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Which Rigging book is best?


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I am almost to the point of rigging the Cutty Sark. Unfortunately my references on the rigging are very lacking. So my question is which book would be more helpful. I have already purchased "The Art of Rigging". Anyway which book would help the most in aiding my rigging. 

 

"The Rigging of Ships" by R.C. Anderson,  or

 

"Rigging Period Ship Models" by Lennarth Peterson.

 

I also own the two volume The Cutty Sark the Last of the Famous Tea Clippers by Longridge. However this did not come with the inserts. Thanks in the advance for any help or any suggestions on other books.

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Since this is not a contest, it may be more helpful to seek excellence instead of comparisons

 

The NRJ reprinted a log series

LE COMTE: PRAKTIKALE ZEEVAARTKUNDE PT. 1
EDSON,MERRITT
NAUTICAL RESEARCH JOURNAL
1974
20
170-182  
MASTING RIGGING 19TH DUTCH

 

It is at least 19 parts long

The CD is for sale here,

 

Underhill provides a lot of detail for the hybrid steel and fiber masted and rigged ships

 


SAILING SHIP RIGS AND RIGGING  1938                              
UNDERHILL,HAROLD A                                               
BROWN,SON & FERGISON                                                  
1969
MASTING AND RIGGING      
                                                                                                                                                                                                             

MASTING AND RIGGING THE CLIPPER SHIP AND OCEAN CARRIER  1946     
UNDERHILL,HAROLD A                                               
BROWN, SON & FERGISON                                                 
1969
MASTING AND RIGGING      
                                                                                                                                                                                                             

PLANK ON FRAME MODELS  VOL.1  1958                               
UNDERHILL,HAROLD A                                              
BROWN, SON & FERGISON                                                 
1971
SHIP MODELING            


PLANK ON FRAME MODELS  VOL.2  1958                               
UNDERHILL,HAROLD A                                               
BROWN, SON & FERGISON                                                 
1971
SHIP MODELING                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

 

 

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2 hours ago, JerseyCity Frankie said:

....and since the topic has come up again I’ll add my usual warning not to use Lennarth Petersn for serious study. His illustrations are very good and much of what he covers is valid but in his book Rigging Period For and Aft Craft he goes off the rails into Stupid Town, passing fiction off as fact to who knows how many unsuspecting ship model builders? In my view he undercut his entire reputation with the publication of that deeply flawed book.

Hello JerseyCity Frankie,

Well that got my attention. I was planning on using the book as a guide in my first-ever rigging exercise. Would you mind elaborating? Are all the subjects in the book wrongly described or is it one in particular?

Thanks,

Bruce

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Frankie might have more to say, but the problems arise from the subjects Petersn chose for his reference.  He claims he studied contemporary models and draws them as he found them. Some of his details are just wrong regarding how a particular line leads from here to there, on a real ship.  This may ( probably ) be because the model in question was /is in error.  There is no reason to doubt that Petersn accurately documented what he observed.

 

I was oblivious to this until Frankie pointed it out, but I would have to dig to find an example, which I might do later.

 

Personally, I like both of his books, but now know not to accept them as being accurate without a lot of double checking.

Edited by Gregory
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2 hours ago, JerseyCity Frankie said:

... pure nonsense ...

I don't want to put you on the spot (well, maybe a little...) but the first subject in the Petersson book is the only one that affects me: it is "The British Naval Cutter", based on a model in the Science Museum. Is this one of the 'pure nonsense' items? Will I regret using his instructions?

 

Thanks, just trying to get it right and glad I found this pool of knowledge.

 

Bruce

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Basically he takes existing contemporary models and just draws his diagrams from them as the models are rigged.  He doesnt stray from the few models he has chosen.   There may be many errors on those models or at least "modeler's conventions" shown on the model are redrawn faithfully.  So rather than base the rigging from these few contemporary models as fact.....you would be better off using in some cases....lees masting and rigging for English warships. 

 

But you cant go wrong with the Underhill stuff.  That is what I would get. 

 

For the clippers....I think there was a book by Longridge on building his model of the cutty sark.....I have no idea how accurate

 

also see .....

Running Her Easting Down: A documentary of the development and history of the British tea clippers, culminating with the building of the Cutty Sark by william baker.

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The most fragile part of a ship model is obviously its rigging.  Before copying the rigging of a model (either on your own model or in print) it makes sense to learn something about the model being copied.  Has the model been rerigged, or restored?  If so who rerigged it?  When was it done? What sources were used? In the absence of such information, what evidence do you have that the rigging is original?  If you are committing your conclusions to writing, you should document your evidence.  In his book Peterson failed to do this so there is no way to judge the accuracy of the models that he copied.

 

Even if the rigging of the models in the museum is original, although they are housed in a Swedish museum, none are Swedish regional watercraft.  How knowledgeable was the model maker about the details of three foreign vessels?

 

Unfortunately, Lee’s book is not useful for rigging small fore and aft vessels.  For cutters and sloops Steel’s Masting and Rigging supplemented with Tom Cunliffe’s Hand Reef and Steer is a better choice.  The book on period American rigging practices has not been written.

Roger

Edited by Roger Pellett
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2 hours ago, bruce d said:

 

I don't want to put you on the spot (well, maybe a little...) but the first subject in the Petersson book is the only one that affects me: it is "The British Naval Cutter", based on a model in the Science Museum. Is this one of the 'pure nonsense' items? Will I regret using his instructions?

 

Thanks, just trying to get it right and glad I found this pool of knowledge.

 

Bruce

I don't want to spend too much time bashing the book, but hope to address questions that have been asked..

 

Frankie may want to add more, but here is my $ .02 on the cutter.  ( ...which is a favorite subject of mine for modeling, because of it's simplicity.)

