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Cutter / Sloop shroud rigging problem on Anchor Hoy

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This issue has been touched upon in the Scratch Built Log https://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/13002-anchor-hoy-by-maurys-pof-harbor-craft-c-1825-148/, and I thought we might get some fresh eyes and minds on the "problem".  The model is based on Francis Grices' drawings from the National Archives for a boat he designed and built in the early 1800s at Norfolk.  An enlarged section of one of the two drawings is shown below.  The drawings, while detailed in some ways are not so in others.  This leads me to think he drew them or had them drawn to illustrate just a couple of key issues with the boat.  One being the support for the great cat at the bow and another the gearing connected to the two capstans (Not shown on this illustration but visible at the link above).  No rigging related to the bowsprit appears.


As can be seen on the picture above, the shrouds pass outside the rails but nothing is shown as to how they set up...channels, chainplates, deadeyes, etc..  There are two other sources of info. (I think one based on the other).  Grimwood's American Ship Models (circa mid- 1900s) and Cairo's NRG articles circa 1970s clearly show the shrouds setting up on themselves at eyebolts in the waterway (Hence inside the upper rail).  See following picture. 


Setting the shrouds outside the rail would require channels to hold the eyebolts or deadeyes far enough out so shrouds would not bind on the rail.  None are shown.  Having the tops of the shrouds  around the mast only 20' above the deck to support the stresses of a large anchor mean they have a sharper angle to the deck so that supports the contention they setup inside (to the waterway).  It also creates a much narrower arc through which the boom passes (limited to about 20 degrees either side of centerline).  This would severely limit the ability to sail deeper than a broad reach.  Druxey postulates that the two aft-most shrouds on each side set up with hooks into eyebolts so they could be removed while sailing giving more room to swing the boom.  There are illustrations done by Grimwood and Cario that are clear mistakes (i.e. location of pumps), so they remain questionable sources, but I'm leaning toward their approach to the shrouds.  Any input or comments would be greatly appreciated.



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Hi Maurys;


Interesting query you have posted.  With regard to the rigging of the shrouds,  I cannot add anything,  except to speculate as follows:


The hoy was presumably only used in sheltered anchorages,  to lay out permanent mooring bouys for ships in ordinary,  or something similar.  This might mean that a limited swing of the boom was acceptable,  as speed was presumably not critical to her performing her duties,  as long as she could move fast enough to give effective steering.


This would limit her points of sailing,  though. 


This idea is purely based on my limited understanding of an anchor hoy's duties,  and may well be so far wrong that it is off the scale of probabilities.  However,  as it might be relevant,  here it is!


All the best,


Mark P



Previously built models (long ago, aged 18-25ish) POB construction. 32 gun frigate, scratch-built sailing model, Underhill plans.

2 masted topsail schooner, Underhill plans.


Started at around that time, but unfinished: 74 gun ship 'Bellona' NMM plans. POB 


On the drawing board: POF model of Royal Caroline 1749, part-planked with interior details. My own plans, based on Admiralty draughts and archival research.


Always on the go: Research into Royal Navy sailing warship design, construction and use, from Tudor times to 1790. 


Member of NRG, SNR, NRS, SMS

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Thanks for the comments.  Pictures welcome.  Mark,  duties were primarily confined to harbors, but they ventured out from time to time and they had to be able to handle modest seas.  Anchors were lost near mouths of harbors frequently as ships waited for tides to carry them in.

Spyglass, I did not mention that the hoy has running backstays with no illustration of a realistic attachment.  Running backstays were critical on the boats I raced a decade ago and there is very limited support for the top mast beyond a fore stay and those stays.


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