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Peter Cane

A SMALL fully rigged sailing ship restoration project by Peter Cane

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I work as a volunteer for three days a week and have been entrusted to restore an old sailing ship.

I feel somewhat honoured and not lemoned.

It is about 12" loa.

It must be about 60 years old.

It belongs to a widow.

Her late husband built it.

It gives me plesure to rekindle what he went through.

A point of note is how he has set the yard arms in pairs?

Question...

Is this normal without sails or a mistake?

I want to rekindle it as built but here lies a potential problem.

When it is fully restored and mounted in a glass case that will be made by us, ....if an experienced " boat waller" happens to scrutenise it and sees that I have replicated the " mistake"????

Then I will have egg on my face!.

So.....

Please advise me how to set the yard arms.

My gut feeling is to space them out as normally.

Pete

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I would be interested to see how you get on, some friends of ours wants a model ship to display and looking around the old junk shops to find one that needs a lot of loving so its cheap to buy. Then I said I'd help get it into a half decent state--

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Does this answer your question - sailing ships based just down the road from me in Charlestown Cornwall -

Yards are often "paired" usually lower one fixed and the upper to be hoist to set sail. 

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Thiss second picture is as this is being done

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Edited by SpyGlass

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As ships grew larger sails, particularly topsails became hard to handle.  Also, towards the end of the sailing ship era when steamships began to take away cargo and depress freight rates there was increased pressure to sail with smaller crews.

 

The solution was to split sails into two smaller sections that were easier to handle.  At first this was done with topsails and later topgallants.  Each section required its own yard, so the top mast now had an upper and lower topsail yard.  Likewise for the topgallant mast.

 

Google some pictures of late Nineteenth sailing ships and you will see what I mean.

 

Roger

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Split topsails and topgallant sails appeared in the mid 1850's.  As has been said, this arrangement made the upper sails easier to handle and obviated the need to reef the upper sails.  The upper sail of each 'pair' was taken in by the simple expedient of lowering the yard down onto the lower yard.

 

As regards the accuracy of the model that you're restoring, unless the owner has specifically asked for errors to be corrected, then I think the best course of action is to restore it 'warts and all'.

 

John

 

PS Where do you volunteer?

 

John

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6 hours ago, Jim Lad said:

Split topsails and topgallant sails appeared in the mid 1850's.  As has been said, this arrangement made the upper sails easier to handle and obviated the need to reef the upper sails.  The upper sail of each 'pair' was taken in by the simple expedient of lowering the yard down onto the lower yard.

 

As regards the accuracy of the model that you're restoring, unless the owner has specifically asked for errors to be corrected, then I think the best course of action is to restore it 'warts and all'.

 

John

 

PS Where do you volunteer?

 

John

It seems like whoever made it had a knowledge of sailing ships.

I have not yet seen one with every yard paired.

I believe you are right to say that I should  restore it as built.

So that is the route I shall take.

I work at the tradesmans guild at Old Petrie Town.

Pete

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This is what I have done so far.

I am restoring it as it was so there are warts!!!

Makes it easier for me as well as I also have them.

Funny...when I do stuff like this I am always imagining the guy that built it and the joy it will bring.

( well hopefully)

I am using Seccotine glue I had sent to Oz from London.

I was explaining about the properties of this fine glue to a work colleage who was an industrial chemist.

He was so intrigued he is going to do a write up ( thesis) about it!....wow!!!

Isnt that nice?

For anyone interested he has allowed me to publicise it on this forum when he is finished.

Seccotine is a fish based glue that has a longer setting time than other glues which helps immensely ( I imagine) with rigging a model ship.

Another smarty on learning it is fish glue asked where the fish were???... bit quick for me!

Pete

 

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Edited by Peter Cane

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Thank you.

I will relay your interest.

I do not quite know the sequence of sewing in the rat lines on the shrouds.

Is this done with a needle and cotton with one long length and the surpluses snipped off after the knots are glued?

Any help on this will be much appreciated.

Pete

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I had no idea that Seccotine was still available. I remember it (and its distinctive odour!) from my childhood modelling days.

 

Ratlines are usually tied using clove hitches, but at such a small scale your suggestion will look much neater and be a bit quicker! Those shortbread cookies will give you the energy for the job.

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5 hours ago, druxey said:

I had no idea that Seccotine was still available. I remember it (and its distinctive odour!) from my childhood modelling days.

 

Ratlines are usually tied using clove hitches, but at such a small scale your suggestion will look much neater and be a bit quicker! Those shortbread cookies will give you the energy for the job.

Hi.

Yes Seccotine no longer comes in the lead white and blue tube but in a small glass bottle.

I think I am accurate in saying that there is only one place now in the whole world that can supply it.

Cornellisen in London.

Its reasonably priced at about £8 a jar which goes a long way.

If you are in UK postage is doable but here in Oz we take a caning every time!!

The shortbreads are for my work mates where I do volunteer work.

An Englishman rarely shares his shortbreads.

But I am a kind old fella ha ha.

Pete

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