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Question: Help to Identify drumhead of windlass


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Hello All,

 

Working now on the Kate Cory's whale-craft rigging, some of which (the downfalls and guys) end up on the windlass at the bow of the ship. The windlass is a horizontal affair as shown in the attached diagram. The barrel takes some of the rigging while the rest goes to the "drumhead".   I think that this "drumhead" is the outer portion of the windlass? Am I correct here or is it some other piece?  I have labeled my question in red. Thanks!

 

~john

 

post-9749-0-05438300-1472758817.jpg

 

 

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Not quite sure I have the sense of your question correct - rigging in general would not be taken to the windlass.

 

The outer barrel of the capstan I have seen referred to as a drumhead  - cf with the top of the capstan -but I am not sure this is a general usage. 

 

But here I found a nice pic of an older model ! www.bonhams.com/auctions/21474/lot/71/

Edited by SpyGlass
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I would agree with spyglass.  There would be no rigging belayed to the windlass.  It's primary function is to raise the anchor with the anchor cable going around the barrel.  The drum head (outside of the riding bitts) can be used to provide mechanical advantage when hauling heavy lines, sort of like a horizontal capstan.  It is easier to utilize the drum head quickly or on a more temporary basis than the main barrel.

 

Regards,

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post-9749-0-62708000-1472765447_thumb.png

 

All, 

 

In the case of whalers, the rig to lift blubber and assist in the carving of the whale have two main pieces. One rig holds a blubber hook, the other a dowel or peg (large). These are manipulated by a fall and a guy for each rig. These, according to docs, head on to the windlass. Interestingly, whalers rarely had use for anchors unless not arriving dockside at port. So, anchors were usually lashed to the sides and the chain for it was stowed. 

 

The question about the windlass has to do with which line goes to which part of the windlass: the fall ends up on the barrel and the guy to the drumhead. Henry, SpyGlass - thanks for ID'ing the drumhead. That is the key!  Just what I needed!

 

Best,

~john

 

 

 

 

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Ah i see - the bits being talked about are not "rigging" ie to do with sailing the vessel .  But this is a specialised version of working a load just like cargo or boat handling and in those cases too the windlass would be brought into use. When not in use these riggs may have been made off close to the windlass - but I have a suspicion that most these pulleys , hooks and lines would normally be stowed till required.

 

It is not really understood by many how much movement of gear there was around a working sailing ship - the crews were continually stowing and unstowing pulletys sets and equipment - I was amused reading accounts of Cooks voyages about how many times they stowed and unstowed teh guns - they were up and down from the hold like yoyos !

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A VERY good book about whaling and practices used aboard whalers is The Yankee Whaler by Clifford Ashley. Ashley sailed on a whaling voyage and was also a prolific and talented artist and his book is full of lively illustrations taken from his own life experience. It delves into the history and culture of whaling and leaves no aspect unexplored. Ashley will always be remembered though as the author of the Ashley Book of Knots, still the best book ever written on the subject.

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