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Question on use of crowsfeet on ship rigged vessels


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Hopefully someone can help.  I'm currently building the Caldercraft HMS Snake kit and planning ahead have purchased Lennarth Petersson's excellent book "Rigging the period ship model" for additional guidance.   I notice that ship rigged models all seem to incorporate crowsfeet, yet the HMS Snake kit does not make reference to them.  Would it be more accurate to include these on the ship rigged Snake, or was there a reason they would not have been used?

 

Finally, what do the crowsfeet do?

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Jason,

 

This would seem to be the fault of the kit instructions.

 

Crowsfeet were designed to prevent the foot of the fore and main topsails from getting caught under the tops. Since the Snake was square rigged, I think she would have been fitted with them.

Edited by Stockholm tar
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Jason,

 

Crowsfeet went out of use at about the end of the 18th century, so you could probably build your cruiser with or with them.

 

The use of crowsfeet was to stop the foot of the topsail from chafing on or getting tangled in the lower rigging.

 

John

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Hi Jason,

 

It does rather depend the period of the vessel concerned;

 

Lees suggests that crowsfeet were probably introduced in  the middle of the 17th century, but ceased to be generally used by the end of the 18th century.

 

Steel writing in 1794 still included them in the rigging list  where 1" or  3/4" circ line was used depending on the size of vessel.

 

Snake was in service between 1797 and 1816, with her ship rigged configuration up to 1809, after which she was changed to a brig rig.

 

There is a reasonable presumption that she would not have had crowsfeet in the later stage of her career, but maybe when first rigged.

 

I think you are in the happy position of being able to model her either with or without.

 

My gut feeling is to model her without.

 

B.E.

 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Jason, while on the subject of crowsfeet, I was wondering if the rope making up the crowsfeet was all one length rigged back and forth through the euphroe block or whether the crowsfeet were individual lengths tied / seized off rope at the tops.

Tony

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Hi Tony,

 

Lees gives a good explanation of rigging crowsfeet in his book.

 

It was a continuous line.

 

The rope was spliced around the strop of the Euphroe block, its other end reeving thro' the centre hole in the rim of the top from above, up thro' the next hole to port, thro' the upper hole of the Euphroe block, up thro' the inner starboard hole in the top, and so on until the line finally came out of the outer hole on the starboard side of the top. There it was hitched to the underpart of the previous lead thro' the top.

 

B.E.

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Hi Jason -- You might also take a look at David Antscherl's book on rigging the Swan Class, since it gives a good account of making the euphroe.  As far as I've been able to determine -- and I'm not sure it's that far -- the line of the crows feet is much finer than most of the other standing rigging -- on a 1:64 model it would be .025mm, I think.  The biggest question I have is just exactly where and how to connect the crowsfeet/euphroe to the forestay.  Any clue?

 

Martin

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Hi Martin, how the Euphroe block is attached to its related tackle is also covered by David Antscherl in Volume 1V on page 66 and there is a photo on page 67.

 

The Euphroe is tensioned on the stay by use of a tackle with two single blocks. The upper block is stropped around the Euphroe, and the lower tackle block is seized to the stay.

 

The standing part of the tackle falls was made fast to the Upper block; the running part after reeving thro' both blocks was either hitched to the stay below the lower block or  made fast around the tackle.

 

When the lower block is attached to the stay which should be around six scale feet below the mouse (Antscherl)  it is a good idea to only temporarily fix it to allow for adjustment of proper tension of the tackle once the crowsfeet have been rigged.

 

On a ship the size of Pegasus the crowsfeet would be of 3/4" circumference line equivalent to 0.1mm  diameter line at scale.

 

B.E.

 

 

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