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Hi MSW

i have a question about whether it would be correct to use a wooden shear pole at the base of the shrouds on my 1797 HMS Leopard. I have seen pics with wood and just a rope for the first ratline.   Monfeld’s book Historic Ship Models shows a picture of one page 285 but it says 19th century in the caption. The futtock staves seem to be rope and not wood in the brief text on page 282. Can these be wood if the shear pole is wood?

 

just trying to make it as right as my talents will allow. 
 

Tom

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Hi Tom,

 

While I personally can't give a definitive answer to your question, I would just say to you what I find I have to say to myself frequently while trying to find accurate information about these 50 gun ships ~~~ and that is, there is a lack of complete information on quite a few aspects of the build features of these ships and for some things I have to 'make it up as I go along'.  That doesn't mean that I just do any old thing! . . . but I find I have to adapt features from other ships from the same time period.  I tried googling for the date of the introduction of sheer poles but google didn't know.

I would just say "do what you feel you want to in the absence of firm evidence one way or the other."

 

Here's a photo of a model of Leopard showing sheer poles on the foremast shrouds -- but I'm guessing that modeller made their own conscious decision about whether or not to include them.  (This modeller fitted sheer poles on all masts.)

1731386176_Billboard.jpg.e9005dcfaf37544c0821d4bde3709d60.jpg

 

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Tom

According to Lees Masting and Rigging (page 42) the sheer pole was to prevent twisting of the shrouds and were commonly found in the 19th century.   He does not say whether they were used or not earlier so it may be appropriate for Leopard.  He does say that they were made of  2 inch diameter iron rod.  

Allan

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Thank you everyone,

I did go with the sheer poles for two reasons.  First, as everybody mentioned, there is no definitive answer so go with what you think.  Secondly and probably most important,  I had already installed 4 of them before I started reading about them.  🙂 Previously, I was just looking at other models and mechanically thought it just made sense to have them.  They are now part of my model.

Thanks again for checking me.

Tom

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