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boom rigging on a ship's launch boat


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Even on the boom of my little Jolly boat?  I'm trying to figure out a way around an obvious error in the kit and just trying to be somewhat realistic.

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Posted (edited)

Kev,

 Looking at photos of models at the RMG Collections website, Mays' Boats of Men of War, and Lavery's Arming and Fitting, I could not find any contemporary rigged models or drawings showing a cleat on the boom.  There may be more details in Steels Elements of Rigging which you can down load for free.  It holds a wealth of information for the very late 18th century and into the 19th century.    https://maritime.org/doc/steel/   Scroll down to the rigging section in the table of contents and then click on the appropriate page and there is information on rigging ship's boats starting at about page 220.  I found it a bit confusing, but the jist was that there was mention of eyes and bands round the mast at the boom jaws for various lines, but no mention of cleats that I could find.   There may have been cleats but I have never seen any contemporary information that indicates they were used, perhaps other members here have.

 

Your first post asked about a launch, and then the next post mentions a jolly boat.  Based on your signature you have a jolly boat from Bounty. Purely as a point of information the boat on which Bligh was put was a launch, probably about 23 feet long.   The term jolly boat in the late 18th century was sometimes interchangeable with small cutters of 16 feet to 18 feet.   Artesania makes the same kit with different packaging and markets it as a boat for the Spanish ship Nepomuceno which I found to be rather strange.   See side by side photos of the both kits pictures below.

Allan

1843473836_Artesaniaboatkits..JPG.4100e140f8d2abb85ac00c1a7c910b8c.JPG

   

Edited by allanyed
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Kev,

 

Unfortunately, you’re in no mans land.   Saying that rigging details for Eighteenth Century warships Boats is sketchy is an understatement.

 

Steele gives extensive rigging details for cutters then says that “sloops are rigged like cutters except lighter.”  For sloop rigged ships boats he says, “what little rigging they have is like that for a sloop.”  Not very helpful.

 

May’s book,  The Boats of Men of War includes an Admiralty Draught of a rigged Longboat.  The draught is undated but the boat appears to be early, mid Eighteenth Century.  

 

I have concluded that there there were three gaff sloop rigs employed for Royal Navy Ships Boats:

Earliest-  Short Gaff, No Boom

Early to Mid Eighteenth Century-  Short Gaff, Boom and loose footed sail.

Mid Eighteenth Century and Later-  Long Gaff with sail fastened to boom.

 

The loose footed rig required a block and tackle purchase on the boom for the outhaul.  This, by necessity would have to be belayed on the boom, most likely with a cleat.

 

With the sail fastened to the boom (the long gaff rig). It is possible to secure the clew of the sail to the end of the boom without an adjustable outhaul, hence no cleat.   I don’t know if this was actually done.  

 

Roger

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I think I need to add some info for clarification purposes.  Here is a snipit from part of my lost post on my build log.  Here is the running rigging diagram from the instructions.

 

1991854496_runningrigging.jpg.03ffee4b666f4238d3203bc90d795673.jpg

 

This is the picture of step 24 shown in the instructions that I'm having difficulty getting worked out.

 

mess.jpg.662bf511aa10479fb633eca70b376bfe.jpg

 

I understand it is to keep the boom restricted to a functional arc but the location has got to be all wrong.  It interferes with the tiller.  I’ve decided I want to copy JMaitri’s lead in his Jolly Boat build log where he installed horse on the aft thwart right at the transom.  I wasn’t able to see a good close up to find out how he handled the entire situation.  I thought I had come up with a plan, and I’m aware that the double block is oriented incorrectly but it made following the running line easier to follow.

 

sketch.jpg.f465749980e4609c30ffb79a6baf88e4.jpg

 

And this brought about my original question regarding a cleat being placed on the boom.  Again, I'm aware that the double block is sketched incorrectly but it did make following the running line clear, at least to me in my mind.

 

From everything I've been able to find, it is common knowledge that this model is a fictitious representation of Bounty's Jolly Boat.  There are other kits much more representative of the actual boat.  That being the case, one would have a bit more latitude as to how the end product looks.  I could create the "nasty looking fishing line tangle mess thing" they got going on between the top block and the boom.  But I want to do something better than that.  Plus I want  to be able to show some aspects of the build in a period accurate fashion, as best as my skills enable me.   

 

Roger, the instructions do indeed have me  attaching the clews of gaff sail to the boom and I was going to do some serving to accomplish that.  If you take a look-see at my lost post of my build log (page 2) I have asked for help/opinions on how I'm thinking of doing the rigging in greater detail.

 

Everybody's help and suggestions are greatly appreciated.  With the poorly/incomplete instructions and this being my first build of a boat of any kind I need all the help I can get.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Ah this is the perennial problem.

You can as you say have a horse at the stern with the tiller running underneath.

I know there are some that argue that a horse can run under the tiller - they just dont sail IMHO !

Or you can rig the main sheet to the boom forrard of the tiller arc.

Most common solution I am aware of is to have twin attachments to the boom on the stern quarters with the tiller sitting in the "triangle" .  Easy to rig and tidy

 

BUT USE THE SITE  - I just realised we have been here before!! boom rigging

PS I have seen the problem tackled by unshipping the tiller on the tack, I could never figure out how that was managed! Not something that coud be standrad practice !

Edited by SpyGlass
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Kev,

 

The photo below shows the main sheet rigging for my 1:32 scale scratch built Longboat model.  The rig is the short gaff loose foot variation that I discussed above.  The tackle as rigged gives a 3:1 Mechanical advantage.