 

Being a relatively simple rig, it is hard to mess up, but one should be careful with kit plans, because they tend to oversimplify, which can be seen when you compare them to more detailed resources.  Petersson apparently documented what he found on one model without comparing to other sources.

 

Here are two items I question from the book, and maybe someone else can correct me if I am wrong.

 

BackStay.jpg.94e42cc6bfe93cd69f75bb971861f5ac.jpg

 

I don't understand the purpose of the tackle circled in red.  It appears redundant if not totally unnecessary .  It could conceivably be used to tension the back stay while setting up the other tackle that is seen, but I can't find this set-up anywhere else.  It just jumped out at me when I was doing research for a couple of kits I am looking at.  I don't see it in the contemporary model found here: 

There are several other cutter models in the Gallery, and I don't see that tackle on any of them.

....Or in the plans for Chuck's Cheerful, that can be found here: Chapter 14..  Chuck is not the final word, but I know he researched his Cheerful very thoroughly, and I would feel comfortable rigging any similar cutter with his plans. 

 

Here's No. 2:

Lift.jpg.166c3819cb1a616d51c09a2e1558647c.jpg

 

What's up with those fiddle blocks? There are not any lines going through the lower sheave.  Regardless, I don't think you will find such blocks as part of a yard lift tackle on any ship.

 

Some may say these are no big deal, but it certainly disqualifies this book as a go-to, much less a final source for accurate information on a similar boat.

 

As I mentioned, these are two problems that jumped out at me as I compared it to other sources.

I don't want to spend a lot of my time, analyzing this book for other errors, but I must assume they are there, and will double check anything I find myself looking at for future reference.

 

Of course, someone more knowledgeable than me, might look at what I have posted and inform me about how wrong I am.

I will certainly welcome any criticism.

 

Gregory

 

 

 

Edited by Gregory
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Not to question the (obviously correct) observations above, I want to say something in response.

We tend to read Peterson as an historical guide to rigging, in line with others mentioned above: Lees, Biddlecom, Anderson Underhill and a large number of contempory literature on rigging or (near) academic studies into this field.

 

Peterson himself does state other intentions of his book: 

"As a professional illustrator and an amatuer modelmaker I have, along with many others, often found it so difficult to find detailed information about ships [..]. This is particularly true when it comes to the rigging of ships, particularly the rigs of smaller craft."

"My first book was intended to help modellers to understand  a three masted ship rig" [..]

"This [second] book is not intended to be an academic contribution to the field of maritime historical research; as a visual study based solely on three models it is rather intended as an accessible guide for the enthousiast and model shipwright" [..] "I hope that the illustrations will be an inspiration to other modelmakers"

 

All quotes [with minor left outs] from the introduction of his second book on fore-and-aft craft. Peterson himself clearly states the limited historical reliability of his drawings, and also states that an historical study was not his intention. Complaining that his work does not match the historical standards sounds to me as as someone eating dinner at my table  complaining that it is not French haute cuisine :)

 

Jan

 

 

 

 

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Nice comparison Jan, but what if you ask me to pay for your diner. Is it allowed to file a complaint about the quality of the food in that case?

I remember I reviewed a book by Peterson for the Tijdschrift voor Zeegeschiedenis and made a remark about the trustworthyness of his (beautiful) illustrations. I was working on three cutters in the museum and all three had different details in the rig. Peterson added a fourth version...

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I'm pretty much an amateur at this, but in case it helps I thought that Peterssen had added a simple loading tackle to the backstays based on the model he saw in the Science Museum even though it was not often seen in other contemporary models. You can see this in my Sherbourne log near the very bottom of the posting at

 

In relation to the fiddle blocks on the yard, I am not clear about your puzzle, but if it relates to the yard ties I had some discussion about this at

 

I think that Peterssen sometimes just gave a quick outline (as he did for the Burton pendants on a cutter) rather than filling in all the lines just so that you can see the main functionality of a section of rigging. You can also see the full discussion of the Burton pendant problem at

 

I personally found Peterssen's book very good from the point of view of explaining rigging. For the details you really need to go to Marquardt and Steel as well as others already mentioned.

 

I hope that helps

 

Tony

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3 hours ago, amateur said:

Not to question the (obviously correct) observations above, I want to say something in response.

We tend to read Peterson as an historical guide to rigging, in line with others mentioned above: Lees, Biddlecom, Anderson Underhill and a large number of contempory literature on rigging or (near) academic studies into this field.

 

Peterson himself does state other intentions of his book: 

"As a professional illustrator and an amatuer modelmaker I have, along with many others, often found it so difficult to find detailed information about ships [..]. This is particularly true when it comes to the rigging of ships, particularly the rigs of smaller craft."

"My first book was intended to help modellers to understand  a three masted ship rig" [..]

"This [second] book is not intended to be an academic contribution to the field of maritime historical research; as a visual study based solely on three models it is rather intended as an accessible guide for the enthousiast and model shipwright" [..] "I hope that the illustrations will be an inspiration to other modelmakers"

 

All quotes [with minor left outs] from the introduction of his second book on fore-and-aft craft. Peterson himself clearly states the limited historical reliability of his drawings, and also states that an historical study was not his intention. Complaining that his work does not match the historical standards sounds to me as as someone eating dinner at my table  complaining that it is not French haute cuisine :)

 

Jan

 

 

 

 

I've pointed out more than once that Petterson makes no claims about technical accuracy, and that he is documenting specific models.

 

The objections here, come from discussions where someone asks for rigging references and Petterson gets thrown in with  with Lees, and etc..

The distinction is important.

 

I love Petterson's books.  Particularly the first one.  I go to them all the time.  They are very good for showing how 99% of the lines run..  Particularly on the three mast ship..

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