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Bowsprit shrouds and eye bolts in the deck...


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Hi all,

OK, I have rigging questions. Yacht rigging.

How are bowsprit shrouds arranged?  How are they attached to the bowsprit?  What are they belayed to tother end?

Also, you see eyebolts in the deck, where everyone could fall over them!  What are they for?

Any knowledgable help gratefully received.

 

Cheers,

Martin

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Martin

 

Yacht is pretty generic, so do you have a more specific vessel in mind?   The only description I can find in the book Sailing, Seamanship and Yacht Construction by Uffa Fox gives a  description for the ketch rigged yacht Landfall.  This is pretty much the same as described in Chappele's American Schooner (page 376 gives a nice drawing showing this)   Typically the aft end of the shroud is  attached to the hull with a thimble and shackle to an eye bolt which goes through a  chain plate. The length of the chain plate on each side was usually determined by the spacing of the frames.    The forward end at the sprit itself is a turnbuckle shackled to an eye band that goes around the sprit.   This band has ears with the holes to accommodate the shackles of the shrouds on the sides, fore stay on top, and bobstays below.

Hope this helps.

Allan

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Allan,

The yacht in question is my model of Vanity, a Victorian cutter (see link below).

Your info is helpful except I have no idea what the shroud chainplates look like for a bowsprit.  Having trouble trying to visualise the eyebolt/shackle thing.

Any idea what the eyebbolts in the middle of the deck is for?

 

Cheers,

Martin

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The eye bolts in the deck could be for fairleads or blocks.    I am not sure exactly where these are when you say in the middle of the deck. 

 I would post photos of the pages from Chapelle, but I am not sure if that would be a copyright violation so err on the side of caution.

 

The chain plates would be about 3 1/2" wide and probably 26" to 32" long.   They would be 1/2" thick and have a 1/4" bevel all around and let into the planking to the bevel.  For the model, I woud make it 1/4" thick and bolt to the planking without letting it into the planking.

 

Again this is all about schooners and such,  late 19th and early 20th century.   For a Victorian cutter, if it is the Vanity 1885, this information is probably reasonably accurate.

 

Allan

 

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Allan, thanks.  I'm sure the Chappelle estate wouldn't mind if you put up a page.

The yacht was built in 1885/6 as Mary, but was renamed a couple of times and her last registration was as Vanity. I dislike the name Mary, so Vanity it is. I have seen her registration in the Lloyds register, crossed out in red ink and "Became houseboat" written over the registration on March 17th 1917 IIRC.

The eyebolts I mention are like these on Partridge, which is very like Vanity in period and style.

 

Cheers,

Martin

Screenshot_2017-05-06-08-14-57-01[2].jpg

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Martin

Here is a page that may help.  I have no idea why it flips when I attach it here as it is right side up on my file page.

 

What does that line in the eyebolt go to?  Years ago I had a chance to sail on a number of boats from monomoys to Weatherly but never saw anything like this.  

 

Allan

Bowsprit ring.JPG

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Allan,

I think the bottle screws would not have been around in 1885/6, so I assume the rope will have been spliced round thimbles and maybe then attached with shackles or possibly a single block for each shroud.

 

I have no idea what a back rope is and I'm sure there were no footropes on a yacht's bowsprit.

 

I also don't know where the line on the eyebolt goes.  I was hoping someone could tell me.

 

Cheers,

Martin

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 the nice thing about solving Rigging mysteries when making a model is that you can always fall back on practical realities: A bowsprit shroud has a particular function so there are minimum requirements for how it will be configured: it has to be strong, it has to be fixed securely, it has to be adjustable. A nice thing about modeling a yacht from the late 1800's is that there is plenty of photographic documentation and surviving examples. It's true there is t much in terms of rigging books that cover this era for pleasure craft, but there is still a tremendous amount of material on the internet.