 

Some time ago there was a spirited debate on the forum weather  the main sheet horse should run above or below the tiller.  There were two schools of thought.   The Museum Model school claimed that since rigged model(s) in the NMM Collection show the horse below the tiller, this must be accurate.  The practical sailor school maintained that this arrangement and anything like disconnecting the tiller from the rudder during tacking would lead to disaster, and in my case I have the (wet) tee shirt to prove it.  This and other Longboat rigging info should still be available on the forum.   Try searching “Longboat rigging.”

 

Roger1E14D01B-CE52-4284-8DB5-FBEEB6C52098.thumb.jpeg.ebe50c0402009ded337d39984fcade58.jpeg

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Kev,

 

I see a problem with your sketch in post #6. If the fall of the boom sheet was secured to a cleat on the boom, and the boom was swung overboard, you wouldn't be able to reach the boom to untie the sheet.

 

I think in a small rig like a long boat you probably would need only two single blocks , and the fall would be secured to a cleat on the rail or bulwark.

 

It was common to secure the gaff sail sheet to a cleat on the boom near the boom jaws where it was always accessible. On larger rigs the sheet attached to a two block tackle that was attached to the jaws of the boom and the fall to a cleat on the boom.

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Hi Spyglass,

What you state makes perfect sense.  As with so many instances on finding  information on rigging I keep looking but cannot find much contemporary to Royal Navy ships' boats in the  17th century to the early 19th century. that describes cleats on the booms other than a cleat for the peek downhaul located under the boom.  Steel has us  following the description for schooners and sloops for launches and long boats,  using hooks into eyebolts on the mast and taffrail for the downhauls and such.   He also describes downhauls on cutters leading to the deck.  Could you please steer me  to a source on cleats on the booms as this search has been extremely frustrating.  Many thanks for your help!

Allan

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Back in the day when I was taught to sail a small, centerboard, boat I was told to never belay the main sheet.  Interestingly this advice is repeated in at least one Mid Nineteenth Century Seamanship manual dealing with warship boat sailing.

 

On the other hand, these “small boats” were anything but small by today’s standards.  The 23ft Bounty is about as long as a small cruising sailboat and the rigs were powerful.  When I rigged the main sheet on the Longboat I thought,   How could the mainsheet be controlled by one man without belaying it?  Expecting one man to control it led from the end of the main boom seemed ergonomically impossible.   By leading it to a pin on sternsheet it could be snubbed, not belayed and payed out as necessary.  When the boat was not rigged for sailing the pin could be easily removed.

 

Roger

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Considering what Druxey wrote, the sailing rig was available but probably not used if for normal shore excursions where rowing probably was the standard means of propulsion so it is possible there were choices to be made depending on which was to be used.  I wish George Wells and his machine were nearby. I'd tell him I was  David Filby IV and ask to take a ride back in time instead of forward.  At least going back I know which years in which to avoid stopping, starting with 2020.     Maybe some member can build a new one like the one George used with success.    I'd  be happy to supply a five point seat belt to make it a little safer.

The Time Machine (1960) | This is the Granite City Mechanici… | Flickr

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Posted (edited)

Yes i was taught never to to belay a mainsheet too. But that applies to short leg sailing.

Fot a long run - of tens of miles - belaying was allowed but only either with an asymmetrical jam cleat or a normal cleat with a quick slip hitch.

Nowadays a cam cleat is mostly used.

 

Ancillary question - how long have jam and cam cleats been around??

 

Sea scouts still practice with whalers which can be rigged  I wonder how they do it? 

Found this one pic - the use of a simple horse is so obviously sensible !

Dutch sea scout on a sailing boat, Holland (Print #14167820)

 

Edited by SpyGlass
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A major thank you to everyone who replied.  The feedback, pictures and links all contain a tremendous about of information.  I never would have guessed that my "little situation" had been such a debatable topic in the past.  I've decided to go with my initial sketch except my belaying point will to a cleat located on the starboard bulwark or starboard stern thwart (item 19) in the picture below.

 

810799671_Planstopview.JPG.e144592120084aa9546c96f8eb804fe5.JPG

 

I agree that I could get away with two single blocks rather than a single and double block.  But that is what came with the kit, and this whole unemployment thing makes it impossible to add stock the shipyard.  I don't even want to try and make one to match those that came with the kit, they are just way too small.  Your help, as always, is greatly appreciated.  I do have some other rigging questions I asked in my build log . . . so if maybe anyone might want to take a gander and redirect me or confirm what I"m thinking that would great.

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Wefalck, thank you for that piece of wisdom.  I posted a picture in my build log of the cleats I made the other day.  I figured I would need 7 do rig my Jolly Boat.  The method I used produced 8, and if I didn't miss anything and don't break or lose any, they are all accounted for.  Again I thank everyone who has replied with their guidance as it is greatly appreciated.

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I would suggest belaying pins rather than cleats as these can be easily removed when the boat is not rigged to sail.  Murphy is alive and well at sea; especially aboard small boats.  Someone fouling clothing or equipment on a cleat during a night cutting out action would need to be avoided.

 

Roger

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Permit me to disagree, Roger. I rarely saw belaying pins on boats and this for a good reason: they are easy to loose and cleats would be probably stronger too. Cleat are also safer, particularyl when arranged horizontally inside the hull or parallel to spars, such as mast or booms (which also is needed because of the direction of pull, of course. I wouldn't like to step onto a belaying pin sticking up vertically inside a boat ...

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