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captain_hook

Running rigging and backstays

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Hello,

 

I‘m working on an armed Virginia sloop (1-mast cutter-like rig) and wonder if the running rigging (especially gaff throat halliard and gaff peak halliard) run inside the backstays or outside. I mean the segment that goes down to the tackles (sorry, I‘m limited to school english - we didn‘t discuss much about age of sail in german school). My intuition says yes but I have done it otherwise - it just didn‘t look right. Thank god I have used hooks to attach the blocks.

 

Best regards,

Andreas 

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8C6C9867-B51E-497D-90C6-E992F68E1DA3.jpeg

Edited by captain_hook

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To my eye the problem is you’re backstays and how you’ve rigged them. The decision to of form  one eye by placing a seizing under and aft of the Masthead creates a situation where the gaff can not move from side to side inside the narrow space the backstays create. In my view your backstays need to have individual eyes or a cut splice and in this way they will run from Port and Starboard at the bolster. Rigged that way you’ll have plenty of room to run your halyards AND the Mainsail can be boomed out.

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I agree with JC Frankie...you've limited the boom's/gaff's latitude by the location of your backstays.  They need to be brought further forward or relocated all together to free up the swing for the boom/gaff.

 

Rob

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I agree too, unfortunately the backstays are not right this way 😞 AND they come way later, do the shrouds before 🙂

 

 

image.png

 

 

Source: Chucks Cherful Plan

 

cheers

 

Dirk

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Thank you for the explanation. I agree that the gaff has almost no space to move. So the rigging plan of the kit is wrong in this case? I made 2 photos of the rigging plan segments showing the backstays, I‘ve done them like shown on the plan.  

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3A7373DE-6CA8-4F0E-9E32-7160892F7870.jpeg

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The backstays are what's called running backstays. If you look at the photo you will see a block on the backstay on each side,one on the port side and one on the starboard side. When in use the weather side is kept taught and the one on the lee side is slacked off. On a down wind run the lee side is unhooked from the deck eye bolt and run forward to the mast.

 I hope this explanation clears up your rigging quandry.

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Mmmm .. in the book "Modelling an Armed Virginia Sloop of 1768" I found this image with indeed the backstay under the shrouds .. I still think this is wrong but maybe I am wrong ...

 

image.png

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Thank you, Everest and Dubz. I used the C. Feldman book for reference and it seems Model Expo also did because they refer more than once in their manual to the model build by Feldman. AFAIK Feldman used plans from the Smithsonian Institution and personal research as reference so I assume his rigging scheme is based at least on historical probability. 

 

In the Feldman book the backstays are also mentioned as „running backstays“ and their function maybe differ from the cutter-rig (i.e. cheerful), where backstays are more permanently fixed for mast stability. Otherwise the AVS-rig includes topmast-backstays which are missing in the cutter-rig (if I remember that correctly). 

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It doesn't make sense to me (even it is written in a book). With the two Smithsonian models (with the pictures you can find) it's not really visible either. Just because "running backstays" may not always be driven it is "strange" if they are "at the bottom". In the end a sloop rig is very similar to a cutter rig. And the arrangement of the standing rig is basically always the same. Topmast backstays were only used when needed. I wouldn't do it that way. Just my 2 cent. 🙂 

 

 

Dirk

 

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20 hours ago, Everest said:

The backstays are what's called running backstays. If you look at the photo you will see a block on the backstay on each side,one on the port side and one on the starboard side. When in use the weather side is kept taught and the one on the lee side is slacked off. On a down wind run the lee side is unhooked from the deck eye bolt and run forward to the mast.

 I hope this explanation clears up your rigging quandry.

Such backstays are always "running" (i.e. cast off and run forward on the leeward side, set up on the windward side.) This is so regardless of how they might be attached at the hounds (top.) It doesn't matter whether there's room for the gaff throat to swing. Even if they were rigged at the hounds to permit the gaff boom's swing, the lower end of the backstay on the leeward side must be cast off so the main boom (bottom) is clear to run outboard of the leeward backstay. Many a mast has been lost when an uncontrolled gybe caused the boom to fetch up hard against the set up leeward backstay!

