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19th century U S Ship-of-the-Line Rigging Plans


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I am the proud restorer of an antique model of the USS OHIO ship-of-line (1820).

 

I purchased, at auction, a model of the USS Ohio. It was a complete wreck but under the dirt and debris I saw a very well detailed gem. There is no other indication that it is the Ohio other than the fact that it is a ship-of-the-line and that OHIO is displayed on the stern. I have posted pictures of the "wreck" at http://home.covad.net/fecook//Models .

I have just finished removing the debris, partially repairing the mast and yards, clearing the deck of guns et al, and giving it a general cleaning (pictures also at above web site). I am beginning the reassembly and I need some help in understanding the rigging plans of this class of vessel.

Any information you might share on the OHIO would be greatly appreciated but in particular the rigging. For instance, does anyone have access ro the rigging plans of an early nineteenth century US Ship-of-the-Line? Are there any good research books showing construction and rigging plans?

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Looks like you are making good progress bringing order out of chaos. Possible sources for you might be the U.S. Naval Academy Museum or the Smithsonian. A good book on the subject would be James Lees 'Masting and Rigging of English Ships of War 1625-1860'. American rigging practice would be very similar.

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Another idea would be to look at rigging plans for Constitution in theAnatomy of a Ship series. I believe Ohio was a "74" like Independence. They really were enlarged 44s. In fact Independence was razeed back to a 44 in the 1830s.

Jaxboat

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Take a look at Brady's Kedge Anchor as well. He's includes tables of block and line sizes for a number of different class ships. Also the Smithsonian has Chapelles' lines for the OHIO 1820 SOTL in 1/8" scale.

 

Sam

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING UNDER DEVELOPMENT 

 

 

 

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While there are no rigging plans, Howard Chapelle does have a set of plans ifor the Ohio as-built in his History of the American Sailing Navy (ISBN 1-56852-222-3, following page 313).

 

An old (not great) photograph can be found at http://www.oldnavalhospital.org/fpt_uss_ohio.html and http://www.navyhistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/NH-92940-right.jpg

 

From the US Navy Dictionary of American Fighting Ships (http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/o2/ohio-ii.htm )

 

Designed by Henry Eckford, Ohio was laid down at New York Navy Yard in 1817 and launched 30 May 1820. She went into ordinary and in the insuing years decayed badly. Refitted for service in 1838, Ohio sailed 16 October 1838 to join the Mediterranean Squadron under Commodore Issac Hull. Acting as flagship for 2 years, she protected commerce and suppressed the slave trade off the African coast. Ohio proved to be an excellent sailer repeatedly making more than 12 knots. One of her officers stated, “I never supposed such a ship could be built-a ship possessing in so great a degree all the qualifications of a perfect vessel.” In 1840 Ohio returned to Boston where she again went into ordinary. From 1841 to 1846 Ohio served as receiving ship.

 

To meet the needs of the Mexican War, Ohio recommissioned 7 December 1846 and sailed 4 January 1847 for the Gulf of Mexico, arriving off Vera Cruz 22 March. Ohio landed 10 guns on 27 March to help in the siege of Vera Cruz; but the city soon surrendered.

 

Ohio drew too much water for coastal operations in the gulf. However, 336 of her crew participated in the Tuxpan River Expedition. In 1847 the entire distance from the mouth of the river to the town was covered with thick jungle growth. The enemy had constructed 3 well-positioned forts on bluffs overlooking bends in the river. On 18 April Commodore Perry arrived off the mouth of the river with 15 vessels. At 10 p.m. light-draft steamers Scourge, Spitfire, and Vixen, each towing a schooner, moved up stream. Bombships, Etna, Hecla, and Vesuvius followed closely while 30 surf boats containing 1,500 men brought up the rear. Approaching the town, the squadron came under hot fire from Fort LaPena. Commodore Matthew C. Perry ordered Commander Franklin Buchanan to disembark the surf boats and storm the fort. As the landing party swept ashore, the Mexicans abandoned their position. The other 2 forts fell in a like manner, with only light casualties substained by the squadron. Men from Ohio retrieved the guns of brig Truxtun which had foundered in a storm near Tuxpan 16 September 1846. The town was occupied and all military stores destroyed.

