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Bluto 1790

Trying to understand the functions of some rigging components.

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Although I've been at this build for some considerable time, I'm now just in the beginnings of the masting and rigging. While I've been aware of many of the words in this foreign language of maritime parts I would now like to  know the 'whys and wherefores' of some of these mysteries.

For starters ~ what is the function of the 'truss pendants' -- I have Peterssen's rigging book and an illustration of the truss pendant is in there and the book obviously assumes that the reader automatically fully understands the functions of everything shown . . . well, this reader doesn't!

If the truss pendant serves the same purpose as parral trucks and ribs then why are some yards shown attached to masts by one of these means or by the other? (I'm assuming that a yard can only employ one method or the other and NOT BOTH ??? )

As I said, I'm not sure of the function of the truss pendant, so that's why I'm asking.

 

While I'm here I might as well reveal the lack of depth of my understanding of nautical language! - - - What is it that the preventer stay on fore and main masts is designed to "prevent"???

 

(Stay tuned to this channel - - - there is a high probality that more basic questions will arrive!)

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How the yard was rigged to the mast does not have a one-size fits all answer.   Depends on year of the rigging (they did change with time), the country, the size of the yard and mast. Probably not the answer you wanted but it's the best I've got.  Perhaps someone else can pop in a better answer.

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As far as I can see truss pendants were used where an obstacle of some sort would prevent the yard being fully lowered if held by parral trucks as in the rigging for cutters and topsail schooners. Oversimplified but it works for me. :)

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Thanks Mark and Rick for your comments.

As my plans/drawings show NOTHING of how any of the yards are attached to the masts I guess I can just go with what works for me.

The ship is English from 1790 so I assume it would probably be truss pendants for the mizzen crossjack . . .

. . . of course, the plot thickens! - - -

Between Peterssen's and Zu Mondfeld's books there are TWO  options --- see below >>>

594a1c6c17f55_TrussPendants.jpg.f0e5a4f88e4c522d63d3c3a73d608f31.jpg

So ~ which one is correct ??? . . . or is it again one of those situations "you make your choice and take your chances" ?

And how about my other question - - -

"While I'm here I might as well reveal the lack of depth of my understanding of nautical language! - - - What is it that the preventer stay on fore and main masts is designed to "prevent"???

 

 

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This is only guesswork, however I would expect to see the double system used on heavier yards. Having said that I've seen more use of the double system than the single and my knowledge of nautical terminology/usage is so close to zero as makes no difference.;) I tend to look at things on a purely mechanical basis.

 

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At least I can answer the one about the preventer stay - it was a back-up for the stay itself in case it broke. Instead of an almighty disaster you'd have a nuisance - you'd still have to replace the stay itself as soon as possible, but in the meantime the preventer stay would hold the mast in place.

 

Steven

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Rick, Steven and Scott, than you for the further input.

 

Steven ~ I had an inkling that it was a 'back-up' stay, it's just that typically mysterious nautical nomenclature that can be misleading!

 

As for the crossjack, I think I'll go with the double line pendant as above.

 

 . . . and Scott ~ thanks for wishing me luck! - - - I'm going to need as much as I can get now that I'm all tied up with this rigging caper!

 

 

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7 hours ago, Bluto 1790 said:

Thanks Mark and Rick for your comments.

As my plans/drawings show NOTHING of how any of the yards are attached to the masts I guess I can just go with what works for me.

The ship is English from 1790 so I assume it would probably be truss pendants for the mizzen crossjack . . .

. . . of course, the plot thickens! - - -

Between Peterssen's and Zu Mondfeld's books there are TWO  options --- see below >>>

594a1c6c17f55_TrussPendants.jpg.f0e5a4f88e4c522d63d3c3a73d608f31.jpg

So ~ which one is correct ??? . . . or is it again one of those situations "you make your choice and take your chances" ?

And how about my other question - - -

"While I'm here I might as well reveal the lack of depth of my understanding of nautical language! - - - What is it that the preventer stay on fore and main masts is designed to "prevent"???

 

 

Hi Jim,

 

most of the square rigger models here at MSW are shown with yards rigged perpendicular to the ships length axis. As many of them are shown without set sails that is OK, but  if the yards are braced, lets say about 45° for the mainyards, what would happen ?

The yards would leewards foul the the shrouds, if not the truss pendants come into action in the following way...... thus moving the yard a certain distance clear from the mast...

Then loosen and give way to the windward truss to allow bracing to the desired angle and also give a bit way to the leeward truss to just avoid friction with the formost leeward main shroud.