 

This does pose a bit of a dilemma for modelers deciding how to present backstays on a model when the booms are set amidships. Running backstays are a hybrid: "standing" rigging that "runs." A fore and aft rigged vessel will never have both running backs set up at the same time under sail. The only time they would be set up simultaneously might be when she was not under sail with the main boom sheeted amidships, as in port, and then only to prevent chafe or to keep the loose backstays from slatting about aloft.  If a model depicts only standing rigging, including the running backs with both set up, it presents a neatly symmetrical schematic appearance but it isn't as the vessel would have looked in actual use. Having both running backstays set up in a model intended to depict the vessel as she appeared in service is a faux pas frequently seen, as is the same error with respect to port and starboard topping lifts similarly simultaneously set up taut.

Edited by Bob Cleek

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HA running backstays!! I got my training in sail on a vessel rigged just like that - Cutter rigged.

Modern running backstays are all about bending the mast  to efficient  shape.

 

In earlier days it was to stop the ****  thing going over board !

Pulley set to Pelican hooks to deck eyes.

 When you went on to a new tack you took up on the windward one - and slacked off the leeward - actually on the vessel I was on  -the leeward stay was moved to a deck ring somewhat more forrad  .  Got quite exciting in a cold night blow !

Here is a terrible picture of Equinoxe I posted to Mike Motts log but you can  just make out the backstay fixed much further forrad that you would think it would be

backstays

 Just came across this set of pics though  which show backstays set on windward and loose to leeward

Backstays in action

Edited by SpyGlass

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26 minutes ago, Gregory said:

Imagine the number of people who have followed those AVS plans and never questioned them...

 

...

Probably about the same number of people who built to those plans and never sailed a boat with running backstays! :D

 

There's lots of errors like that in ship models, and particularly in kit models. When one has thought through how the vessel they're modeling was actually sailed... what the rigging does, rigging a model becomes far easier and these sorts of errors much easier to notice. If the modeler gets into the mindset of a seaman on the vessel that's being modeled, a lot of questions answer themselves. Trust me, nobody ever hung an anchor buoy and its pendant fifteen feet up the ratlines on the fore shrouds of an Eighteenth Century ship of the line. Guaranteed! :D (There's  well documented Admiralty model that has it hanging up there, probably the result of some long-ago mistaken restoration, and the kits of that model have had it  that way ever since. The same for the model of a ship's launch in the NMM that has a mainsheet horse which runs beneath it's tiller. That's the way the "model of the model" has it, too, but, hey... who would rig a launch so you had to pull the tiller out of the rudderhead, thereby losing all control of the rudder, every time you tacked? :D )

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Thanks for this discussion. I am familiar with running backstays, but I wasn't sure how the leeward stay was handled.

 

For what it is worth, another thread discussed the main mast running forestays on a two masted schooner - they run from the main top forward to the deck outboard the fore mast. In some photos they were not disconnected from their normal deck fastening point, but were let out loose enough that the fore mast booms and sails just pushed them aside. Then when the ship tacked it was just a matter of hauling in the line on the windward side to make them taut, and letting out the stay on the leeward side.

 

There are photos of the Pride of Baltimore and La Recouvrance running this way. Another shows La Recouvrance entering port (under engine power) with the sails furled and both stays taut. I suspect this would be the normal configuration in port, just to keep the stays out of the way on deck.

 

I have also seen photos of La Recouvrance running with the wind and neither forestay taut, and apparently disconnected from the normal attachment point.

 

It is clear that handling these lines would keep some of the crew busy at sea. The thing that I was wondering about is where to fasten the running stay when it is disconnected to allow the booms to swing?

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Thank you all for the comments and inspiration. I thought about it and will redo the backstays. Since it will be a dockyard model and gaff and boom will be centered I don‘t have to worry about the question about historical correctness of symmetrie. But as it is a model it should be optical pleasant as well and doing two single backstay pendants which lean on the sides of the mars instead of one seized together below gives me the possibility to have more space for running rigging.

 

Thank you again. Now I have to continue with the shrouds first.

Edited by captain_hook

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