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I'm rigging up the top mast and it's rigging for my scratch built Sloop Providence. It seems that when the sloop is sailing hard on the wind close hauled the spreader yard is hard back as well as the topsail yard.

 

On the model this positions  the spreader lift. hard against the topmast shrouds on the leeward side. Windward side no problem unless the vessel is tacked. This cannot be.

 

The question is how is this problem overcome ? Attached  are two images,[one a sketch ( excuse the crudeness) and another photo image.

post-9806-0-33242500-1487615061_thumb.jpgpost-9806-0-18263100-1487615095_thumb.jpg

 

 

Thanks

 

SOS

 

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Whenever I'm looking at a squar rigged model I check if the builder ran the lifts through the topmast shrouds, they often do. But in fact the lifts have to be forward of the shrouds as shown in your drawing. And yes they would chafe on the shroud. You could compensate by moving the lift blocks on the cap forward as far as they can go. Another option that makes sense to me is to have those blocks on pennants that are long enough to get the running part of the tackle outboard of the shrouds and in this way only the pennants would rub on the shrouds.

If you run the lifts through the shrouds you would be making life tough for sailors trying to get aloft on the topmast shrouds while at the same time guaranteeing that both lifts were chaffing all the time. And this arrangement would hamper the function of the truss pendants on the lower yard too.

This whole issue of lifts chafing has been glossed over in the literature. For instance Lees doesn't mention it at all. And most ship modelers stick stubbornly to square yards. Hats off to you for thinking outside the box and depicting your yards as they were most often to be seen configured.

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Thanks Mr. Frankie.

 
I think I'm going to try and think like a skipper at that time (during the American revolution.)
 
My vessel ( single masted sloop of war ) is being pursed by a superior enemy or giving chase to a worthy prize My ample crew are seasoned mariners and know their job and risks. The spreader  lift chafing on the topmast shroud is dis concerning which will part first ( probably the lift) especially as there is a sea running, the ship is rolling and pitching causing the two to grind against each other in an alarming manner. The ship expects to be on this tack for some time. The skipper thinks :
 
 Should I send men aloft out on the spreader yard and cut the splice that fastened the lift to the yard and simply pass it around the topmast stay lead it clear back to the yard and fasten it with a sized bowline Or rig a temporary lift to support the spreader yard and ease off completely on the regular lift give it plenty of slack and let the jury rig lift support the spreader yard?
 
Which or what  would you do ?
 
 
Thanks
 
SOS
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A couple of thoughts,

 

Since you are talking about the lifts for the spreader yard, why would they have to be set up taut when the topsail is set?

 

If I were the skipper trying to make most, quickest distance to windward with a decent breeze, why set the topsail? With the fore and aft sails hauled in tight for pointing to windward, the square topsail risks being thrown aback as the square sails will not point as high as the fore and aft sails.

 

Artists like to portray old sailing ships with everything flying, but I'm not sure that that is realistic. It's quite possible that the square sails were needed for sailing off the wind but would have been a hindrance sailing upwind.

 

Roger

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Someone mentioned moving the lift blocks from the main mast to the topmast so they are more forward. I have done similar even if the plans show the blocks on the aft section of the masthead. Plans are a good starting point, but if there is a more practical and functional way to do it I'm sure the sailors of the day would have made a similar modification in real-life.

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Petersson in "Rigging Period Fore-and-Aft Craft, using a contemporary model of an ~1808 US schooner, shows the

lift passing through the shrouds..

 

post-3923-0-45211300-1487689794_thumb.jpg

 

However, there are no deadeyes or rat lines.

 

Someone with more knowledge, might know why it may have been different on a sloop,

and how sailors ventured above the cross trees on such vessels..

 

Of course, the model may not be 100% accurate either...

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With regard to the lifts....you will often see a cutter rigged with the lifts going through the shrouds.  Here is a contemporary model with original rigging.....

 

Note that the lifts pass between both shrouds.   Others do in-fact have them in front of the shrouds also but this is NOT always the case as you can see here.

 

gallery_229_1142_324975.jpg

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Gregory I'm going to voice a dissenting opinion on the drawing you've put up from Petterson's book. It's two black lines intersecting and I don't think anyone can say which of the two are stop the other, they are not rendered with enough clarity to be distinctly one way or another. And besides I find that book falls short of the hopes I had for it when I bought a copy, I could go into that elsewhere.

And as Chuck has shown, many MANY models depict the lifts going through the shrouds. But these models always have in common the yards braced square, never braced up sharp. But they often ARE in the worlds great collections. It's my opinion they are inaccurately rigged. I could be wrong, I don't have any real world square rigged sailing experience.

Speaking of real world experience, it would be good to look at how the lifts are rigged on actual functioning tall ships and tall ship replicas to see how they do it. Again, I could be wrong, but I don't remember ever seeing the lifts going through the shrouds on actual ships with working rigs.

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It does appear that the lifts on your example are forward of the shrouds, with the tackle toward the front of the cap, unlike what is shown

in the Senor's examples up above..

