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Deadeye shape on Mayflower


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I am working on building Model Shipway's "Mayflower" and have lately been obsessing about the correct shape for her deadeyes.    William A. Baker, writing in 1958, says in "The New Mayflower" (pp. 110-111) that they have "a slight melon-seed shape, flat sides, and are quite thin".   He bases this on period deadeyes recovered in Sweden and his description matches what I see in photos of Wasa.    

 

In contrast to Baker,  Brian Lavery says in the AOS "The Colonial Merchantman Susan Constant 1605"  that "the deadeye itself should presumably be round, as heart shaped deadeyes had gone out of use by that time."   He goes on to say that the face was "quite rounded".    He does not cite a specific authority at that point in the book but earlier he lists R.C. Anderson's "The Rigging of Ships in the Days of the Spritsail Topmast" as a reference and Anderson supports the round deadeye (p. 93 of his 1st edition).   Anderson also talks about Dutch deadeyes of the same period and I don't see anywhere that he says they differed from English design.  (I'm interested in the answer to this question for 17th Century Dutch ships, too.)

 

So, is there a settled opinion now on what's right for Mayflower and for the first 1/2 of the 17th century in general?

 

I searched on MSW to see if this was a topic that had previously been thrashed out but didn't find that it had been.

 

Bob

Bob

current build 

Dutch 17th Century Pinas - Kolderstok - Scale 1:50 - Cross-Section

upcoming builds                               past builds

Statenjacht - Kolderstok - 1:50                                         USS Peary (DD 226) - Tehnoart Ltd - 1:96 (gallery)

Fluytschip - Kolderstok - 1:72                                            USS DeHaven (DD 727) - Tehnoart Ltd - 1:192

back on the shelf                                                              USS Robert E. Peary (FF 1073) - 1:250

Mayflower - Model Shipways - 1:76.8   

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Thanks, that's the direction I'm leaning, too:   Wasa's deadeyes and the other Swedish example Baker referred to provide solid (literally) support for the choice.

Bob

current build 

Dutch 17th Century Pinas - Kolderstok - Scale 1:50 - Cross-Section

upcoming builds                               past builds

Statenjacht - Kolderstok - 1:50                                         USS Peary (DD 226) - Tehnoart Ltd - 1:96 (gallery)

Fluytschip - Kolderstok - 1:72                                            USS DeHaven (DD 727) - Tehnoart Ltd - 1:192

back on the shelf                                                              USS Robert E. Peary (FF 1073) - 1:250

Mayflower - Model Shipways - 1:76.8   

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Keep in mind also that the Mayflower wasn't a new ship in 1620 - the first mention of her is in 1609 - she was what the pilgrims could afford - the main (deck?) beam broke in a storm on the trip over and had to be supported by a "great scrue" - (several accounts interpret this as the screw of a printing press, while others claim it was a "jackscrew" intended for use in the construction of houses).

 

Steven

Edited by Louie da fly
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