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clipper close hauled question


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Hi,

So I have a question and need help.

I want to rig my cutty sark close hauled.

Longridge says that the fore coarse sail had a tack block hooked to the eye on the cat and shackled to the corner of the sail and that the sheet block would have been removed and stowed beside the bulwark behind the fore pin rail.  And that the other side of the fore coarse would have the sheet attached and the tack block unhooked and stowed on the forecastle.  It also said that there was a tail rope permanently shackled to the corners of both sides of the coarse to control the sail as the tack blocks and sheet blocks were being added and removed during tacking.

 

So is this correct.  Did they actually switch out the sheet and tack blocks on the course sails during tacking?  It seems unnecessary, why not leave both connected all of the time as I see on modern square rigged ships?  Also how did the tail rope work?  I could see it working to bring the sail forward to attach the tack if it was always running forward to the forecastle.  But then it wouldn't be in the correct position to help pull the said inboard to attach the sheet.  What am I missing?

Thanks

Marc

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Since only one of the lines, tack or sheet, would be under any tension when close hauled, I can see where it would be advantageous to remove the slacked line so that there are less lines to be handled when tacking.  Otherwise you would have to be easing one while hauling the other.

 

The tail line could be lead in any direction to help control the clew of the sail while rigging or unrigging the tack or sheet..  In effect it replaces the tack or sheet that was removed.

 

Regards,

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Yes, a tail line is just a short rope used to steady something.  It would be easy to move it to wherever required.  The only reason to have it belayed in the first place is to keep it from hanging in the water or on the deck.  It serves no function otherwise.

 

An analogy would be if you ever saw a crane lifting a heavy object.  There are often tail lines attached to the corners of the  object for workers to control the load and keep it from twisting around.

 

Regards,

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Thanks Henry!  

 

I've been pondering that question for awhile. I didn't see an advantage of using a tail verses just dealing with easing one set of lines, while hauling the other set.  But it now makes sense, especially if you think of the limited crew on a clipper.

 

Thanks again

Marc

Edited by keelhauled
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I'm glad to see other people building square rigged ships with yards braced around. I think its a much better look than yards square to the keel and the resulting model not only demonstrates the ability to move the yards around ( which I believe a LOT of people are not aware they can move) but it also makes for a model that takes up less space.

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