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RIGGING THE ROYAL WILLIAM


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With my limited knowledge of rigging, I am seeking some help/ guidance on the rigging of the Main Mast of the Royal William. The drawing for the total ship contains so much detail but here goes. I am gathering together a mass of general detail to put into a 'Resource File' that will be available to all.

 

The topsail yard is attached via what I would call a normal parrel (some spell it parral) and I am OK with that. It can be easily seen in one of the attached drawings. These were in use until the late 18C. In the early 19C, iron parrels came into use.

 

The main yard from the drawing appears to be attached with a truss pendant ? (shown in blue) but there is an odd-shaped 'something' (shown in orange). Can anybody throw light on what this shaped 'thingy' might be ?

 

Thanks for reading this and your possible help.

 

Pete

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Edited by piratepete007
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Hi Pete - I don`t really know what that oval shaped thing is,although it is also shown on the fore lower mast only smaller. Could it be some type of metal band? those 2 lower yards were rarely lowered,so they don`t need parrels. I checked on my Victory & Agamemnon and although they are of a different time period they are attached with simple rope pendants,slings,& jeer blocks. I`m not really an expert on rigging either.

 

Mark

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I think this is a Truss Pendant but one that does not have a running portion that goes abaft the mast, I think the white triangle represents a horizontal sling that goes around the after part of the mast. My guess- a pure guess- is that the triangle represents a lot of non-running parallel smaller line fanning out from two points points at the slings of the yard and widening out as it goes abaft the mast then tightening back up on the opposite side of the slings of the yard.-something like a hammock, but maybe something like a sword mat, it may even be covered in canvas? In my imaginings there will be eyes at the points of the "hammock" through which the running portion of the Truss Pendant will run. The area in which the Truss Pendant lives is a funny part of the ship isn't it? And the hardest to make a diagram for. The "one size fits all" diagram showing ALL the running rigging always gives this part of the rig short shrift on any ship plan because of where it is located its buried under everything else. In my opinion the Truss Pendant is among the least understood bits of running rigging on the ship. But if you look at the size of the gear it is made up of and the position of the line where it belays on deck, you see that its intended to run, its intended to be adjusted and to do so when powerful forces are at work. In essence it is a hinge, a hinge that can me made longer. It keeps the yard in tight against the mast, but it can also be eased to allow the yard to move farther away from the mast. This is, I believe, so that when bracing up hard, the center of the yard can be allowed to swing out away from the mast and off to the lee in order to clear the futock shrouds.

Edited by JerseyCity Frankie
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Whow, JerseyCity Frankie - that lengthy explanation is so much appreciated and sounds logical even if I have to read it through a number of times to fully comprehend it. Thanks for the time taken to explain it to me - and others.

 

Any chance of pointing me to a diagram to cover what you said ?

 

Pete

Edited by piratepete007
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I cant put my hand to any "good diagram"s showing the Truss pendant in use. Harland covers the use of the tackle briefly in Seamanship in the Age of Sail  (page 29) and points out it was a concept born in the days when the lower yards were ALWAYS hoisted when sail was set, then transitioned into the age when the lower yards remained more or less fixed, then finally was supplanted by the Iron Truss at the late stage of sail.  When you are running before the wind the yard would move out ahead of the mast if the Truss was not there to prevent it. And if the truss was too long in this configuration the yard could swing in and out farther with the pitching of the ship- with possible damage if it was allowed to repeatedly bang into the mast- so keeping it tight into the mast wouldn't allow it to swing forward and aft very far. But when sailing towards the wind you have to brace the yards around. Lets say you are on the Port Tack. To sail as efficiently as possible towards the wind you have to brace the yard around as far to Starboard as the rig will allow. By slackening the Truss Pendant (and easing the lee Lift) you allow the yard to move off to the side of the mast a bit and now it can brace up tighter before it rubs up against the lee standing rigging. If you had not made the adjustment to the Truss Pendant, you would be denying yourself a bit of range of motion for your yard and as a result you could not sail as close to the wind as you could if you had slackened the Truss Pendant and braced up that little bit more.

Edited by JerseyCity Frankie
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Anyway, to get back to the white football shaped object on your drawing: Now that I look at the drawing again I can see the two heavy lines of the Truss Pendant depicted passing around behind the mast, they are just under the white object and you have circled them in blue going around the mast and in the rightmost blue circle you see the eyes for the falls to run through. But the pointy part of the white triangular object appears to be intersecting the same areas where those eyes are located and I can't help thinking this makes the white object part of the Truss Pendant assembly.

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Interesting thread,

 

However,according to both Lees and Marquardt trusses were not fitted to English warships until around 1760. The Royal William 100 guns of 1692 was a rebuild of Prince 100 guns of 1670. Just my opinion but this model should not be fitted with trusses but parrels,

 

I believe the RH drawing is incorrect noting that the LH drawing shows only a parrel,no sign of a truss.

 

Dave :dancetl6:

Edited by davyboy
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*IF* the drawing is correct, the object may be puddening, a fender of sorts to keep the wooden parts from rubbing on each other.  I'm in Dave's camp, the time frame would lead me to parrels.  If you can, check R. C. Anderson.  He covers that time period.

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Pete,

 

His other book 17th Century Rigging is also very good. Some model photo's,a pull out rigging plan of the St George 96 inside the back cover and the drawings (all on fold out pages) are a little larger than the sprits'l topmast book. There are several copies available on amazon,cheap.

 

Dave    :dancetl6:

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Dave,

Thanks for the info and I will have a look at that book as well. I received 'The Rigging of Ships in the Days of the Spritsail Topmast' from Dover Publications as an e-book within a few seconds of payment being accepted. It is now sitting on my iPad and easily accessed. Marvel of modern technology !!!

 

Pete

Edited by piratepete007
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