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I've seen some model ships on which the capstan bars have been inserted into the capstan. Usually this just creates (in my view) a star-shaped obstruction on the deck, but I suppose to some eyes it can look shipshape and workmanlike.
I've seen far more capstans without the bars.
I don't think I've ever seen a model on which there's a bundle of capstan bars stowed in the vicinity of the capstan, ready to be deployed when necessary.


How , and where, in a real ship, would the bars be stowed when not actually required for use?

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Hi Brian

I would think that as the bars would only be needed when raising anchor or possibly some other very heavy operation that would need the pulling ability of a capstan, in other words very infrequently, they would be stowed below well out of the way. I always thought it was the same for gunnery tools.

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Some ships stored the bars vertically in a rack around the base of the main or foremast. Merchant ships could have racks along their bulwarks. Warships would

to much armament related equipment and gear along the bulwarks.

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Hi Brian,


Here's a photo I took on the Cutty Sark in the mid 80's showing the starboard head at the break of the forecastle and the capstan bars stowed in a rack on it's after side. The port head at that time had a pump on its after side.


On Longridges model in his book (1933) he shows the capstan bars in the same place but 3 on each of the port and starboard heads which was based on his inspection of the ship at that time.


I imagine loose equipment like these would move around the ship over its life depending on its role and equipment at the time and of course the whim of the various Captains.




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