The yard now will be quite a distance away on the windward side

The illustration pic is of the braced mainyard from my "HMS Pegasus" build

 

Nils

DSCI5342.thumb.JPG.8f0fce121cf77c868eab50afbb58c5fe.JPG

 

 

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Hi Nils,

Thanks for your comments, and for your very clear explanation. I now understand how the adjustable pendants would allow the required movement of the yard whereas the fixed parrals wouldn't allow for as much as might be needed.

In line with most of the square rigged models here I also just intend to have no sails, so the yards will be perpendicular to the masts and will have no need to be braced in either direction.

In any case, having looked at the two line pendant system that's what I'll try to fit. (I did say TRY to fit!)

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In general, a parral and truck arrangement was used for yards that would frequently be hoisted or lowered, i.e topsail, topgallant, and royals.  The truss pendant was usually reserved for the lower yards that by the 1700's were no longer lowered to furl the sails.  You can see that in the photos you posted the crossjack yard, being a lighter spar, employs a lighter truss pendant than the one shown for the lower main and fore yards.

Older vessels, up till the late 1600's still lowered their main and for yards to furl sail so you will see the parral and truck arrangement for those.

Just to throw another wrench into the works....  the truss pendants did not always lead down to tackles near the deck.  Some vessels lead their truss tackles up to eyebolts under the top.  Constitutions truss tackle are lead this way.

 

BTW,  the diagram that S. Coleman shows is of the Tye and Halyard arrangement for the lower yards, not the truss tackle.  Although I have not the first clue as to what the tackle is that is coming down from the center of the yard and terminating in an eyebolt.

 

Regards,

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Jim, I think you've got this sorted and good input from others.  Just for completeness though, Petersson also shows the double systems for the fore and main yard so there really is no conflict.  As Rick points out, whether double and single comes down to yard size and basic engineering.

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The tackle from the mainyard down inthe Frieslanddrawing is ridiculous......

Friesland is based on the drawings and photos in the book byheinrich Winter (a dutch twodecker around 1660), but the kit designer didn't really bother with any historical correctnes, the kit is breeming with smal and large errors....

 

In the book there is a large single block in the middle of the main, through which a sling is rigged around the mast (to prevent the yard falling down, once the hallayd is loosened)

 

Jan

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It would seem that Peterssen's problem would be with the models he chose to document, unless there is a reason to believe he did not

accurately report what he observed.

 

Seems a bit ironic, in that contemporary models are often the go-to authority in these discussions.

 

 

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On ‎6‎/‎26‎/‎2017 at 10:05 AM, JerseyCity Frankie said:

I now warn people away from Peterson as a source for accurate rigging info. Have not read his earlier book but the Fore and Aft book is so full of mistakes and blunders that in my mind the mans work should all be viewed with skepticism.

anyway I came to opine on the Truss Pendants. You will notice they are made of very stout stuff: large tackle and heavy line-not much in the entire rig is more robust. Clearly they are designed to run, to be let out or drawn back into the mast. And as mentioned above, this is to facilitate the bracing of the yard. The Slings of the yard is the fixed and very heavy line coming down vertically from above the yard and this (and the lifts at the yardarms) is what supports the yards weight AND it's the point at which the yard will pivot on when Bracing. The vertical position of this pivot point is fixed by the Sling. But the Truss Pendants control the Fore-and-Aft disposition of this pivot point-they control how far out in front of the mast the yard can range-a little bit like how you can let a rambunctious dog out on a leash, or draw him back in when you need to. When bracing all the way over, if the midpoint (The Slings) of the yard is in tight with the mast, the yard can't be braced far before it will press up against the shrouds. But if you move that pivot point out farther from the mast, the yard can brace over much farther- like letting a dog on a longer leash get out in front of you and peek around a corner.

later stage iron and steel ships dispensed with fiber line Trusses and went over to the robust metal Crane Iron, a giant fixed hinge set on a heavy bracket on the front of the mast that could not be adjusted in the Fore and Aft plane. But by then the shrouds were wire rope and fewer in number and not as bulky. I don't know if a yard on a fiber rope Truss Pendant could brace up sharper than an equivalent yard on a modern metal Crane Iron but I doubt naval architects would have given up any ability to brace yards as the entire efficiency of the voyage would depend on how far up into the wind a ship could point.

I think this is all perhaps a little misleading, and I cannot comment of the Fore and Aft volume.  Peterssen's 'Rigging period ship models' clearly states as its premise the documentation and illustration of the rigging found on a contemporary model Melampus, and that alone - with no allusion to represent alternative rigging options or other ships or the models accuracy to reality.  Faults present in that model will clearly be reflected in the book, and as such it never purports to be an authoritative source or provide scale illustration.  Clarity of illustration, showing the key points and principles is a an important goal, and rigging dimensions are never mentioned or asserted, illustrations in the contemporary bible "Young Sea Officer's Sheet Anchor" by Lever could accused of the same fault and that was truly a professional reference book and not a guide to modelers.  Is it really so inaccurate so as to avoid it?

