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captainbob

Boltrope or no?

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I’m not around the water anymore, so I can go look at a ship to get the answer.  I am building a fishing schooner at 1:48 scale and got to thinking. (Usually a bad thing) If I’m standing three feet from my model it is the equivalent of standing about 150 feet from the real ship.  At that distance would I see the bolt rope on the sails?  The other question is on a schooner what diameter rope would be used for the boltrope?

 

Bob

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...good point...  I've often wondered about tree nails using this rationale but....   I'm all ears

 

JP

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Bob:

Here is a photo of the bolt rope detail from a Biloxi schooner in the 1920s. Note the relative sizes involved. That mast is probably 9-10 inches in diameter and the sail hoops are probably about 1 1/2 inches thick or thereabouts. The halyards there are probably not more than 1/2" diameter. I would say the bolt rope is fairly large and prominent.

 

Russ

post-164-0-34920000-1412543266_thumb.jpg

Edited by russ

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I think adding the bolt rope to the model sails should be done, if only to keep the sails from fraying, especially where the mast hoops are tied to the sail.

Allan

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Another factor in favor of the boltrope is that including the boltrope makes making the tack sheet and head cringles or rings that much easier as you simply form tiny loops in the boltrope at the three corners of the sail. Lettie has metal thimbles on her sails. 

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If you (or other admirers) were always standing a meter away from the model, you could probably omit a lot of detail. The problem is that the observation distance of models varies, so you have to cater for even the case when someone sticks their nose almost into it (or as close as any glass case may allow) ...

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OK the rope goes on.  Now what size?  In the picture from Russ, if the mast is ten inches the rope is 1.5 inches.  That seems too big. ? ? ?

 

Bob

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Bob:

I would say about an inch in diameter for the bolt rope. It is large enough to support the sail and keep it from tearing. It is there to reinforce the sail so it has to be a little beefy.

 

Russ

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Not sure, whether this applies to North American fishing schooners, but on many ships the bolt-ropes were of different circumference on the different sides of a sail, depending on the expected strain. In the 1:48 scale this should be quite visible. 

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That is interesting, do you have any information as to the sizes for the different areas?  In other words should the leach of the main be on the order of 1.5” circumference or more like 4.5”? 

 

Bob

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I would need to file through some books in order to see, whether I could find something useful, but I have no time at the moment. The circumference is somewhat proportionate to the size of the sail and the weight of the canvas. On a schooner's mainsail, I would think that the circumference would be rather in the order of 4 to 5". The largest circumference would be at the luff and at the head. If the foot is loose, the diameter may be less than the luff one, or the same, if it was marled down onto the boom. The leech bolt-rope would have the smallest circumference.

 

Incidentally, you actually need the boltrope on the model in any case in order to form the eyes for attaching the sheets etc. 

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