Jump to content

Flag on mizzen/boom


Recommended Posts

Good Morning Christos,

 

For a flag flown from the Driver Gaff, as shown in the photograph, there is a small single block at the peak to run the flag haliyard.  The haliyard is then belayed to a cleat on the inboard of the taffrail.  Depending on which way the driver boom is angled the flag haliyard is belayed either on the port side or starboard side of the boom.

 

Hope that this is useful,

 

Tom

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Corrected

Good Morning Christos,

 

For a flag flown from the Driver Gaff, as shown in the photograph, there is a small single block at the peak of the gaff to run the flag haliyard.  The haliyard is then belayed to a cleat on the inboard of the taffrail.  Depending on which way the driver boom is angled the flag haliyard is belayed either on the port side or starboard side of the boom.

 

Hope that this is useful,

 

Tom

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good question Christos,

They would need to shift the belaying point.  That is they would untie the haliyard, and then move it to the cleat on the other side.  They would have the same issue if the ship had an ensign staff and the boom needed to swing.  Take the staff down, move the boom, replace the staff.  It would probably make more sense to belay the flag haliyard to the driver boom.  I'll see if I find any other information in any of the references that I have.  Frankly, given that this line had nothing to do with sailing the ship, I'm not too optimistic.    

 

Best regards,

 

Tom                                                                                           

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you again Tom. This is what I said to my self.... "why dont tie to the driver boom and so forget that they had a flag". But I guess that a flag was tied to the gaff only when the ship was coming in the ancorage or port and so then there wasnt any hard sailing manouvering taking place.

 

Another thing : I saw in a few pictures of Hermione's replica that there was a second block tied to the cleat on the taffrail and then the haliyard of the flag was going up to (passing through) the other block on the driver gaff. And it made sense, dont you agree Tom?

 

Christos

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, It does make very good sense.  Come to think of it, I did see Hermione when she was in Philadelphia.  Let me see if I have any photographs.

 

Some things to consider, are that the practice may be different among English, French, United States; and that I am told, that ships in the period did not generally fly a flag all of the time.  Basically, the flag only flew when someone needed to know nationality, or the fleet commander needed to keep track of his fleet.  I have looked at several paintings as well as some texts such as Harland's Seamanship in the Age of Sail.  As best as I can tell, if there was a flag at the driver peak it was belayed to either the taffrail or to the bulwark near the taffrail.  I looked at some paintings done by Geoff Hunt, and one shows a flag flying from a stern flag staff on a ship that does have a driver boom.  For sure, the staff would need to be removed for the driver boom to swing. 

 

So, I think that no one can call you inaccurate if you belay to the taffrail.

 

Tom

Link to comment
Share on other sites

    How late in the 18th century and what nation? 

 

    I have seen several paintings (see below...among others) where the ensign is flying from a staff in the stern.  I had originally thought that was an error made by a landsman who never saw a ship underway and assumed since the saw the ensign flying there in port, it was there all the time.  It made sense to me that the ensign would fly from the gaff as described by Tom in post 2.  However, the more searching around I did, mostly on Revolutionary War ships, the more I found this phenomena.

 

 

Alliance.jpg

providence 1 postcard.jpg

Providence 2.jpg

Ranger.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tom,

You have been very informative and helpfull... many thanks. I would appreciate it if you find a close up from the visit in Philadelphia. I was on board of Hermione last month but this rigging wasnt on.... and I forgot to ask.

Thank you again and all the best.

Christos

 

 

Chuck,

Thx for joining this conversation and offering your help. As you allready know we are talking about a french frigate 1769+. The replica of the ship travelling in our days has the french flag on the stern post and the visiting countrys flag on the driver gaff on the the peak of the gaff. But thats may not be what the French navy really did back in the late 18th century.

Christos

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I disagree, Jud.  The modern method of flying the ensign from a gaff is a direct holdover from sailing days when the ensign was flown while underway from the peak of the spanker or driver gaff.  The gaff on a modern vessel is called that because it has the same function and location as of old.  The only reason the halyard comes down to the signal bridge is because the signal bridge is most conveniently located under all of the halyards for the peak, gaff and yards.  Even then the halyard belays to a cleat or pin at the rail or bulwark

 

The halyard on a sailing man-o-war is a very light line.  It would not have been any effort at all to have eased or shifted that line as needed to trim the driver.  Remember also that the driver would not normally be shifted through a very wide range of motion; it's purpose being to increase or decrease pressure on the after sail area in order to keep a course with less helm (which is why it is called a driver.)

 

Regards,

Former Signalman.  Flags were my business.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

I can't say for certain but I believe that with the introduction of the long driver boom the stern ensign staff was not fitted when the ship was at sea,only in port. As was I believe the jackstaff on the bowsprit. The photo's show apart from the sloop a loose footed gaff sail on all the others,some still having a Lateen yard fitted. No problem with a stern ensign staff then. I suspect by looking at the angle of the pic that the sloops' driver boom was short enough to pass inside the ensign staff.  Of course,it would be easy to transfer the gaff ensign halliard to the opposite side if or when required. Unfortunately I'm not at home just now so can't check in my Books.

 

Dave :dancetl6:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This has become a very interesting discussion.  Based on the paintings that are shown here, as well as Popeye's first hand expertise, I'm certain that shifting the flag haliyard was done when the flag was run up to the gaff.. 

 

Now for the issue of a flagstaff and when it was rigged; my current project is HMS Liverpool, as she appeared in 1775.  The plans that I have definitely show a long driver boom but both an ensign and bowsprit flag staff.  The Liverpool does have a driver boom and it significantly extends past the stern, although the Swan Class Sloops, at least a few of them, not a frigate but still a sixth rate, had a loose footed driver sail (probably the wrong term).  Looking at Pandora in Anatomy of the Ship (a smaller frigate built twenty years latter) there is a driver boom shown with no stern flagstaff, but also a mizzen course (rigged from the gaff but no boom).  The model shown with Pandora's Box has a mizzen course with a Flagstaff.  Finally, a print of a painting by Thomas Birch, of Constitution's battle with Guerriere, shows Constitution flying a flag from the driver gaff and Guerriere from a staff at the stern.  At this point in the battle she is dismasted though.  Same period, a painting of Constitution and Java shows Java flying a blue ensign from the gaff, with no staff.  So, as to the staff and when it was rigged, I really don't know.  Given that that wasn't the original question, maybe another topic.

 

Opinions please.

 

Tom 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think your answer will be 'it depends'.  It will depend on the ship type, the boom length, the captain, the circumstances, and probably a host of other factors.  I would assume that , just as in today's Navy, the flagstaff is removable.  It probably would sit in a step on the deck with a clamp to the tafferail.

 

Regards,

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.

Guest
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.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

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