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French rigging practice in the days of spritsail topsail


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Hi,

 

I was planning on building Heller's "Soleil Royal" using R.C.Anderson's book "Rigging of ships in the days of the spritsail topsail".  He based his description of French practice on the model "Royal Louis", now known as the "Louis XV", which he later realised was from around 1720.  This model is said to have many errors and anachronisms, so I was wondering if anyone knew what these were?  One thing I'm particularly puzzling over is the saddle on the bowsprit to guide the bowsprit rigging, which is present on the "Phoenix"/Album de Colbert drawings and plans, but absent on the "Louis XV" model and on Boudriot's "le Francois" &"Ambitieux".

 

John.

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Edited by cerberusjf
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Good choice of reference for the rigging.  I am not particularly familiar with French practice, but offer you the following.

 

Pâris, Edmond (1806-1893). 1882. Collection de plans ou Dessins de navires et de bateaux anciens et modernes, existants ou disparus : avec les éléments numériques nécessaires à leur construction / par le vice-amiral Paris,... http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k5699565s.

 

Here are a couple of excerpts from his drawings Royal Louis???)

 

post-18-0-66986200-1464171617_thumb.jpg

 

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Hi Wayne,

thanks for the reply!  Yes, that is "Royal Louis" aka "Louis XV" the same model that R.C.Anderson based his description on.  But having read that it has many errors makes me a bit concerned about copying it.  I'd like to know what these are, then maybe decide what route to follow.  Confused :S

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I am not so sure that Anderson has based his descriptions of rigging practices on the Royal Louis model.  He certainly uses that model as an example of what he describes.  He also uses several other models as examples.  He himself points out some of the rigging on the model that he finds questionable.

 

I think you can take Andersons work as being a very good reference for the period.

 

Regards,

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Hello,

 

These two elements are called "croissant de beaupré" (bowsprit saddle ?) and "ratelier de beaupré" (bowsprit rack-blocks ?).

 

They have been used in France in the late seventeenth century to the early nineteenth century, ie in the great classical period of sailing ships.

The "croissant de beaupré" is relatively rare but the "ratelier de beaupré" is much more common.

 

Regards,

GD

 

 

 

post-909-0-30388400-1464188039.jpg

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Thanks very much for the replies, it is the "croissant de beaupre" or bowsprit saddle I was referring to.  I just went through Anderson's chapter on the "Running rigging of the bowsprit" and I can't find any mention of the bowsprit saddle.  There are several mentions of the "ratelier de beaupre" or gammoning block, but not of the saddle.  To be honest, I find Anderson to be a bit vague on specifics.  I find  it confusing that the saddle is present on the Album de Colbert drawings, but absent in Boudriot's drawings.

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I too will be relying heavily on Anderson's book for my Couronne build as it seems to be the most thorough book for 17th century rigging that I have found so far. Of course there were always subtle changes in rigging from ship to ship and country to country so it is hard say if what is in there is 100% accurate to the ship being built. Thanks to everyone who helped to clear this up. I just hope that how I read that book and interpret the drawings I have that it does not offend to many people. :P

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Hi, yes in hindsight I did overstate it when I said Anderson based his description on this mode, but it is the most referenced source and often the only one for French practice.  I quickly scanned through the book last night to find what Anderson found questionable on the "Royal Louis"/"Louis XV" model, or at least unusual or atypcal, and got the following:-

Bobstay p90

Double-ended attachment of the mainstay p101

Hoisting tackle multi sheaved blocks rather than fiddle blocks p108

Leading block for the forestay near the gratings, a better positon would be e.g. on the bulwarks to save lee forestay fouling the main staysail. P151

Foretacks passing through holes in the head is questionable, certainly not common p 161

Fixed sprit yard p213

 

I was wondering if there were more questionable details on this model?

Thanks,

John.

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The Heller kit includes the saddle and I think that is accurate.

 

The best discussion of French rigging for this period is the 2 part article in the NRJ V 49#1 and V 48#4 wherein Mr. Richard H. Snyder digested several excellent French sources.  You would do very well to have these during your build. 

 

Please keep us posted on your progress.                                 Duff

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Thanks very much for the lead, Duff!  I tried searching for anything by Snyder on the journal search engine but nothing showed up :S .  I'm not sure about the saddle, probably because Heller supplied it :)

The articles mentioned are available on the CD that you can purchase at the NRG website.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just doing a little 'surfing' for rigging and came across this post.

 

The bowsprit saddle was the supporting piece that sat between the bowsprit mast and the jibboom but the piece described as 'croissant de  beaupre' or the 'bowsprit saddle' in the posting above is incorrect. That often somewhat semi-circular piece is a fairlead designed to stop lateral movement of ropes and also giving an advantage to seamen having to haul vertical ropes. Such ropes passing down the bowsprit and through the fairlead were then behaving as near-horizontal ropes allowing more seamen to haul on the rope.

 

Pete

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Just doing a little 'surfing' for rigging and came across this post.

 

The bowsprit saddle was the supporting piece that sat between the bowsprit mast and the jibboom but the piece described as 'croissant de  beaupre' or the 'bowsprit saddle' in the posting above is incorrect. That often somewhat semi-circular piece is a fairlead designed to stop lateral movement of ropes and also giving an advantage to seamen having to haul vertical ropes. Such ropes passing down the bowsprit and through the fairlead were then behaving as near-horizontal ropes allowing more seamen to haul on the rope.

 

Pete

I found it difficult to find the name of it in English, I just went with a translation I found on page 52 of this magazine, which translates "croissant de beaupre" as "bowsprit saddle".  I also saw it referred to as a "saddle".  Maybe I should have used the "croissant de beaupre" from the beginning in hindsight.

http://www.modelistasnavales.com.ar/Magazine/REVISTA-MASCARON-DE-PROA-DIGITAL-05.pdf

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