100 Gun Ship Victory', gives a date of 1803 in his inventory of the ship's boats. This included the two cutters launched from quarter davits, so they would certainly seem to be there prior to Trafalgar.

 

Regarding the positioning of the stern kedge anchor Harland, in his 'Seamanship', says they were generally stowed in the main and mizzen channels, although McKay says that the Victory had one stowed in the starboard mizzen channel. (He doesn't, however, say how.)

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I would defer to an expert such as John Harland. I retract my statement of 'bogus'! Thanks also to Robin for his observations on French contemporary models. I'll go back to my corner now.

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And my source for a date of 1805 for quarter davits is Brian Lavery, 'Arming and Fitting'.  I was going to check Harland, but Lavery seemed definitive.

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I think at least two of my sources shows the kedge anchor being stored within the long boat for the US Frigate Constitution.  Spare spars were stored along the mizzen/main channels.

 

Constitution doesn't seem to show quarter davits until the 1807 drawing reportedly done by Captain John Rodgers (you'll see the Corne painting of 1803 in my Avatar shows them not yet fitted).

 

The Turner drawings in the Tate collection don't show quarter davits for Victory - nor does Turner's 1806 painting (or his famous Trafalgar canvas).

 

The Clarkson Stanfield painting DOES show them, however. Go figure.

 

Evan

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The Stanfield painting is from 1863 as far as I know, and thus anachronistical.

 

I just had a small collection of the original sources in the german forum, not alwaysed getting too confused ...

http://www.segelschiffsmodellbau.com/t4729f198-Victory-im-Wandel-der-Zeit-in-zeitgenoessischen-Dokumenten.html

 

Cheers, Daniel

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Sorry Druxey,

 

I forgot, for stupid german legal reasons one has  to register there first ...

 

Please be our guest, if ever someone needs help please contact me. 

 

XXXDAn

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How about this painting by Geoff Hunt?

 

It shows the Victory, followed by the Temeraire and Neptune, heading towards the enemy line at Trafalgar. You'll note the Victory has quarter davits, but the other two ships do not so is it that Victory, being the flagship, has the latest innovations yet to be fitted to other ships?

 

Incidentally, it looks like all Geoff Hunt's paintings of Victory, circa 1805, show the davits. In passing, I would imagine he has done his homework:

 

http://www.artmarine.co.uk/nelsoncollection.aspx

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Joel,

 

You're right, she had.

 

Robin,

 

You make some valid points, especially with regard to the spritsail. I wonder if Stanfield had perhaps seen the Victory when the davits weren't fitted, eg. in a refit, since they would likely be removed at such a time – or did he just overlook them?

 

I'm sure you understand very well the artistic mind.

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Stansfield was 12 in 1805 :-)

 

Here the contemporary work.

 

Turner: The ‘Victory’, Starboard View towards the Stern 1805

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/turn...s-of-the-d05482

f730t4729p82660n14_qdtsFMWG.jpg

 

Livesay Dezember 1806

Victory-John-Livesay-1806.jpg

 

Robert Dodd 1807

post-182-0-59041900-1452346658_thumb.jpg

 

And with it :-)

Schetky, John Christian, 27 April 1827 [sic: 1924?!?]

http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/150849.html PAI0909

large.jpg

 

And to be seen on all pictures happily after.

 

Personal conclusion, the davits were fitted with the round bow.

 

XXXDAn

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Davits aside, look at the Turner sketch of December 1805. In the foreground is an anchor and capstan. Are these at the end of a dock that Turner is standing on to make his sketch? And what is the spar above them?

 

Livesay's note reads: "Victory Decr 1806 had two boats lowered from astern during the whole Action" (my italics). Question: how were they lowered, or did he simply mean that they were towed astern?

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Turner Drawing:

As all other drawings appear to have been done from a boat, and other drawings show vessels around, my interpretation is, that it is the stern and boom of another vessel.

 

Livesay: I think he means towed, as this is mentioned somewhere else - I hope that the other one do not refere to Livesay ;-)

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Dafi , i don't know if this helps regarding the anchors but this is a picture from the Syrius wreck with the anchors stored around the main mast and well, in the hold I presume

Picture courtesy of Yann von Arnim

post-19982-0-75828000-1453935996_thumb.jpg

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