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Thoughts on standing after running rigging

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I was wondering if there were any advantages or problems that anybody has encountered with regards to doing the standing rigging after all the running rigging/sail hanging has been completed.  I looked through the instructions and it seemed easier, to me at least, to do all the running rigging before the standing. Currently working on an AL 1:75 Bluenose II

Completed builds: AL Bluenose II 1:75  Gallery
                              Amati Hannah SIB 1:300  Gallery
Current Build: Bluenose II - SIB - unknown scale

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I think everyone would agree that the standing rigging should be finished before doing the running rigging.  Aside from the fact that's how they did it on real ships because the standing rigging supports the masts, so technically you couldn't attach spars etc., until you had the masts secure, you would go crazy trying to do the standing rigging after the running (e.g., trying to rattle shrouds with spars in place),  Lastly, some of the running rigging is secured to the standing rigging so technically it's impossible.


I'd be interested in hearing if anyone has a contrary view.




Current: Sergal Sovereign of the Seas

Previous builds:  AL Swift, AL King of the Mississippi, Mamoli Roter Lowe, Amati Chinese Junk, Caesar, Mamoli USS Constitution, Mantua HMS Victory, Panart San Felipe, Mantua Sergal Soleil Royal

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As pointed out, running rigging is very often anchored on, belayed to, threaded through, and dependent in some way on standing rigging that's, well, already standing.

You'll often find that the way things were done on real vessels, for a few hundred years, often work best on models as well.  Even rigging yards and bending sails before sending the yards aloft, I've seen done full size, so it's not really a modeler's shortcut.  :)

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Thanks all for your thoughts and insights.  I was just curious as to whether anybody had tried this in the past, but now I see why the standing rigging is done first.

Completed builds: AL Bluenose II 1:75  Gallery
                              Amati Hannah SIB 1:300  Gallery
Current Build: Bluenose II - SIB - unknown scale

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  • 3 weeks later...

Can somebody give me an idea of which part of the standing rigging should be done first. Is it the ratlines? And, should all of the standing mast rigging be done before the yards are attached? 

Current build : Fokker Dr 1


Completed non-boat build 1/16 Model expo Sopwith Camel - in shore leave.

Previous boat builds:

Yacht Mary

Artesania Latina Red Dragon (Modified)

Non-boat build 1/24 scale Dennis bus by OcCre - in shore leave.

Mare Nostrum (modified)  Amati Oseberg (modified)  Chaperon sternwheel steamer 1884   Constructo Lady Smith kit/scratch build   

OcCre Santisima Trinidad Cross Section 

Constructo Robert E Lee Paddle Steamer  Constructo Louise, steam powered river boat   OcCre Bounty with cutaway hull 

Corel Scotland Baltic Ketch (not on MSW) OcCre Spirit of Mississippi paddle steamer (not on MSW)

In the Gallery:
 Mare Nostrum   Oesberg  Constructo Lady Smith   Constructo Robert E Lee   Constructo Louise   OcCre Bounty   OcCre Spirit of Mississippi

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When at all possible, work from the inside out and then the spars and running  rigging. If you do not already have any, consider getting a rigging book or two.  Volume 4 of TFFM by David Antscherl, James Lees Masting and Rigging are VERY good.  The former explains how-to rig a sixth rate, but much of the  information will serve you well for any vessel.  The latter covers a range  of vessel sizes from 1625 to 1860 in such a way that you can calculate mast, spar and rigging sizes.  It is not so much a "how to" book but gives a wealth of information including where each piece of  rigging starts and ends.  It is laid  out  in pretty much  the order you would do the rigging.  There are a few others that many of the  folks here like and can recommend.  These two happen to be my personal favorites. 



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Current Builds - HMS Litchfield 1695 - Scratch 1:64 HMS Boston 1762 -Scratch 1:196


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  • 3 months later...

I'm curious about this question, too. I see how doing the standing rigging before running rigging would be imperative on square rigged ships. But what about in the case of fore-and-aft sails (even on a brigantine)? Let me give my current example.


I'm working on the OcCre Dos Amigos - a Baltimore Clipper. It occurred to me in projecting forward to adding the sails that I might do the rigging in the following order:


1. Stays

2. Attach & rig the fore-and-aft sails (main sail, foreward mainsail, foresail, jib and flying jib)

3. Shrouds & backstays

4. Attach and rig the square sails.


Mostly, this strategy was suggested to me by the difficulty I've had in previous builds attaching the main sail and the foreward mainsail to mast hoops and trying to work around the shrouds. If the rule is to operate from centre line outward, then it would seem to make sense (and not break too much protocol) to rig things according to the above order......


I'm also not sure there's much call in modelling to follow the order of rigging on a real ship....after all, the consequences for breaking these rules are not as dire for the modeller. As long as the finished product is authentic, then the order of the rigging seems secondary (at least until you can't rig one line without rigging another....with all due respect to those who follow a different rule.


Just my two cents - and I'd love to hear thoughts on the strategy above....


current builds: MS Brig Syren (languishing); Bluenose fishing schooner (1921) (scratch)Corel HMS Bellona (1780)
previous builds: MS Phantom (now destroyed); MS Sultana (1767); Corel Brittany Sloop (decommissioned, 2022); MS Kate Cory; MS Armed Virginia Sloop (in need of a refit); Corel Flattie; Mamoli Gretel; Amati Bluenose (1921) (in need of a refit); AL San Francisco (savaged by cats); Corel Toulonnaise (1823); 
MS Glad Tidings (1937) (in need of a refit)HMS Blandford (1719) from Corel HMS GreyhoundFair Rosamund (1832) from OcCre Dos Amigos (missing in action); Amati Hannah (ship in a bottle); Mamoli America (1851)
under the bench: Admiralty Echo cross-section; MS Emma C Barry; MS USS Constitution; MS Flying Fish; Corel Berlin; a wood supplier Colonial Schooner Hannah; Victory Models H.M.S. Fly; CAF Models HMS Granado

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