 

Following Tuxpan, Ohio sailed from Vera Cruz and arrived in New York 9 May 1847. On 26 June she sailed to bolster the Pacific Squadron, first carrying the U.S. minister to Brazil and operating off the east coast of South America until November. Ohio spent the next two years in the Pacific protecting commerce and policing the newly acquired California Territory during the chaotic early months of the gold rush.

 

In 1850 she returned to Boston where she again went into ordinary. In 1851, Ohio became receiving ship and continued this duty until again placed in ordinary in 1875. Ohio was sold at Boston to J. L. Snow of Rockland, Maine 27 September 1883.

 

You may also want to take a look at http://www.navyhistory.org/2011/10/uss-ohio-model-at-brooklyn-navy-yard-center-at-building-92/ for some interesting information concerning a model on display at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and the research the builder (former Air Force officer Steven Myatt) did in developing the model.

Additional info on the build is at http://www.ussohio.org/Museumphotos/index.html

 

I have not searched the National Archives website yet but there may be some additional information there although Mr. Myatt indicates he was unable to locate any information on the spars and rigging so he based his model on the Delaware).

 

Hope this helps!

Wayne

Neither should a ship rely on one small anchor, nor should life rest on a single hope.
Epictetus

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There is an excellent 1/72 scale model of the Ohio at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Museum. I have seen it and it is of the highest quality, a better model could not be hoped for. The museum is a gem and also happens to feature two world class models by Dan Pariser, who is an active member of this website. Dan's models are of the U.S.S. Monitor and the U.S.S. Main, also in 1/72nd scale, and they are worth the trip to the museum by themselves. The Museum is in the actual Navy Yard and is free. Here is a link with photos and information about the Ohio model at the museum: http://www.navyhistory.org/2011/10/uss-ohio-model-at-brooklyn-navy-yard-center-at-building-92/

  

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My thanks to trippwj and JerseyCitie Frankie for their contributions. All of the information provided is very interesting and much appreciated. I actually use one of the Ohio photos as my member photo. I have seen the Brooklyn Navy Yard Museum photos of the USS Ohio and they are great. I live just outside Boston and I must plan a trip to Brooklyn. The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA, also has a great model of the USS Ohio built by Enoch Perkins Fuller about 1850. Using the rigging plans of a sister 74 as Mr. Myatt did is also a good idea.

 

 

Thanks again,

Frank

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Seagull Plans by William Crothers (author of "American Clipper-ships") makes a perfect (and I mean perfect) set of 1/8th inch scale plans for the 74 USS Columbus (1820) that includes a detailed rigging plan. It is THE must have plan for American ships of the line. If you can't find a copy, I may still have a set that you may borrow. He also made great plans for the 1840s corvette USS Germantown, and the sidewheeler steam frigate, USS Mississippi.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I want to first thank all of you who have added to my knowledge of early nineteenth century Ships-Of-The-Line. Your suggestions on research books and especially the plans of the the USS COLUMBUS (courtesy of uss frolick) have helped me answer a number of questions about the USS OHIO model that I am attempting to restore.

 

When I first began cleaning and separating the debris, the remnants of the bowsprit suggested that the headrig consisted of more than a typical bowsprit and jibboom but that there was yet another spar associated with the headrig. I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that this class of ship had a Flying Jibboom. With additional reading of James Lees 'Masting and Rigging of English Ships of War 1625-1860', continued reading of the USS COLUMBUS plans, and additional navigating on the web, I further discovered that the Flying Jibboom was attached to the cap and the Jibboom with an iron called the "wythe" and that the Flying Jibboom was offset from the Jibboom to allow access and operation of rigging on the Jibboom.

 

I may be the only one who has "discovered" this configuration of Ship-Of-The_Line's headrig but in case anyone is interested, I have posted pictures in the "Gallery" entitled "USS OHIO Bowsprit".

