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Rattlesnake rigging help, please - moved by Moderator


GaryKap
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I need help figuring out the topsail halliard tye for my MS Rattlesnake.  I have been staring at the rigging plan for an hour, re-reading the following paragraph:

 

Topsail halliard Tye, from center of yard, thru sheave in mast and then to a single block spliced in the end.  A runner is led thru the single block with a double block at each end.  Halliards lead from the double blocks to single blocks with beckets on long strops hooked into the channels each side.

 

And I still can't envision this.  What do they mean by a "runner"?  Is this simply a length of line with a double block at each end?  Why would they rig it that way?  Doesn't make sense to me.

 

Any information you can provide will be appreciated.  

 

Thanks

 

<<Gary>>

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Craig -

Thank you for your reply.  I will look for the book you mention.  As I think about it more, the rigging arrangement makes sense as described in the plans.  It permits the tye to stay centered and aligned with the mast, and thus stay in the mast sheave.  Otherwise the tye could get pulled to one side and come off the mast pulley and jam.  For me, figuring out the rigging intricacies is an enjoyable part of the model building process.  I continue to be amazed at the ways sailors used the mechanical advantage of pulleys to make their jobs at sea easier.

 

<<Gary>>

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Craig -

Thank you for your reply.  I will look for the book you mention.  As I think about it more, the rigging arrangement makes sense as described in the plans.  It permits the tye to stay centered and aligned with the mast, and thus stay in the mast sheave.  Otherwise the tye could get pulled to one side and come off the mast pulley and jam.  For me, figuring out the rigging intricacies is an enjoyable part of the model building process.  I continue to be amazed at the ways sailors used the mechanical advantage of pulleys to make their jobs at sea easier.

 

<<Gary>>

 Gary,

 

Exactly so, and it could cause other problems. This arrangement, like many used at sea, came through years of practical experience. Back in the seventeenth century and before, the halyards were indeed located to one side - although I believe this alternated between yards on the same mast. Over the course of time, this was seen as a source of strain aloft, and the later method was devised.

 

Seamen are nothing if not practical.

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There is also an interesting version of halliard and tyes that don't use a sheeve. Rather a single block is tied either side of the mast. The Tyes start on the mast go through a double block attached to the centre of the yard and back up to the single blocks before running back down. The tyes end in a double block. The halliard arrangement is then attached to the double block

 

All pretty complicated to describe. Buy the book and see page 39!

Edited by Craigie65
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Hi Gary -- As I read the plans, the single block allows for 2 legs, one going to each side of the vessel.  Each leg of the runner has the double block connected to the single block that has the becket; this becket passes up through the double block, back down to the single, and up to the double again, and ends in a hook on the channel.

 

I haven't gotten to the running rigging on my Rattlesnake yet, so my comment holds none of the authority that would come with having worked out the problem in actuality.  But that's how it seems theoretically.  The Petersen book is truly invaluable.  It shows only one leg (the starboard), however, which I assume to be replicated on the other side.

 

How about some pictures of your build and rigging?

 

Cheers,

 

Martin

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Hi Martin -

 

Yes, that is what I finally figured out as well.  I have rigged the topsail halliard and the fore topsail halliard, and seeing it in "3D" makes perfect sense.  The halliards straddle the stays in a manner that lets the tye pull straight down and not to one side.  

 

As I work my way up the masts rigging the yards, the job is getting increasingly difficult.  The kit did not supply nearly enough blocks, and also I wish I had fitted shroud cleats before starting the running rigging.  And then there are  my fat fingers...

 

Yes, Peterson is a great aid.  Another source that continues to help me is Chuck Parasso's excellent and well written instructions for Syren, downloadable as PDF documents from Model Expo.  

 

I will work on taking some pictures of my Rattlesnake build and putting them up.  Thank you for your reply to my post.

 

<<Gary>>

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My fingers get fatter as the rigging line gets thinner.  The blocks that came with my Mamoli kit are really crummy -- I've gotten some from Chuck and some from Lloyd Warner at Warner Woods West.

 

And on the topic of the shroud cleats, maybe you can help me figure out just where they go.  My kit didn't supply any that I've seen, nor do they appear on the Mamoli plans; the Model Shipways plans mention them, but I can't spot them.  And David Antscherl describes making them.  I assume they go up above the deadeyes somewhere.  And what gets belayed to them?

 

I made some sister blocks, that I described in my own Rattlesnake rigging log.  They weren't too hard to make or to tie in the shrouds.  I also made the euphroes for the crowsfeet, which were a bit trickier, but still fun.

 

Whenever I look at my wife's fingers, I wonder why mine can't be that slim and long.  Hmmm

 

Cheers,

 

Martin

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Hi Martin -

 

Just to be clear, my Rattlesnake build is a solid hull Model Shipways kit from the early 70's that I purchased on eBay.  So I am working with George Campbell's rigging plan.  He shows the crossjack braces, mizzen topsail braces, mizzen topsail lifts, main topgalant braces, and fore topsail lifts belayed to shroud cleats.  The rigging plan has a sketch of a shroud cleat attached to the shroud with seizing.  Campbell says shroud cleats were "fitted on all lower shrouds above the deadeye".  I am guessing immediately above or within reach of the seamen.  Can you point me to where David Antscherl describes making shroud cleats?