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I don't know why people go to books like Petersons to get information when there are more contemporary and much better sources of information out there.  After reading something like Steels works or Falconers I pretty much shelved Petersons, never to be cracked open again.

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I have both books on my shelf. I bought them not as the definitive guide (it cant be, as rigging sizes are nit given), but i needed a quick reference to explain the rather basic rigging scheme in a model kit.

perhaps the targeted group is kit-builders who want  to step up a bit, withour going into avstudy of Steel and Lees.

 

jan

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oh dear, and only yesterday i posted a question about a doner kit to build a 5th rate iaw with the lennarth petterson book "rigging period ship models" oh hum back to square one for my next build

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Even the best sources are not infallible, unfortunately. Peterssen recorded specific models accurately , I'm sure, but he did not realize that rigging may have been either installed incorrectly in the first place, or 'restored' at one or more points along the way. If the restorations are old, it's nearly impossible to tell that they are not 'original'. I've had that problem myself. One line on a contemporary model leads in through the bow bulwark and belays by wrapping several times around the heel of the bowsprit! After much puzzlement on my part, Simon Stevens concluded for me that it was a very old repair when the original belaying point was lost or the line broke.

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4 minutes ago, druxey said:

Even the best sources are not infallible, unfortunately. Peterssen recorded specific models accurately , I'm sure, but he did not realize that rigging may have been either installed incorrectly in the first place, or 'restored' at one or more points along the way. If the restorations are old, it's nearly impossible to tell that they are not 'original'. I've had that problem myself. One line on a contemporary model leads in through the bow bulwark and belays by wrapping several times around the heel of the bowsprit! After much puzzlement on my part, Simon Stevens concluded for me that it was a very old repair when the original belaying point was lost or the line broke.

Druxey

Good evening thank you for your reply, i am hoping to complete my Victory this year, and realy would like to build a 5th rate, but to do it with some accuracy, 1/48 to 1/72 sort of scale, would prefer a kit  to bash rather than scratch

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At the end of his spectacular build log on the cutter Cheerful, I asked Chuck Passaro a similar question the other day about the anchor buoys on his model being stowed well above deck lashed to the forward shrouds with the buoys' pendants and tag lines, rolled up in a "circular" fashion ("like a cowboy's lariat.") https://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/8131-hm-cutter-cheerful-1806-148-scale-by-chuck/&page=36 It didn't look shipshape to this sailor's eye. Why would they go to the trouble to lash them so high? Why weren't the coiled pendants and tag lines hanging straight down like a coil on a pinrail? Why would they not stow them below unless they were to be deployed presently, in which case why wouldn't they simply be laying on deck? (This wasn't intended as a criticism of Chuck's great work, mind you, I just couldn't figure it out and presumed he knew the answer because he did it that way.)

 

Chuck answered that he'd noticed the same thing and had the same questions, but had no answer for me, explaining that his model was based on two contemporary models in the NMM, one recognized for the accuracy of its rigging, so he opted not to deviate from the prototype model which, arguably, is the more prudent course.  That said, however, I think we should always be suspicious of questionable details in plans and contemporary models because the degree of their accuracy can always vary a bit, if not a lot in some instances. One of the attractive features of modeling ships is that we can produce something which is not only beautiful, but also of some historical value to future generations if we do the job well. That job includes the historical background research, as such may be possible, as well as the modeling techniques. While I don't stay awake nights worrying about it, I have this recurring thought that in some dystopian future, an archaeologist is going to find the last extant Santa Maria model, built from a kit pirated by some Chinese copyright violator, and it will end up in a museum, exhibited as "an accurate contemporary model of the ship Columbus sailed to discover the Americas."

 

I'm reminded of David MacAulay's classic Motel of the Mysteries (1979,) a great piece of illustrated satirical fiction set in the year 4022. It seems that back in 1985 "an accidental reduction in postal rates" quickly buried most of a country known as Usa under several feet of junk mail. Then a daring explorer named Howard Carson, who in the illustrations looks like someone from the 1930s, falls down a hole and thereby discovers something called a motel. In one of its rooms he finds two skeletons, one on a bed and the other in a bathtub, except that Carson thinks he has discovered an ancient crypt and that one body lies on the Ceremonial Platform and the other in a "highly polished white sarcophagus." To him, the toilet is the Sacred Urn, the television is the Great Altar, the remote control is the Sacred Communicator and a bra strewn across a piece of furniture is a "ceremonial chest plate." https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=motel+of+mysteries&tag=mh0b-20&index=aps&hvadid=78615135635402&hvqmt=b&hvbmt=bb&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_6wy3pngoct_b

 