 

Thanks again but you have to excuse me I am off to peruse the plans once again.

 

Regards,

Frank

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My apologies for trying to post pictures of my USS OHIO headrig in the "Gallery". I was not aware that this space was reserved for "finished models".

 

But in the interest of providing this information to the group I have posted the pictures on my web site at http://home.covad.net/fecook//Models .

 

I hope to post the pictures of my finished USS OHIO in the near future.

 

Regards,

Frank

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Frank,

You can post them in this tread if you like.

Mark
"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

Current Build:                                                                                             
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                                                                                                                       USS Constellaton (kit bashed to 1854 Sloop of War  _(Gallery) Build Log

                                                                                Wasa (Gallery)

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CH-53 Sikorsky - 1:48 - Revell - Completed                                                   Licorne - 1755 from Hahn Plans (Scratch) Version 2.0 (Abandoned)         

         

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

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I have been looking and looking for the answer to a question that developed early in my research of my model of the USS OHIO, so, I decided to see if there was someone in the group who may know the answer. I have not been able to get an answer from any of the research books or from the plans of the USS COLUMBUS (although the answer could be staring me in the face).

 

The previous modeler(s) placed three sets of three single blocks on the deck just abaft each of the three masts. The fore mast has one block on the starboard side and two on the port side; the main mast has one block on the port side and two blocks on the starboard side; the mizzen mast set is setup like the fore mast with one block on the starboard side and two blocks on the port side.

 

The attached photo is taken of the fore from off the port bow. The blocks are indicated by the red arrows.

 

Does anyone know or suspect what lines these blocks control?.

 

 

 

 

post-5471-0-50680400-1375369910.jpgp

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You may already know Frank C that halyards on ships alternate port and starboard on each mast, meaning the halyard for the t'galent on the main will belay on deck on the alternate side from the same halyard on the fore. My guess is these are lead blocks for halyards on upper yards.

  

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 Niagara USS Constitution 

 

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Hi Frankie,

 

Thanks for your input. This was my original thought and it may have been the original modelers intent. I did not want to mention my thought in my previous post so as not to influence any responses.

 

They could very well be the blocks on the halyard falls for the topsail, t'gallant, and royal yards. However, when I look at the plans for the USS COLUMBUS, sister ship of the USS OHIO, the plans call for a PAIR of halyards for the topsail yard, both originating from their respective starboard and port channels up through a series of blocks on the crosstrees and the yard. The running part of the halyards are rove through a block on the deck positioned near the bulwark just below the pinrail and are then belayed to the pinrail. The fore and the main topsail yards both have two halyards while the mizzen topsail yard has one.

 

Another concern is that in my experience the halyards all led down to the deck close to the bulwark not as far inboard as these blocks are positioned.

 

The other peculiarity is that the model was not rigged with any royal yards, unless they were part of the debris or simply lost. The model has had a hard life.

 

By the way, your miniature models are exquisite! I am impressed that you were able to work in such a small scale without compromising detaiI.  I am not sure I could handle features that small.

 

Thanks again,

Frank

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  • 5 months later...

I thought I would report on my status with the USS Ohio restoration, so, I have placed some recent pics on my web site at
http://home.covad.net/fecook/Models/USS Ohio Ship Of The Line

I still need to finish the running rigging coils, add the bower and sheet anchors, add the quarter davits and boats, add the ratlines to the shrouds, add the ensign, jack and pendant, and add a few other odds and ends. The ensign, jack, and pennant will be circa 1838. I want to depict the model as Commodore Isaac Hull’s flagship as part of the Mediterranean Squadron of 1838. The model does show some age so trying to depict it as it was coming off the ways would be a stretch.

 

Feel free to send me any comments.

Happy modeling,
Frank

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...

Hello I have seen the nice project you have of the Ohio and would like to know if you ever found the plans for the ship. I have aldo been looking for a set of plans but I am in South America and is just not possible to get one. I will appreciate your input on this. Thanks

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What a fine model. So many times in these forums we read of a damaged model purchased at auctio. And so many times it seems to be a "decorative" type that does not even remotely resemble it's nanesake.