 

The blocks that came with my kit are none too good.  I look with envy at the ones Chuck shows on his web site.  Wish I had known about them before I started rigging...

 

And crowsfeet?  The Campbell plans do not show them at all.  I was only made aware of them on this web site.  

 

Now if I could only get the Super Glue nozzle to stop clogging up....

 

Tomorrow we have a weather forecast for freezing rain, so it will be a good day to stay indoors and work on rigging.

 

<<Gary>>

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In volume 4  of The Fully Framed Model, pages 134-5, Antscherl refers to shroud cleats, and how he makes them.  He also seems to corroborate your idea that they'd be within reach of the sailors on deck.  One point, though, is that the model he describes is 1:48 scale, so that items like the cleats would be larger.  And he has a mill to make the detailed cuts necessary.

 

A kit from the 70s, eh?  That sounds intriguing, and it also sounds like your rigging plans might show different details that the current Model Shipways and Mamoli plans (I've also been studying Harold Hahn's plans, which are detailed but without explanation).

 

And the rain you're getting is probably the snow storm that passed through here on Friday.  It's snowing again this morning, so I'll probably sit at my work bench quite a while today as well.\

 

Cheers,

 

Martin

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On the working vessels I have been on, in general, shroud cleats were used for lighter lines and placed where needed.

The only ones I have seen at lower level were for flag hoists etc. But of course each vessel is different and the "period " vessels of today are not the actual thing so that is not intended to be a definitive answer.

 

I attach a few pics which may help with your topsail rig question

 

post-905-0-58888500-1386525962_thumb.jpgpost-905-0-87400800-1386525964_thumb.jpg

post-905-0-97937900-1386526245_thumb.jpg

post-905-0-30861400-1386526294_thumb.jpg

post-905-0-00902900-1386526373_thumb.jpg

Edited by SpyGlass
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Thank you for the additional information and the photos.  Here is another question.  The Campbell  rigging plans do not show any pinrails along the bulwarks on Rattlesnake, but contemporary similar vessels do appear to have them.  In the absence of pinrails, Campbell relies on shroud cleats to belay many lines.  But this is only guesswork on George Campbell's part, isn't it?  What do Harold Hahn, Mamoli, or current Model Shipways plans show?  (This question is self-serving - it would be FAR easier for me to retrofit pinrails than to try and attach shroud cleats at this point ^_^ )

 

<<Gary>>

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Hi Gary -- It's funny you should raise that question, since I am just about to turn from the standing to the running rigging, and found myself faced with that very same "uhh, let's see" problem.  The MS plans show belaying pins along the front rail and in the foredeck rail.  There are cleats and kevels in numerous places, along with ringbolts and eyebolts, but it doesn't seem that this ship had that many pins.  It could be -- just speculation here -- because of the removable gangway that ran along the midships.

 

Cheers,

 

Martin

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Well, Martin, that raises another question.  In Chapelle's book "History of American Sailing Ships" he discusses Rattlesnake and wonders whether the ship actually had those removable gangways.  He doesn't show them in the drawings in his book that presumably came from the Admiralty data.  I have chosen to build my Rattlesnake as shown in the drawings - without the gangways.  http://www.awiatsea.com/images/Rattlesnake/Rattleiso.jpg

 

Before I retired, I worked with mathematical models and was always haunted by the famous quote "All models are wrong, but some are useful".  (George E.P. Box).  I think the same philosophy applies to both statistical models and ship models.  

 

But what does Harold Hahn show in his plans?

 

<<Gary>>

 

p.s.  I made a PDF scan of the pages in Chapelle's book but I'll be darned if I can now find it on my hard drive.  The link above is to one of the Chapelle illustrations.  (notice his name under the bow)

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Thanks Gary -- I have both of Chapelle's books, and have found them useful in lots of ways.  In fact, it was from reading one of them (I can't recall which one now) that I decided to go for the Rattlesnake (my second model).  I have also foregone the gangways, since the midships is full enough without them; and those guns were enough of a chore that I wanted to be able to see them.  Hahn doesn't show the gangways.

 

Here's a photo by Hahn of his Rattlesnake, which has 2 notable details:

 

post-1223-0-87927800-1386626208.jpg

 

First, you can see that the sailor is standing where the gangways would be, and that he's tall enough to make the gangways unnecessary.

 

Second, back on the quarterdeck, you can see . . .  Belaying Pins !!!

 

The confusion continues.

 

Cheers,

 

Martin

 

 

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GREAT find!!!   If you are even halfway serious about the running rigging, you will discover that there are LOTS of lines that need to be belayed...and belayed in their proper location.  So the options are to use shroud cleats, install pin rails in typical places, or do less of the running rigging.  I plan to put pin rails along the bulwarks, and use the Petersson book to determine appropriate belay locations for the lines.  

 

My old Model Shipways plans have other problems.  The rigging plan shows the fore topsail braces and fore topgallant braces going to double blocks on the mainstay and main topmast stay respectively, then straight down to the gallows bitts near the chimney, where they go through sheaves and are belayed to cleats.  The problem is that the spare topmast and topsail yard that sit on the gallows bitts and support the longboat are directly above the sheaves for the braces.  So I need to figure out a work-around for that as well.  

 

<<Gary>>

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