Jump to content

No sails

Recommended Posts

If this topic has been covered, please forgive me!  I am new here!


Some ships are shown with no sails.  It is my understanding that when in port, sails were removed for repair and then stowed?


Does this mean that all or part of the running rigging also came down?


I read where on some ships,Cutty Sark for one, the main skysail yard and main royal yard could be moved up and down.  Would the lines used for this be considered running rigging?  And if so, would they remain on the ship when the sails were removed?


If a model has sails, would those lines that support the skysail yard and royal yard be shown hanging down as the yard would be hoisted up?


Reason I ask is in most pictures I see of ships with no sails, all I see are black ropes.


Currently, I am building the Santa Maria from Scientific.  Fairly simple.  I want to make a plank on bulkhead Cutty Sark if such a model is available.  I see several solid hull kits.  Might have to settle for that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That a really complex question, Roger.


If we're talking only the era of Cutty Sark, then it was usual for ships in port to leave their sails on the yards except when they were in port for an extended period or for major repairs.  If the sails were sent down, then it was often more convenient to leave a lot of the running rigging aloft, unless a ship was being laid up, when most of the running rigging would also be sent down and stowed away.  If you want to show the ship with the sails sent down, then you can even show her with all of the running rigging still rigged as, if sails were only sent down for a short time, the square sail sheets may have been left rigged and shackled to the clewlines, for ease of re-rigging.  With the sails sent down, the only running rigging that would invariably also be sent down were the staysail sheets.


The halliards for the hoisting yards were running rigging, but would always be rigged, unless the yard was sent down for some reason.  The braces and lifts were also running rigging, but were always rigged if the yard was aloft.


So if your model doesn't have sails, you can show it with only the rigging to the yards (as if laid up), or you can show it with staysail halliards and downhauls, square sail clewlines and buntlines but no squaresail sheets, or you can show it with everything including the square sail sheets, but no staysail sheets.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Roger - I am currently 'on hiatus' in the final stages of rigging my re-build of a Revell Cutty Sark kit (renamed as a different ship) and can offer some recent experience ...


I am rigging her with no sails but as if the sails were sent down for a short time.  What this means with this build is that the Upper Topsail, Topgallant, Royal and Skysail (on Mainmast only) Yards are in their 'lowered' positions.  The Lower Topsail Yards and the Courses and Crossjack are 'fixed' in that they do not raise or lower.  The Lifts and Halliards are rigged to account for this, i.e., the Lifts are taut instead of slack.  I also accounted for this in the 'belaying' of the lines and the sizes of the rope coils, the coils would have less 'loops' in this case.


I have chosen to include the Sheets, Downhauls and Clew lines.  I have not included the Leech or Bunt lines due to two factors; 1. I do not have enough blocks to account for this aspect of rigging and 2. I wish to retain at least a small portion of my sanity, lol.


The sheets, downhauls and clew lines are rigged as close to 'real' as I could manage - this is to say that they have been 'set up' as if the crew were ready to re-hoist the sails any time now.


I haven't gotten too far on the Fore and Aft running rigging yet so I can't offer too much advice there.


One thing I have noticed during this is that although I could have omitted a lot of the running rigging I am pleased with the general 'effect' of having it there.  Even if it isn't something that pops out, just the presence of all those little lines adds to the overall feel of 'complicated cats cradle' which is the hallmark of tall ships.

Kats aka Sailcat


'Obsessive' is just another way of saying 'Dedicated.


Completed Build Log:  Dame Tisane (1/96 Revell Cutty Sark re-imagined)  



Link to comment
Share on other sites

You could have your cake and eat it too if you present the sails as furled, then you can include all the running rigging. The hauling yards will be in the lowered position. Furled sails are relatively easy to portray on the model since all you have to make look convincing is bundles of sailcloth in neatly folded packages- tissue paper or light fabric tamed with some diluted white glue.




