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I'm contemplating Le Renard (AL) as my next build but am puzzled by one feature (or lack thereof). The anchor cables disappear into the hull at around deck level on the illustrations I've seen but there is no sign of a windlass or capstan on deck. As a cutter of around 68 tonnes would she have had a tween decks capstan? Crew seems to have been 60 so I guess that below decks space would have been at a premium with a rope locker and probably galley stove as well all situated at the fore end of the ship. 

Comments anyone?

 

Rick 

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I can't answer for certain but then this is AL we're talking about and they were never known for accuracy.  If the anchor lines come in on the weather deck, it's unlikely a capstan or windlass would be below deck to handle them.   There are bitts by the foremast but no place to put a capstan or windlass.  Given the size of the ship, it's possible that the anchor was pulled up by hand....  but take that with a grain of salt.

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I'm wondering if an arrangement something like this would have been fitted. https://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/1060511.html It allows the bowsprit to be drawn in above it whilst utilising the bowsprit supports to act as the mount for the pawl. The low access hatch to crew's quarters also clears the retracted bowsprit.

This illustration from the box shows that although the cable disappears into the hull there is ample room with some minor adjustments for a windlass and in fact the supports are there with what appears to be a squared beam rather than a drum as I'd expect.Le-Renard-22401-0006-artesania-latina--victoryshipmodels.com-.jpg.144833c91e66b59a52784981d3af9598.jpg

Rick

 

Edited by Rick01
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Thanks everyone - it confirms my feelings about the windlass. I'll head off to search more photos of the replica and work from your model Frankie plus whatever I find online.

As for moving the bowsprit - if a 1 metre pole is put in to the holes either side then a couple of crew get behind them and push I'd expect that it would slide reasonably well.

 

Rick 

 

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I have been researching the question of whether smaller ships had a windlass or capstan. In my case I am looking at Baltimore clippers and schooners.

 

Many types of smaller ships did not have a windlass or capstan. Several of the period (1800s) seamanship books describe the equipment and procedure.

 

The anchors weren't extremely heavy and could be hauled in with appropriate block and tackle arrangements. One end of the tackle was attached to something aft (ring bolt on the deck, bits, etc.). The other block had a hook with a messenger line attached. The messenger was lashed to the anchor cable and the cable was hauled in with the tackle. A second identical arrangement was set up parallel to the first. The two tackles were used alternately to pull in the cable.

 

The cable was typically stowed in a cable tier in the hold midships. Often the anchors were also hauled aboard and stowed under the deck midships. But I suspect this was only on naval ships and privateers. Merchant ships wouldn't want to give up cargo space to stow the anchors below decks.

 

A fishing boom was used to haul up the anchor to the railing, using another tackle attached at about the lower fore mast head - the same tackle used to bring aboard cargo.

 

From what I can gather the determining factor was weight of the anchors and amount of deck space available. Smaller ships under 200 tons and 80-100 feet length had relatively light anchors that could be manhandled with tackle. They also often had limited deck space forward. However, some had a windlass and some didn't, probably as a cost consideration or the preference of the Captain. Larger ships usually had a windlass or a capstan for handling larger anchors, and they had more deck space. There are plans for 100 foot schooners with neither windlass or capstan, and some with a capstan. Windlasses were often omitted from plans.

 

Contracts for construction of specific ships usually stated whether a capstan or windlass was included.

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4 hours ago, JerseyCity Frankie said:

Is this the illustration you’re referring to?

Not that one although that does illustrate the conundrum. Go to the page I tagged then click on 'Support de bout-dehors" this brings up a photo of the actual bowsprit support on the modern Renard. Just checked 70 odd cutter plans on National Maritime Museum from the relevant period and only found one that didn't show a windlass - it was a 43ft cutter captured on Lake Champlain so at that size and in fresh water I doubt the anchor(s) would need anything more that a few hands to pull them up!

 

Rick

Edited by Rick01
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