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Actually, Frankie, there is almost no documentation for yachts of this period. Since Vanity was allowed to rot where she sits in Bristol there are only 2 such yachts surviving, Partridge and Marigold and Marigold is of a slightly later era with many features considered modern when she was built.  These were very different from American yachts, so I can't use them for details and finding evidence of smaller vessels of a similar style isn't easy either.  What few photos exist are all quite distant, to show the whole vessel in one shot.

 

I take your point about what MUST be there, but that doesn't help when there are widely different possibilities.  I don't see a bottle screw being used on an 1886 yacht.  She used deadeyes for the main shrouds for instance.

 

Martin

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That surprises me!  Maybe then they were used on something like Vanity.  Of course there's no guarantee a modern restoration isn't using modern stuff, but I would love to use more of Modelling Timbers wonderful and inexpensive turnbuckles.

 

I have just found some more pics of Partridge so am about to see what that has.

Martin

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yachts were in fact a VERY popular subject for photography, in the late 1800's as now, and photos of them are easy to find on the internet. Will you find photos of YOUR vessel? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Will you find photos of similar vessels that will provide you with information you can use? It's a certainty. There are hundreds of museums with vast archives of photos and more are being digitized and uploaded to the internet every year. Many people are interested in these photos and are collecting them in places online like Tumblr Facebook and Pinterest. Here is a collection I go back to from time to time as it's always being added to: http://lazy jacks.tumblr.com/

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Frankie,

I've had a look through lazyjacks and despite a lovely selection, nothing close enough or English enough.  So I went over to Bekens of Cowes gallery and once again, nothing close enough to show any detail and they are the pictures I need.

Thanks for your interest, but this period of English yachts is not at all well catered for beyond the distant "oh, how lovely" type of shot.

So, as the only thing I can see shows a set of blocks, that's what it'll have to be.  But were the bowsprit shrouds in those days of change wire or rope?  Was the bobstay copper?

 

I think it'll have to be guess work.  With only 2 such boats still extant and those different from each other, it's a case of best guess and nobody can prove otherwise.

 

Cheers,

Martin

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I would say don't give up so quickly. Also at least one of the sister yachts you mention above is still sailing, you could email the owners and tell them what you are looking for. Another resource is the Wooden Boat Forum, you have to sign up but it's free. Those guys know a great deal about raditional rigged wooden vessels and I've found them helpful on MY LATE 1800's wooden yacht model Dulcibella: 

http://forum.woodenboat.com/index.php

 

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Both Marigold and Partridge are still sailing, having been only recently restored, but have differences.  I have never had luck getting replies from owners, but I have rejoined Wooden Boat forum and asked there. Thanks for the reminder.

I don't have endless time to wait though. The years march on and I would like to use this model. I only do boats during the summer, which over here is a short one, so researches have to be quick and fruitful.

But I thank you for your interest and suggestions.

 

Cheers,

Martin

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Frankie,

oddly I have only just left that site as there was too much coming through that didn't really interest me!  And then you get these, most of which I haven't seen before. I have seen a Partridge video, but not this one.

Some useful stuff there for the bowsprit problem.

I can never see how a gaff rig can use backstays as surely the sail will clobber them very quickly!?

 

Many thanks,

Martin

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I have ordered a copy of Dixon Kemp's Manual of Yacht and Boat Sailing in paperback from Amazon.

The guys on Wooden Boat forum recommended it. I could have paid £450 or 147 or 57.  I got this one for £12-71 from just up the road!

 

Cheers,

Martin

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Ha!  I now discover that Dixon Kemp is online , all 486 pages of it!  And everything I need is there.  Whether Vanity had the cordage and arrangements that are illustrated, I'll never know, but there's enough there to give me explanations.  But you can't beat a book open in front of you and there are pages of lines and arrangements which on the online version are part folded and unclear.

But yes, gents. If you want to know anything about yachts of that period, Dixon Kemp has it.

 

Many thanks for your help.

 

Martin

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