"Contemporary" models and other sources are sometimes similarly inaccurate and more often so the farther back we reach in history. The more a modeler knows about actual naval architecture, shipbuilding and seamanship, with particular attention to the period with which they are working, the better their model will be. While model kits and internet practicums serve a valuable purpose and bring more immediate joy to many initially lacking in such background, the models they yield are sometimes consequently unreliable as historical records. Also, some modern modeling conventions in McLuhanesque fashion validate repeated inaccuracies, a few examples being out-out-of-scale copper hull sheathing plates with monster "rivets," hull and deck trunnels and plugs depicting a but a single fastening each frame, plank ends butted on frames instead with butt blocks, and, of course, the lack of spiling, unfair runs, and excess stealers in planking. Perhaps these inaccuracies may be excused as "artistic license" intended to merely "suggest" the prototype and no doubt are valuable for the satisfaction and enjoyment they provide, but that utility notwithstanding, they fall short as reliable historic records of a particular vessel or vessel type.

 

I commend the original poster's intellectual curiosity about rigging details and nautical nomenclature and his courageous admission that he "isn't fluent in the language.". That is what makes great models! I urge him to continue in his pursuit of accuracy. I'm also impressed, and educated, by those who are able to provide valuable criticism of certain contemporary published authorities. Not every modeler is an experienced traditional shipwright, rigger, or seaman. All of us must rely on academic research to address vessels which became extinct centuries before we were born and the sort of "peer review" here provided is invaluable. Just because a book was written a long time ago doesn't mean it's contents are particularly reliable.

 

When faced with the questions posed in this thread, it is good to remember the nautical maxim, "Different ships, different long splices." I'd hazard to guess that the vessels built to every Admiralty dockyard model and every builder's draught were modified many times over in the translation from the model or draught to the lofting floor to the stocks and finally at every change of command and certainly every refit. The British captains, if the literature is any indication, were famous for bringing their own idiosyncratic rigging arrangements aboard with them when they took command. It's hard to contemplate that a model built two or three hundred years ago hasn't over time been damaged, repaired, and rerigged a time or three, perhaps centuries after it was built. Just because a model is old doesn't mean it's accurate, either. When faced with "the lesser of two weevils," as Jack Aubrey might say, the present day modeler should know his subject well enough to resolve the ambiguities of detail they encounter with confidence in their command of their subject matter. None of us know it all and it is always best to ask when we don't instead of just "faking it." Well done, Bluto!  Your question has given us all the opportunity to learned a bit more, even if it is "all Greek" to most mere mortals.

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Couple of points re: "definitive" sources of info on rigging, especially running rigging.  Unless there is photographic or other evidence for a specific vessel at a specific point in time (e.g. "as built"), all we can do is make reasonable, educated guesses as to the exact configuration.  Often there are many different ways to perform a particular rigging task, and I suspect period sailors had their favorites (that were perhaps not well documented in the literature).  Therefore rigging configurations may have changed with a vessel's captain, sailing master, or bosun, or just evolved over time.  Also, maybe rigs varied based on materials and supplies (e.g. blocks, line of a particular size, etc) available at a particular point in time.  I offer the example of main sheet controls for a modern recreational sailboat (see https://www.harken.com/content.aspx?id=3901).  All are "correct" and will serve the purpose, but pick a popular boat model that's been around for any length of time and I'll bet you can find a variety of different main sheet configurations, modified per each owner's preference.  For modeling, I use the available resources to help understand the purpose of a particular rigging system and then try to think like a sailor when deciding on which technique makes the most sense (considering of course general time period and nationality).  

 

FWIW,

 

Keith

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Bob, it looks like we were typing at the same time.  I was trying to make similar points, but your response is articulated much better than mine.

 

Cheers,

 

Keith

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I'm reminded of David MacAulay's classic Motel of the Mysteries (1979,) 

 

Excellent reference.  I remember reading that and loved it.

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Well that is certainly food for thought isn't it  thank you Keith and Bob

 

So i have to put this quite simple, the book is ok, based on what he saw, however what he saw wasn't correct, as it may well have changed over time, or never right in the first place

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On 6/21/2017 at 9:16 AM, Bluto 1790 said:

Between Peterssen's and Zu Mondfeld's books there are TWO  options --- see below >>>

594a1c6c17f55_TrussPendants.jpg.f0e5a4f88e4c522d63d3c3a73d608f31.jpg

So ~ which one is correct ??? . . . or is it again one of those situations "you make your choice and take your chances" ?

 

Old thread but I like to clarify. BOTH are correct! Pettersson shows the one used on the cross jack yard (smaller yards), Mondfeldt for the larger main yards. 

 

Edit: Peterssons Truss Pendant on the Foremast 😉 

 

image.png

 

 

 

Dirk

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