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Constitution. Mystery rigging in top

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I consider this to be a pretty awesome modern shot of Constitution, its very high resolution and shows a lot of detail. Scanning the rigging I saw something odd and I wonder if any of you Constitution modelers have an opinion: There is an odd bit of tackle on the after side of all the Tops, it looks like lines Port and Starboard are led from ringbolts on the after lower sides of the caps down to the after outboard edge of the tops. A means of keeping the tops from sagging? I would assume all that timber up there is newish and in good shape. I don’t think those lines run to the deck as backstays of some sort, at least the Starboard one on the Mizen is viewed clearly against the white paint and doesn’t run to the deck.

Also I note the flag hoist appears to say N A P J and I wonder what that means.


here is the link to the photo:   http://www.navy.mil/management/photodb/photos/120819-N-BJ178-330.jpg

Edited by JerseyCity Frankie
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Went by the ship today and took a couple of photos.  Those are truss tackles for the lower yards.  From top to bottom in the photo:


1: Truss tackle

2. Truss pendant

3. Truss tackle fall (belays on deck aft of mast)

I could not get aboard to check exactly where this belays.





BTW:  The signal flags NAPJ are the ships call sign.  A unique radio signal identifier for all vessels and/or broadcast stations. All US Naval vessels call signs start with N.  Civilian radio stations west of the Mississippi start with K and those east of the Mississippi start with W.  US Army and Air Force start with A

Edited by popeye2sea
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Thanks for the detective work Popeye2sea! I'm also glad my theory that they were holding up the edge of the top was wrong, I would hate to think she would be so floppy. Brushing up on Truss Pendants in Lees Masting and Rigging I see he has them led upwards into the top rather than down to the deck under the cap starting around 1830. Prior to that date they were hung from the trestle trees and after 1840 they went back to the trestle trees and became chain too so I guess they rigged Constitution to that 1830's era, going by the Truss Pendants anyway.

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