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Run of the Fore Tack


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I can't make my mind up about the run of the Fore tack, is it inside or outside the lines that run into the Foc'sle; models I've looked at all seem to show the tack inside other lines, which seems impracticable to me, but was it accepted that the tack overran other lines when the sail was set?

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This photo of the Medway model is interesting. The Fore tack down from the strop of the sheet blocks at the yard (which would be attached to the clue of the Foresail when set) seems to run inside some of the lines. The belay end in this case is coiled and hitched to the guard rail across the Head works.

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On this model of Minerva the tack runs outside of the Bowsprit shrouds, but inside the jib stays.

 

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On the Longridge Victory, where there is a double tack, it clearly runs inside the lines coming into the Foc'sle.

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On the Wyllie model  of Victory which has the Fore sail set, the tack line is inside the jib guys and fouls them as it crosses the cathead to the clue.

Running the tack line by its most direct route inevitably means it will be inside some of the lines running in from the spritsail yard and jibboom.

This is the essence of my doubts, logic dictates to me that from the clue end the line should run outside all other rigging before it passes thro' the tack block to belay at the Foc'sle.

 

Any thoughts on this?

 

B.E. :unsure: 

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Hi BE,

 

I think I understand your conundrum....I wonder if this is one of those situations where what happened in practice vs what looks good on a model diverge?  It seems logical to me that they would run outside of the other rigging in practice, but this may then cause them to foul when no sails are present which could look a little odd.

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Thanks for responding Jason, you may have a point.

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Here the Fore tack is led outside of all the other lines before feeding thro' the Tack block.

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Here the more direct route which takes it inside the jib stays, a route which is shown on the previous examples of models both old and new.

Aesthetically I do prefer the second version, but still have that niggling thought about the  clear run of the tack once the sail is set. The fact that some notable modelling icons have gone that route just adds to the indecision. :unsure:

 

I don't need to finalise the tacks and sheets for a while so there is plenty of time for me to fret over it yet, but thanks again for your input.

 

Regards,

 

B.E.

 

 

 

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Greetings gentlemen;

 

Just to throw up an interesting point for discussion,  one thing arises from the picture of the Medway.

 

Between the head rails is a square decorative panel,  with a hole in the centre.  In the days before boomkins,  this was used for the lead of the fore-tack.  The fact that this was retained even when boomkins were fitted may indicate that the lead of the fore-tack was still sometimes through this block.  I am aware of at least one other vessel which was fitted with both boomkins and this head-rail lead block,  and as I have not made a special effort to search for others,  there may well be more to be found.

 

Does anyone know more on this subject?

 

All the best,

 

Mark P

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Good question BE.  I started to search my books but have not found anything definitive yet.

 

Since sailors are a practical group, and they avoided chaff as much as possible, leads me to think that the fore tack would be outside the other lines when the fore course was set.  They would not  bother stowing the tack inside the lines when the course is clewed up.

 

The old models are exquisite examples of the art; but be careful as Jason noted above.  I have seen situations on them that were clearly not used on the full sized ship.  For example, one of the old model ships displayed recently at the Yale Museum of Art, New Haven, CT had the fore shrouds rigged over the top of the gun port lid.  Nope.    

 

Anyway, perhaps others have better information.                          Duff 

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Thanks Mark and Duff.

 

Mark:

Lees refers to these as ornamental deadblocks, with the tacks crossing over for belaying on the Fo'csle.
Boomkins were introduced around 1710 and by 1745 all rates were fitted with Boomkins.
Lees says that initially the tacks rove thro' both the block on the Boomkin and the deadblock before leading up to the Fo'csle, albeit without crossing over.
Fitting of the deadblock was then gradually dispensed with.

 

Duff:

The more I think about it the more I am leaning towards rigging the tacks outside of  other lines, the trick will be to get them to hang in a natural fashion.

 

Harland (Seamanship in the age of sail) has something to say about the operation of the tacks and sheets and refers to the use of tricing lines with thimbles to hold the lines up to prevent them from getting tangled or dragging in the sea.
Similarly the anchor stocks presented obstacles to the clear run of the sheets and tacks and Timenoguys were rigged to prevent the lines getting fouled.
This is Steels definition:
TIMENOGUY. A Rope fastened at one end to the fore-shrouds, and nailed at the other end to the anchor-stock, on the bow, to prevent the fore-sheet from entangling.

