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Sail photo from 1931 raises questions about sail construction

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Found this great photo of life aloft on a square rigger, the caption was "The barque "Claudia" of Marstal in the Atlantic, 1931" with no other info. I was struck by how smooth the sailcloth is, I could not make out the seams for the individual cloths on the course and I am not 100% sure I can make them out on the topsail. The course sail does indeed look like it is constructed of very wide individual pieces of sailcloth, not the usual two foot wide ones. I wonder at what point wider sizes of canvas became commercially available. And I wonder if there wasn't some sacrifice in strength when they abandoned the smaller cloth size? Its a great photo though isn't it?


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Interesting photo, but I'm guessing the sail seams might perhaps be indistinct due the age and angle of the picture – or they had an exceptionally neat sailmaker! I think, however, if you look closely you can pick out a few seams.  By the early 1900's, which was towards the end of commercail sail, ships were being run on a shoestring with minimal crews, and had to make do, hence presumably the large patches in the mainsail.


I'm just wondering what those three large dark patches are on the sail at yard level. :huh:

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