This one really looks like a serious attempt at portraying the Ohio. Congrats on recognizing a potential gem!

 

I assume you have the sail plan for the USS Independence

Drown you may, but go you must and your reward shall be a man's pay or a hero's grave

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  • 1 year later...

Don't know if anyone is still paying attn. to the thread, but came across it and thought I'd take a shot...

 

I'm also looking for Crothers' USS Columbus (1820) plans. I have been using the rigging page to restore an old model of HMS Vanguard (1835), 78/80 gun two-decker. I have a set, but the project has been on-hold for a decade plus, and the plans (which I got directly from Crothers in the 80's) have faded terribly and are now hard to read.  I fully recognize the different US vs English rigging practices, as well as the 15 year difference in timing, but I find having everything on one (large) page helpful in initially sorting things out; I then consult my "library", mostly Lees' Masting and Rigging, to get it right.

 

So, if anyone has a source, wld appreciate hearing about it. I've tried Taubman's, but get no response

 

Interestingly, the reason I have the plans, in the first place, is that I had an experience much like Frank's. Around 1985, I was at an antique furniture auction at Sotheby's in NYC - and stuck in a corner was a ball of attic dust catalogued as "European ship model". I blew off some of the  dust and saw a jumble of a model that looked like it had fallen upside-down, then put away in an open cardboard box in the attic for 50+ yrs. But it looked like the "Constitution" w/ an extra deck (ie, two gun decks and a continuous spar deck). It certainly looked very American to me; and, wiping away more dust, I found "North Carolina" painted on the transom. Not very European. Bought it, I think, for ~$100 (no reserve, no other bidders).

 

The model is quite old, guessing somewhere around the turn of the last century; solid hull beneath the lower gun deck; 1/8" scale. What was strange was the absence of a raised poop (per Chapelle's  plans); different hatch/ladderways configuration; and several non-nautical looking structures on the spar deck: a large "clipper ship-looking" deck house and what looks like a "sentry box". In consultation w/ the head of the Smithsonian's ship model dept (forget his name, but he was very interested and helpful), we hypothesized that the model was perhaps built by a former crew member from memory (the measurements are a bit off) and reflecting her last days as a recvng ship in NY harbor; thus, the strange deck configuration.

 

I rebuilt it to an as launched configuration. She is not a fine model - and I did not repaint her - so she is a bit dingy (although that is prbly realistic). I always wanted a ship of the line, but now realize that they are unrealistic models for most residences. The case dimensions for my NC (and I sized the case to the bare minimum) are 44x13x32". That's a lot of furniture. My Vanguard is 3/16", so I know that it will never go into the house; just need to finish it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Good evening all.  I'm very impressed by this.  I know that I am late to this topic, but there is something out there that can help you and it was published by the NRG in the Nautical Research Journal.  It is called "Tables Showing the masts and Spars, Rigging and Stores etc. of Every Description Allowed to the Different Classes of Vessels Belonging to the Navy of the United States" Prepared by the Board of Navy Commissioners and Approved by the Secretary of the Navy, Washington: Printed by Peter Force 1826.  While not a rigging plan, it gives numbers and dimensions of all Masts, Spars, Rigging Blocks, as well as how many are used for Ships from three Deck Ship of the line down to Schooners.  The first two tables, Masts, Spars, Rigging etc, were published in Nautical Research Journals 14-2, 14-3, and 14-4.   You can find these on the NRJ CDs available at the NRG Store.  The remaining tables were published in the Journal a decade latter.  These are also in the CD set.  I used these tables extensively for rigging my model of USS Wasp.  Although the Wasp is almost twenty years earlier, these tables did give me good incite into the suttle differences between English and United States practices.  I hope that this is of some use. 

 

Tom

Tom Ruggiero

 

Director Nautical Research Guild

Member Ship Model Society of New Jersey (Past President)

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