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I have a question about the shrouds on the top gallant masts. I noticed there are 3 shroud lines but no ratlines. If one were to lower the royal yard how do you get to it if need be? I would have thought ratlines would solve the problem but there are none shown on the plans.  Understand I don’t want to tie more ratlines but it does not make sense to me. 🤔. Below is a pic of the standing rigging for the main top gallant mast. The same is shown for the fore and Mizzen masts. 
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Any insight would be helpful. In the meantime I will look again in my limited library for any answers. 
 

Tom

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Hi Tom, 

 

I wish I could help more, and likely someone can but wanted to point out that it might be helpful to know what vessel we are talking about.  This might be an important detail - I dont know, just guessing.   

 

Is this from your Leopard project?

 

Good Luck!

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Justin, yes it is my current build the Leopard circa 1790.  I should have mentioned that in my question. 
 

Chris, thanks for clarifying and mentioning the book. Now of course I have to get a copy and read it in my spare time.  Maybe an audio book to listen to while I model. 😁
 

Popeye2sea, a rope ladder is something I did not think of.  It makes sense otherwise you would need to shimmy up the shroud line. Nothing I would prefer to do. 😜 Do you know of any pics showing one?  
 

Thank you all for the help. 
Tom

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Tom, even up to the end of commercial sailing ships in the early 20th century, it was common not to have ratlines on the uppermost mast sections. in his book 'The Last Grain Race' (describing a sailing ship voyage to Australia and back in the barque Moshulu in 1938/39), Eric Newby describes his fear at having to 'shin' up the last section of the mast to the cap.

 

John

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23 hours ago, michaelpsutton2 said:

It was common to lower the t'gallant yard before furling. This took some of the strain off of the upper top hamper immediately. When the yard was down on the cap, it could be reached while still standing on the trees. This was particularly true before royal became common.

Hi Michael

that makes sense.  My question was geared toward the royal yard on my Leopard build or any other ship of the time period for that matter. Knotted rope or rope ladder seems logical at this point. 
Tom

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The royal yard was often set flying that is without even braces. II do not believe I have ever seen a contemporary portrayal of ratlines, a rope ladder of knotted rope  for royals. But it may just be an omission ob the part of artisits and model makers. Somewhere in the "Naval Doc's relating to the quasi war with France I read about "the skysail yard" being brought to the deck with the sail furled on the yard. It is possible in earlier times the royal was treated the same way. If you look at paintings for the last two decades of the 18th century, very few show royal yards"lowered with sails furled. The only times a royal yard is shown is if the sail is set. I will see if I can find it but a saw one pic of an English frigate (Napoleanic period), royal yard with furled sail lashed vertically against the t'gallant mast down  in the topmast head. The idea must have been to reduce strain on the mast.

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23 hours ago, michaelpsutton2 said:

The royal yard was often set flying that is without even braces. II do not believe I have ever seen a contemporary portrayal of ratlines, a rope ladder of knotted rope  for royals. But it may just be an omission ob the part of artisits and model makers. Somewhere in the "Naval Doc's relating to the quasi war with France I read about "the skysail yard" being brought to the deck with the sail furled on the yard. It is possible in earlier times the royal was treated the same way. If you look at paintings for the last two decades of the 18th century, very few show royal yards"lowered with sails furled. The only times a royal yard is shown is if the sail is set. I will see if I can find it but a saw one pic of an English frigate (Napoleanic period), royal yard with furled sail lashed vertically against the t'gallant mast down  in the topmast head. The idea must have been to reduce strain on the mast.

If I am interpreting all this correctly someone still had to get up there to furl the royal sail before before bringing the mast down or as popeye2sea mentioned everything would get fouled up. 
 

I am starting to think that you may be correct that many models just leave out the knitted rope or ladder.  I am thinking of just putting a knotted rope from the base of the royal mast down to the crosstree below. Very small detail but seems to fit. I still have plenty of time to look into this as this can be added at pretty much anytime. 
 

thank you Michael and Popeye for your help in helping me to understand. 
 

Tom

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My gerneral impression is that the t'gallant yard would be lowered to the topmast cap and that someone standing on the the topmast tressletrees would gather and furl the sail. The yard would then be lashed up there or lowered to the deck. All that changed when royals and even skysails became the norm. At that point the t'gallant was rigged and handled more like the topsail . This absolutely becomes true when the t'gallant has a reef band.

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Last night a went through my files. I do not have a single original contemporary sail plan for a US naval ship showing topgallant ratlines. Zero. Can't say what that means, but they aren't in the plans. You can imagine some bosun's mate going"F these plans,I'm putting something to climb on!"

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8 minutes ago, michaelpsutton2 said:

Last night a went through my files. I do not have a single original contemporary sail plan for a US naval ship showing topgallant ratlines. Zero. Can't say what that means, but they aren't in the plans. You can imagine some bosun's mate going"F these plans,I'm putting something to climb on!"

My thoughts exactly. 😁

Tom

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5 hours ago, michaelpsutton2 said:

Last night a went through my files. I do not have a single original contemporary sail plan for a US naval ship showing topgallant ratlines. Zero. Can't say what that means, but they aren't in the plans. You can imagine some bosun's mate going"F these plans,I'm putting something to climb on!"

That maybe very well what was done.  Much of the details were "common knowledge" and not shown on any document except the contract.  Even then it may not have been mentioned.

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