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Hi MSW,

I have a couple of questions regarding the false stays used to attach the staysails to on my Leopard of 1790. I would like to put the main and mizzen staysails on the model. Not sure if I will furl some (probably) but anyway. I have attached a picture of a piece of my standing rigging plan to help illustrate. 
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As the plan shows, the main top mast staysail rides on the fixed and permanent top mast stay preventer.   Being permanent standing rigging this would be a tarred rope. Since the hanks will be sliding up and down this rope should that working length be served?

 

I would imagine the same answer would apply to a false stay as shown in the picture with the top gallant staysail. Served and tarred even though they were sometimes taken down. 

 

Tom

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I am still searching for more information but coming up empty.  Looks like it would make sense to serve and "tar" the working area and leave the section at the lower end that goes through the block and ties of to a cleat without serve and tar.  Anybody?

Tom

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Is it possible that these staysails were actually "set flying?" That is what the drawing suggests to me. Sails weren't always hanked to stays, and particularly so with lighter air sails. The head and tack were fastened to head and tack halyards and hoisted and the clew sheeted in, all from the deck with the sail unfurled or "flying." (Alternately, the sail could be sent aloft "in stops," tied sausage-fashion with light stuff which would break free when the head and tack were made fast and the sheet was hauled in.)  When those sails were struck, the halyards were set go and the sail pulled down from the sheet(s.) Somebody with specific knowledge of this vessel can give you a much more reliable answer than I can, though.

 

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Where does the rigging plan you show come from ?

 I  had a think and came up with the obvious -  the same question could be raised about  ANY sail run out along a stay so what about the foresails.

My practical experience has all been on wire  but I have been on a number of vesels fully rigged in the old fashion and I cannot recall serving on such rigging and the few poor pics I have seem to bear that out.  But Bob is of course right, sails in that position asked about would have very often be flying.

I have never heard of "false stays"  but am happy to be enlightened.

But I might just detour to Charlestown now my interest is piqued and see what is in port there at present and have a look.

 

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Spyglass

The plans came from Winfield’s book on the 50 gunship. I read somewhere (I just can’t remember where... read so much lately) that false stays are stays that are only put up temporarily while the staysails are being used.  When not in use they are taken down.   I am thinking that Bob’s thought about “set flying” might be correct  I will need to look into that. Two of the jib sails are also shown the same way. 
 

Tom

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Although it does not apply to the Leopard (1790) false stays were typically employed in early vessels where various lines such as backstays and bowlines were seized to the normal stays that would prevent a stay sail from being able to be raised or lowered.  The false stay would be seized at the head to the underside of the normal stay and set up in the usual fashion in order to provide a clear line to hank the stay sail to.

 

Regards,

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Well this is a completely new one on me - do you have a reference?

Bowlines are normally attached to sails and back stays are to - well hold the mast up  -neither would normally be seized to anything I think.

I could conceive of an additional rigging line being run as you describe but why - normal practice was ( and still is )  to set it flying.

 

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I am referring to  vessels prior to 1700 or so where, for instance, the spritsail topmast backstays originate in an elaborate system of crows feet seized to the fore stays.  Other examples may include braces that originate on stays, bowlines that have fairlead blocks seized to stays, etc.

 

Regards,

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Thank you Bob, popeye2sea and spyglass. Once again I learn from MSW!  Now that I understand what “set flying” is that is the path I must follow.   Especially since the false stay is prior to the Leopard. I did not realize that when I originally came across “false stays”. 
 

Thanks again everyone,

Tom

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