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Just out of general interest, I am trying to work out what they did with the sheet (sheet line) when furling the spritsail on a 17C square rigger. The following diagram shows the sheet pendant attached to a bottom clew. What sort of knot would have been used ? From what I can ascertain, when the sail was furled, the sheet and its pendant was temporarily attached further inboard along the yard ?

 

Any help would really be appreciated.

 

Pete

 

MSW sheet.jpg

MSW sheet.jpg

Edited by piratepete007
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When furled, The Clew would draw that whole corner inboard and up against the Spritsail Yard, taking  the Sheet with it. Now you have a lead along the Bowsprit, at least as far as it can go back to the deck, depending on where the Sheets belay. With the sail furled the only concern would be to have the Sheet out of the way and out of the water. I could imagine the crew hitching the Sheet onto the Bowsprit at one or two places to keep it out of their way as they go out on the headrig.

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As always Frankie, your comments are so helpful. When building a model ship without sails, the sheet of the spritsail is a line that would  be included so logically/ maybe it would be belayed to the yard arm and it (and the pendant) would be belayed along the yard ? Without the sail, it becomes problematic as to where that lead is shown ?

 

Pete

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Here is a two part answer. 

The lead of the spritsail sheet varied by country and by date.  Some, at the middle of the century had very short or no pendants.  The standing part of the sheet is made fast somewhere near the fore shrouds and the hauling part goes inboard abaft the fore rigging.  Towards the end of the century the English, the Danish, and the Dutch took to using very long pendants that came well aft, sometimes abaft the fore channel. The pendant passed trough a bullseye or thimble either affixed to the fore channel or hanging from the fore most shroud.  This would answer your last point as to how to keep the sheet from dragging in the water.

 

As you can see in your diagram the spritsail sheet block is unusual.  It has a rim or collar around the top and the strop is fitted in a particular way.  The ends of the strop are put through holes in the rim so that the block lies in the bight and the two ends go to the clew of the sail forming the pendant.  The two legs of the strop were twisted together into a sort of cable laid arrangement and the ends were formed into a spritsail sheet knot which goes through the clew of the sail.  The spritsail sheet knot is a special form of wall and crown knot made from all six strands of the two legs of the strop instead of the usual three strand wall and crown.

 

Probably more info than you needed, but interesting anyway.

 

Regards,

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