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I wonder if someone has some answers about boarding rigging, Nelson era. All info welcome but my interest is focussed on one of HM schooners.

 

1 - Was boarding netting stowed on deck? If so, what did it look like?

2 - Were there standard sizes and materials? 

 

Concerning 1 above, in my case there were only four of the potential 14 guns mounted so there would have been more room for storage around the deck, if such a thing was permissable.

Thanks,

Bruce

 

 

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Good Morning Bruce;

 

I am not expert in this particular field, but I believe that boarding nettings were obsolete by Nelson's era. They may have prevented an attack on a ship by boarders from another vessel, but this worked both ways, as they also prevented the ship's own crew from boarding another themselves. 

 

All the best,

 

Mark P

 

 

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Thanks Bruce; 

 

I had never heard of that before. They were normally hoisted up and outwards to a block on the yards, I believe; and left hanging in slack folds, which made them harder to cut. 

 

Shipman, I think you are referring more to nets spread across what was called the spar deck, which in the first half of the 17th century, and for some time before, was a light framework of timbers which formed a roof over the upper deck. It was unarmed (no cannon) and was used for soldiers and, as mentioned, to prevent falling debris hitting the crew. It was supported by rafters which spanned from side to side, and I believe that this is the origin of the later term rough-tree rail, deriving from rafter-rail especially as rafter was sometimes spelt raftre 

 

All the best,

 

Mark P

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Everything that you would want to know about boarding nets, you will find in William Gilkerson's two volumes of "Boarders Away". But they are rare, and as seen here, expensive, but well worth it. This is a good deal, considering:

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Gilkerson-BOARDERS-AWAY-Volumes-1-and-2-SIGNED-BY-AUTHOR/114141642314?hash=item1a935f3e4a:g:QxUAAOSwqqJeYom3

 

The price of just Volume 1 on amazon is insane!

 

https://www.amazon.com/Boarders-Away-Steel-Edged-Weapons-Polearms/dp/0917218507/ref=sr_1_7?dchild=1&keywords=gilkerson+BOARDERS+AWAY&qid=1592879666&sr=8-7

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7 hours ago, uss frolick said:

Everything that you would want to know about boarding nets...

These books are news to me, many thanks. I have looked for reviews and citations and they seem to be the go-to source for the subject. I have put them on that 'wish list' I keep in the drawer with my lottery tickets.

In the meantime, I am hoping for a bit of guidance to finalise the deck layout of the plans I am drawing. I don't want to speculate too much but if the nets were stored on the deck it would not be a surprise.

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3 minutes ago, dafi said:

What source does this information come from?

Eyewitness account of a midshipman in Euralus (later retired as Rear Admiral) Hercule Robinson. Also, although I do not have access at the moment, there is a mention in Pickle's logs of 'nets' without further details.

Pickle was active as a fighting ship as well as a messenger. She was involved in blockade duties and her boats were part of cutting out operations and raids, plus she had close encounters with gunboats and other small craft. I am open minded but am having trouble visualising the sailplan of Pickle supporting the nets shown in your illustration. I had imagined nets along the sides ready to foul the efforts of hostile small boats, but perhaps you are right. 

I suppose the basic question is if the nets were stored on deck what might this have looked like. I do not intend to model Pickle with her nets out.

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Thank you Bruce!

 

@druxey

It is published several times in our "standard" literature. 

https://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/102804.html

A view of the quarter deck and poop of HMS Venerable with explanatory ms.letter, with address on reverse

PAF7977 Medium includes watercolour.; Signed by artist.
Date made 1799
Artist/Maker Turner, Benjamin
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials pen & ink, brown
Measurements 204 mm x 332 mm
Parts: A view of the quarter deck and poop of HMS Venerable with explanatory ms.letter, with address on reverse (PAF7977)
 

 

Here is another one. The only hint I have is "Masefield". Does anybody have any clue about it´s origins??

 

566658237_SauveTeteNetzeMasefield.png.6237f2052394d503119f2054d70d03ef.png

 

And I also vaguely remember a contemporary drawing of a smaller ship - not much bigger than the pickles - with a sauve-tête netting in place. It was fastened different, more like a tent.

 

XXXDan

 

 

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I suppose combat situations change, but in close action, the lower fore and main lower sails wouldn't have been in use. At the short ranges of the day a ship would have just enough sail spread to provide enough headway for steerage. In that way, the nets wouldn't have been a hindrance.

I would expect someone at the NMM library could shed more light on this issue.

Oh, and I'm looking for a girl called ........... Annette.

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1 hour ago, shipman said:

in close action, the lower fore and main lower sails wouldn't have been in use. At the short ranges of the day a ship would have just enough sail spread to provide enough headway for steerage. In that way, the nets wouldn't have been a hindrance.

This is the way Dodd portrayed Pickle under the guidance of Lapenotiere, her captain:

image.thumb.png.545398210d52439d160f2e3f6a38b212.png

 

1 hour ago, shipman said:

Oh, and I'm looking for a girl called ........... Annette.

The naked woman rescued from the water at Trafalgar by Pickle's boats was from the burning French Achille. Her name was Jeanette: close enough?

;)

Bruce

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16 hours ago, uss frolick said:

This modern painting is fun!

Here is a more contemporary scene:

bhc0612.jpg

... in the NMM collection,

"British and American Gunboats in Action on Lake Borgne, 14 December 1814"

Date made: Early to mid 19th century by Hornbrook, Thomas Lyde
 

 

This painting shows how I imagine a schooner the size of Pickle would have rigged boarding nets (I suppose technically anti-boarding nets), but I have nothing to verify that. The nets illustrated are bulky and, if the ship faced a threat of boarding, would have been useless if not available quickly. Would it make sense for a modest craft like Pickle to stow them below decks?

I don't want to speculate, so will keep an open mind. Perhaps the answer is in Gilkerson's books.

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