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Yard height on 18th century Cutter


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How does one decide at what heights the various (spreading, crossjack, topsail & topgallant) yards are hoisted with sails set. I have seen illustrations of course, but no real guides. What is the masthead length? And I get the impression that the spreading yard was quite a bit below the hounds. Just for the record I am attempting to reconstruct the sail plan of the sloops built for Lake Champlain in 1776. There is an interesting plan at NMM with spar dimensions.

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The masthead length is the distance from the trestle trees to the cap.  The position of the futtock stave (where the futtock shrouds attach to the shrouds) should be the same distance below the top as the masthead extends above.  The height of the yard should be approximately the same level of the futtock stave, which will put it at the narrowest point of the lower rigging.

 

Regards,

 

 

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Not sure about cutter rigs.  But I thought I would give you a general rule of thumb for a square yard.

 

The futtock stave is not a yard.  It is a piece of wood that is seized across the gang of shrouds that becomes the attachment point for the futtock shrouds and the catharpins.

 

Different countries tended to carry their yards higher or lower.  It also depends on what time period we are talking about.

 

If you want to maximize the extent to which the yards are able to be braced around then you would mount them at or near the narrowest point athwartships of the shrouds.

The catharpins assisted in this by swifting in the shrouds a bit more.

 

Regards, 

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Yes I saw that drawing a couple of years ago. I even have it on my computer but had completely forgotten it was there. Thanks, It is of course Danish, but the proportions of the rig are very similar to those of an English cutter. The only real difference is on the main sail. I have never seen a painting etc that shows the sail hooked to both the spreading yard and the smaller crossjack. Makes for a unique shape. The mainsail fills the huge roach on the topsail. You gotta wonder why they just didn't reduce the roach, lace the mainsail to the"spreading yard, throw the little crossjack over the side and call it a day

.

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Hi Michael,

Actually, the cutter is English, purchased by the Danes. Since starting this thread ...

 

... I have narrowed things down a bit more. There are a couple of files which I believe will help once I can return to The National Archives (I don't have the guts at the moment).

 

HTH

Bruce

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