 

The above gives the clue that the sheets and tacks when the ship was without sails were  secured to keep them tidy and  out of the way. The photo of the Medway does show the tacks pulled forward with lines that seem to be secured to the Forestay.

 

Thanks for your  insights guys. :)

 

B.E.

 

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  • 3 months later...

  This seems like a reasonable question for this forum but please direct me elsewhere if appropriate.  On my model of the Howard W. Middleton, a costal coal schooner built in 1883, I have a question on how the stay sail/jib sheets were secured when they ran outside the foremast shrouds.  I have 5 separate sheets that will run outside the shrouds and belayed on the rails midship.  I don't like the way the way they look in this photo and would appreciate any thoughts on options or input on how it was actually done on coastal trade schooners of last 1800's.

 

5927543091ede_jibsheets.thumb.jpg.9d714f0aca78a28c0180e1038eca89d5.jpg

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Seems odd to me.  Is there anything inboard that the sheets would foul with when the rest of the running rigging is in place?  

 

When actually sailing I don't think it would be an issue - the windward line would be slacked and the lee would most likely be off the shrouds, at least I think I have that correct.  But it does look off on a bare pole model.  I've seen some schooners at the docks with the sheets coiled and stowed near or beside the windlass - might be an option if you are sure of the run and you don't like the look.

 

 

 

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On 2/2/2017 at 2:54 AM, Blue Ensign said:

Harland (Seamanship in the age of sail) has something to say about the operation of the tacks and sheets and refers to the use of tricing lines with thimbles to hold the lines up to prevent them from getting tangled or dragging in the sea.

That would be a lizard such as the attached.

lizard.jpg

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  • 1 year later...

Hi, 

I just came back across this topic.  I know my post isn't timely for this discussion, but maybe it can help someone with the same questions.

 

In the past year I've come across the subject of tacks, sheets, tail ropes as they are used on courses in reading the fictional Aubrey novels, Longridge's Cutty Sark book (page 141) as well as others.  I would just point out that I've come across references where the tacks, and sheets were detached and reattached to the courses during tacking. They run the tack line and sheet as required for that ships tack and wind to stay out of the way of the sailors going up the rigging and interfering with other lines. Also Longridge states that the sheets and tacks would usually not be attached to that same (port, starboard)clew iron at the same time with the course set. Might not apply to the Victory, but if so, maybe it throws more insight into the inconsistencies as to how they are being run through the rigging.  

just a thought. 

Marc

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This is really a matter of practicality and how  each master preferred.

The size of the vessel and the crewing level makes a difference

But we are talking about working rigging -  rerunning a tack or sheet is a minor job to a professional  - you can run an additional one first and swop on the run if you are under load.

Even on smaller amateur run vessels, everyone will often rerun a sheet (tacks dont come up as much) depending upon the set of the sail.

The basic rule is simple though - never have a line running foul across anything if you can avoid it.

 

As far  as Kayakerlaary's nice model is concerned, I dont think any working vessel would stow like that - the sheets would be off and stowed. But I use that very set up sometimes just to show where the sails "should be"

(thats an AWFUL lot of headsails for a commercial coastal vessel)

 

Edited by SpyGlass
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I have been doing some thinking on the subject of tack lines on the fore sail.  It seems to me that the only tack line that would matter would be the one to windward holding the clew forward and down.  The lead of this tack would be more up and down when on a wind and so should not foul any other lines.  The lee tack would be slack.  The way I would solve the the fair lead problem would be to look at the where the clew of the fore sail would come to when braced up hard, and run the tack in the manner that reduces fouling and chafe to a minimum in this position.

 

Regards,

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On 5/25/2017 at 6:11 PM, kayakerlarry said:

  This seems like a reasonable question for this forum but please direct me elsewhere if appropriate.  On my model of the Howard W. Middleton, a costal coal schooner built in 1883, I have a question on how the stay sail/jib sheets were secured when they ran outside the foremast shrouds.  I have 5 separate sheets that will run outside the shrouds and belayed on the rails midship.  I don't like the way the way they look in this photo and would appreciate any thoughts on options or input on how it was actually done on coastal trade schooners of last 1800's.

 

5927543091ede_jibsheets.thumb.jpg.9d714f0aca78a28c0180e1038eca89d5.jpg

 

This lead for the sheets seems kind of odd to me.  If you had sails set here the clews would be pulled off in the direction of the shrouds.  Not very efficient.

 

Regards,

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