Jump to content

Rigging a Flying Gaff


Recommended Posts

Firstly excuse my lack of correct terminology.

I'm re-working my first model H M Cutter Mermaid and where the kit has a top sail all original documents indicate a flying Gaff. However I'm unable to find anything which shows clearly what rigging I should have on the mast and gaff to support this. I assume a block at the mast head to hoist it and then one foot of the sail would be controlled by a line directly to  point on the bulwarks, the other sail foot seems to be fixed in some manner to the tip of the gaff. Is this in fact through another block and again down to the bulwarks? I can't see that they'd lower the sail just to attach the gaff sail before flying it.

Hope this makes some sort of sense.

 

Rick   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

EDIT: we’re talking about a gaff Topsail, right?  I see a few days have gone by and nobody has answered. I feel your assessment is correct, three principal lines. A halyard to lift it to the Masthead at the top of the sail, a Sheet to haul the clew out to the end of the gaff, a tack to pull down the tack of the sail and later to haul the sail to the deck. A lead block or a sheav set into the Gaff for the Sheet, the line leads through this then back inboard to a lead block on the gaff jaws and then to the deck.

The tack opposes the halyard and this controls the shape of the sail, but nothing opposes the Sheet so hauling the Sheet tends to pull the Topsail away from the Masthead. The schooner I sail on overcomes this by having a dedicated jackstay, a bit of standing rigging that runs parallel to the mast from the bulwark to the Masthead. A shackle on the luff of the Topsail rides on this jackstay and this keeps the luff of the sail close to the Masthead and opposes the Sheet. Note that this is a flying gaff Topsail, there’s no such thing as a flying gaff.

Edited by JerseyCity Frankie

  

Quote

 

 Niagara USS Constitution 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do these photos help ?  It is a gaff rigged ice yacht, not a cutter,  but I think the rigging is similar if not the same.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps what you are looking for is:

 

A peak halliard - to hoist the outboard end of the gaff

A throat halliard- to hoist the jaws end of the gaff

Vangs - to control the peak of the gaff to port or starboard.

Brails - to control the sail

 

Be sure to sign up for an epic Nelson/Trafalgar project if you would like to see it made into a TV series  http://trafalgar.tv

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, wefalck said:

Shouldn‘t a Late 18th Century Cutter (this is, I assume, what HMS MERMAID is) have a four–siede gaff–topsail ? It would  be suspended from a short yard.

a3178004r.jpg.df5c6bab2b6c3cd33a834b6877d9540a.jpg

 

Yes - The commander has shown this fairly clearly in a number of sketches of her under sail.  With the help here I can now envisage how it's rigged but there's one last question. I understand the sheet and it's use but when the sail is not hoist what is done with the end that would be attached to the sail. It has to come back to deck level so does it come down to a belaying pin/cleat on the bulwarks or back to a cleat on the mast below the boom jaws?  I'd guess the latter so that it doesn't restrict the movement of the main sail.

Thanks for the help so far everyone.

 

Rick

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know on the schooner I sail on, only the halyard remains run when no Topsail is set. Both ends of the halyard are on deck with the hauling end on a designated pin and the working end simply tied to the sheer pole. We leave the Sheet off the rig unless we know we’re setting the Topsail, in which case we run the Sheet through its blocks while still at the dock. When the Sheet is run both ends are on two pins on the boom jaw itself on the Starboard side.

the tack remains with the sail, gasket coiled. When the time comes to set the sail, the furled sail is brought on deck and the Sheet and halyard are being on. We point up into the wind so the sail can be hauled up without fouling on anything and when in place we belay the halyard and Sheet and sweat the tack which then goes on one of those two pins on the boom jaw.

 

in this arrangment the tack is on the Starboard side and stays on that side, even when the schooner changes tacks. Some vessels have two tack lines on the sail, one on each side, and a line who’s name I don’t remember who’s only job is to raise the tack up so the opposing tack can pull up and over the falls of the Peak Halyard and thus set the sail on the other tack.

Edited by JerseyCity Frankie

  

Quote

 

 Niagara USS Constitution 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...