Here is a model from the  Boston Museum of Fine Art, and it also shows the lift tackle near the front of the mast cap, with the top mast

shrouds well to the rear.

 

providence.thumb.JPG.6b7b1004c715f1ea2ff9fa82b6dddd8c.JPG

 

 

Why would the lifts going through the shrouds be a problem if there were no ratlines present, as shown in Petersson's and Chuck's example?

 

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Roger, I know what you are saying about windward work for normal circumstances but picture the scenario as outlined above.
A captain hot on the stern of a prize or sailing to escape capture or a battle with a superior enemy and the only course open is to windward. Setting a top sail just might just give the edge. especially if bowlines are rigged.

 

 

Gregory, This model is for a former skipper (step son) of the replica Sloop Providence He furnished hull plans of poor quality and no rigging plans, just a basic sail plan.( see this build log) A fellow MSW member loaned me the plans for the Armed Virginia sloop , a rig very similar to the Sloop Providence and about the same period. This I used as a general guide to just where things went. I also referred to images of the sloop under full sail in a light wind All of the above had to be tempered with the fact the ex skipper wanted it to look more like a 1776 vessel as apposed to a replica  built in the 1970's.  I told the ex skipper about my model problem concerning the lift hitting the topmast shrouds when braced for windward work and he said it was never a problem.
I think his answer leads me to believe that the replica had  schedules and be in a particular place at a certain time and windward work in any air was a problem solved by starting up the auxiliary engine.

 

This still gives me the dilemma as to how to rig the vessel as I envisioned above.

In one image(aloft view ) shown here the topsail is lowered. 

 

I'm beginning to think as Roger hinted Just square the yards, lower and furl the topsail and just show the fore n aft sails on the model. Unless someone can come up with a full sail on the wind solution.

Chuck Beautiful workmanship on your model. 

Jersey City Frankie Thanks for chiming in on this. Your posted images indicate there are other similar rigged vessels out there but are unclear about the relationship of the lift and topmast shrouds when braced for windward sailing with all sails set.

 

 

BTW my model will have a few crew aboard. One will be a sailor in the "chains" casting the lead line. Since the model will be healed some, ( wind in those sails ) just where would the leads man be on the windward side or the leeward side ?

Thanks all

SOS

Providence Sloop sailing  image 1.jpg

Providence sloop sailing image 7.jpg

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S.O.S,

I  Googled your replica a lot also.  With that, and your images above, it really looks like the fore-yard lifts run in front of the shrouds, to blocks that

are well forward on the mast cap.

It seems the the fore-sail is rarely set, and if you check the AVS plans, there is a note that it was for light weather..

In all the Googling I did,  never saw the foresail set on similar ships, or even furled on the yard..

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Keep in mind that more sail does not necessarily mean more speed.  Displacement hulls (hulls unable to plane) cannot travel at a speed much faster than the square root of their waterline length.  At this "hull speed" the hull is bounded by the waves that it creates.  Adding more sail then only increases the heeling of the vessel which does bad things- often increases weather helm and increases leeway.  

The Duluth Community Sailing Association used to own a nice 32 ft ketch.  The boat's mainsail was large and very full cut.  We soon learned that in any sort of breeze the boat would reach hull speed with just the jib and mizzen.  Setting the large bag of a mainsail only put the lee rail under.  Fun but not efficient sailing.  Usual rig was just jib and mizzen except in light air.

Roger

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It may be worthwhile to reflect on the function of the (topping-)lifts. They are there to steady the yard, not to 'lift' the yard, which is done with the halliard. So, when the topsail(s) is/are set, there is no immediate need for the lifts, as the yard is also stabilised by the braces. One can probably let go the lift(s) when close-hauled and the problem is solved.

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One square rig sailor I know, a man who is also as experienc d a rigger as it is possible to become in this day and age, told me the lifts ARE used when underway. When the ship is healing over, he says the lifts are adjusted to get the yards more in line with the horizon. One effect this has is to keep the clews of the lee lowers out of the water. This from a man who has sailed in and rigged square rigged ships in numerous oceans and all over the world.

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Thanks for all the reply's and suggestions.

 

I'm beginning to think the best solution is to try to suggest a story to the model beholder. 

 

The guns are run out. The topsail has been lowered and furled, hands are at the head sail halyards and down hauls. They look to be preparing  to lower sails. A sailor in the chains swings the lead.  One anchor is  "catted", Is it ready to drop? A sailor on a fwd bulwark points at something ahead. Another sailor aft is about to raise a flag but its design is concealed An officer directs the helmsman.

Something is about to happen.

 

 Each observer of the model could have a different opinion as to what is happening or about to happen. All of the above could make for a more interesting model display.

 

SOS
 

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A 'story-board' is always a good proposition for justifying, why certain features are shown. It makes sure that the different aspects, e.g. of how the sails are set, match throughout the ship. Basic facts to consider would be the direction and strength of the wind relative to the ship and what kind of sea it is encountering.

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