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Main Preventer Stay - Royal Navy Brig of War

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I am looking specifically at an attempted historically accurate Royal Navy brig, circa 1783, which means no main yard or square main course; just a cross jack and a fore-and-aft main staystail.  All of the references I have found except one say or show that the main preventer/spring stay goes below the main stay.  Marquardt states it can be above or below.  If the main preventer stay is below the main stay, it means (1) that when I hang my main staysail it must be to one side of the preventer stay, limiting its utility without rehanging, unless I put it on its own stay, and (2) any hanging tackles used to move boats, etc, that hang from the main stay will rub into the preventer stay.  Petreus' book about the Cruizer Class Brig Irene shows this conventional rigging but she is a bigger ship at a later time period with a square main course and no fore-and-aft main staysail.


Why is the main preventer stay rigged below the main stay? 


Should I just rely on the short blip in Marquardt and put it below on my period rig?


TYVM in advance.

Edited by Jeffrey Modell
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