 Niagara USS Constitution 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Roger. You said " I can see I need to bone up on all the terms".It seams there are two languages for ships: common english and nautical. You can have a kitchen on dry land but at sea its a galley. You can have a right and left side on land but at sea it is port and starboard. Its daunting to jump into a world where something can be describes as "abaft the portside trestle tree on the mizzen" but once you get used to it you will find that the sea language is the most efficient way of describing parts of the vessel. There are two books that I used to get up to speed. The first is A Sea of Words by Dean King, which is the best for a quick study, it was written to help readers of the Patrick O'Brian sea novels: http://books.google.com/books/about/A_Sea_of_Words_Third_Edition.html?id=JKY8yZFChX4C

My favorite though, and most comprehensive is The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea, which is 80% nautical dictionary and 20%  sea encyclopedia with biographies of famous nautical persons and historic sea events. An extremely useful book to have, it even includes some rigging information and describes most of the sailor knots.




 Niagara USS Constitution 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Roger an other way to learn about all these terms is to go along with your build and when you come across a term look it up in one of those books mentioned or have a close look at you plans. Don't sit down with a dictionary and read the words, just associate them with the parts in hand. 

I am building my first major model and that is how I am learning the lingo. A year ago I didn't know a leechline from a buntline (and I still get them confused some times).



Current build Cross Section USS Constitution  http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/10120-cross-section-forward-area-of-the-uss-constitution/

Finished USS Constitution:  http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/103-uss-constitution-by-modeler12/


'A picture is worth a  . . . . .'      More is better . . . .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is also a difference between a line and a rope.

Current Build:

La Nina, Latina - Wood / 1:65


On The Shelf:

San Francisco II, Latina - Wood 1/90,     U.S.S. Constitution, Revell - Plastic  / 1:96 (Remake),     H.M.S. Bounty, Latina - Wood / 1:48,     H.M.S. /Mayflower, Latina - Wood / 1:64,     La Pinta, Latina, Latina - Wood / 1:65,     La Santa Maria, Latina - Wood / 1:65,



San Francisco / Cross Section, Latina - Wood / 1:50,     Coastal Submarine, Revell - Plastic / 1:144,     Cutty Sark Wall Plaque, Revell - Plastic / 1:50,     H.M.S. Victory, Revell - Plastic / 1:146,

H.M.S. Bounty, Constructo - Wood / 1:50,     Oseberg, Billings Boats - Wood / 1:25,     Clipper Ship (Sea Witch), Unknown - Wood / 1:46,     U.S.S. Constitution, Revell - Plastic / 1:96,    

Man Of War, Scientific - Wood / 1:50,     Robert E. Lee, Scientific - Wood / 1:45,     PT-109, Revell - Plastic / 1:72,     U.S.S. Enterprise, Revell - Plastic / 1:720,    

R.M.S. Titanic, Revell - Plastic / 1:720,     Numerous other wooded tall ships and boats from companies named: Ideal, Dumas, Pyro.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Roger - Let me offer a slightly different opinion. Do what every you like it is your model. :) The primary reason modelers do not display full sails it that I covers most of that hard work and detail. So most models are displayed with sails furled or complete off the ship. another reason not to have sails full is it is hard to get them to look right, unless you want limp rags. Once you have decided not to have sails or to have them furled. Then you have to decide how much of the running rigging you are going to install. As mentioned above if the sails are furled or especially if they are not their it doesn't make much sense to have the leech lines or the bunt lines. Since theses lines were attached to the sails.


By the way my first model was the scientific Flying Cloud. I discarded it when I found that I was spending as much as the kit cost to replace parts or create my own. I humbly suggest that if you spend more from the kit you will be happier.

Current Builds - 18th Century Longboat, MS Syren

Completed Builds - MS Bluenose, Panart BatteStation Cross section, Endevour J Boat Half Hull, Windego Half Hull, R/C T37 Breezing Along, R/C Victoria 32, SolCat 18

On the shelf - Panart San Felipe, Euromodel Ajax, C.Mamoli America, 


Its a sailor's Life for me! :10_1_10:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...