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tkay11

Bobstay for bowsprit on Sherbourne?

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Sorry, everyone, but now that we've had the discussion about backstays, I've traced my puzzlement about the rigging of the bowsprit on the Sherbourne and would like to check that I have it right.

 

My conclusion so far is that there was no need for a bobstay (or that it would hamper things) for the bowsprit on the Sherbourne because of the need to move the bowsprit in or out.

 

Petersson shows no bobstay on his cutter, and Goodwin neither shows nor discusses a bobstay in the AOTS book of the Alert. The kit plans for the Sherbourne show no bobstay.

 

The only reason I ask is  because my pictures from NMM of the cutter Trial of 1790, seem to show a bobstay as well as the jib outhaul. But then it doesn't show any holes on the bowsprit to suggest that it could be moved.

 

post-229-0-50957300-1415365064_thumb.jpg

 

Could it be that a running bowsprit doesn't have/need a bobstay as that would have hampered its being moved?

 

Thanks for your patience with my ignorance!

 

Tony

 

 

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Based on intuition and sailing experience in modern boats, not historical research, I do not think the two questions are linked.

 

I would think that both a running and a fixed bowsprit would have a bobstay by this period. The difference could be that on a running bowsprit all of the rigging would be attached in such a way as to be easily moved and set up again.

 

Remember even on a large ship, the "fixed" bowsprit could be removed for replacement or repair.

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Thanks, Michael. So do you think leaving it out of plans is just because it is expected to be there, or might some small ships such as cutters have been without a bobstay?

 

Tony

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 I cannot speak to how or why any particular set of plan were prepared. The model company my be in possession of specific information for that exact vessel. But attached are the pic's of English cutters I have in my records. They all have bobstays. I just cannot imagine such a long, rather thin spar being in effect "unstayed". It is especially hard to see how it would work considering the relative sizes of the head sail in a cutter rig. Something would have to counteract the upward pull of the sails.

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post-2745-0-11213400-1415384238_thumb.jpeg

post-2745-0-97911700-1415384261_thumb.jpg

post-2745-0-02930100-1415384292_thumb.jpg

Edited by michaelpsutton2

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Tony,

 

My gut instinct is that Goodwin doesn't show a bobstay, because there wasn't one - on the particular vessel he is writing about. Personally, I wouldn't have thought he'd have left it off the drawings if one were present. Regarding Petersson, there would seem to be a discrepancy between his drawings, which as you say don't show one, and the 'Science Museum' cutter of 1785 – which he says he based them on – which does! (This further begs the question, can Petersson be trusted 100%?) :huh:

 

Further, the earlier pictures of the Hawke, in the AOTS Alert book, show that she didn't have a bobstay either and you mention that the NMM model of the Trial of 1790, like the cutter of 1785, has one fitted. This is interesting and suggests, yet again, that the dates are important here – as with the questions regarding the topgallant backstays and yards. Could it be that around that magical date of the mid 1780's bobstays began to be adopted, with regard to the changes in the rig and caused perhaps by an increase in the upward strain on the bowsprit due to an additional sail area?

 

Michael, your pictures would all seem to be later cutters, where bobstays might be expected.

 

As to the question as to whether Sherbourne had one, again I would say no, since she is one of the earlier cutters like Alert, and the upward pull on the bowsprit probably wasn't so great. I also have a theory that, to a certain extent, both the two martingales and the traveller outhaul on the starboard side, may also have acted partly as bobstays. The lower blocks of all three are situated down on the wale, or at least they are on my Sherbourne, so that the line of all of them point downwards from the bowsprit – suggesting that their combined downward pull might be enough to offset the upward one of the headsails. Any thoughts on that? One other point, perhaps, is that the end of the bowsprit was quite 'busy', with all that was attached there, so would a bobstay have been fitted unless absolutely necessary?

Edited by Stockholm tar

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Thanks Michael and Kester. It seems clear that a counter-force is required, and I really like Kester's suggestion that this might be provided by the combination of the martingales and the traveller outhaul when the earlier cutters had less sail. I note from Jim Lad's build of the Stag that he didn't put a bobstay in either -- at least that is what I presume from the level of detail in the pictures at http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/137-stag-by-jim-lad-scale-196-english-revenue-cutter-of-1827/?p=112117.

 

As to the busyness at the bowsprit, I was beginning to get very worried about the amount going on there already, so the lack of a bobstay would please me greatly!

 

Tony

Edited by tkay11

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Tony,

 

Well actually, and I hate to disagree with you, but there is what looks like a bobstay rigged – and she is dated 1827! ;)

Edited by Stockholm tar

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Actually I'm glad you disagree. I was half suspecting I mistook it as a jib outhaul so it's good you can put me to rights. Anyway, it looks like your theory as to the dates may well be correct.

 

Thanks for the input, and, as usual, it's great that we can ask these silly questions on this forum without being torn apart for ignorance!

 

Tony

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Unfortunately you cant base everything 100% from Peterson's book.  It is based only on one model.   There are countless examples of a cutter from many different time periods rigged with a bobstay.  The Surly is rigged with one as the image shows above.  Earlier examples had the bobstay go through a hole in the stem.  Later they had an iron fitting with an eyebolt attached to the front of the stem so they didnt have to drill through it.  This made it prone to rot.  The cheerful in the Rogers collection has one.

 

Chuck

 

bobstay.jpg

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Thanks, Chuck. So I guess it's up to me as to whether I fit one or not. At least it sounds as though there won't be too many complaints if I don't fit one.

 

Tony

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My two cents is that they would certainly all have had bobstays. I don't want to put words in anyones mouth but I think we can all agree that the object of a cutters rig was to provide the maximum sail area to give the highest possible speed. I find it difficult to believe anyone would load a rig with all that canvas and such a long long bowsprit and then neglect such an important feature as the bobstay. I will concede its possible to omit a bobstay on a running bowsprit on a sailing vessel, but not if you want to have the maximum amount of sail on the rig. Here is a contemporary model of the Hawk 1777 showing a bobstay:  http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/66275.html

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On the Hawke...that isnt the bobstay.  That is actually the Jib outhaul.  But I agree with you on Frank on the bobstay.  But as with the Hawke and the model used for teh Peterson book,  some contemporary models dont show it.  In fact...many of the photos Michael showed above are not actually the bobstay.  They are also the jib outhaul attached to the traveler ring.  Then it reeves through the end of the bowsprit and runs to a sheave along the stem.  Or in some cases a simple block setup

 

 

Go figure.

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Hi Tony

Somehow I have missed this thread. I searched the term bobstay today when I realised that – with all the forces working in the rigging installed so far – in my Sherbourne the bowsprit began to lift a few degrees.

So the very next thing I will do before belaying the backstays is to mount a strong bobstay, served all over.

post-27-0-15063900-1419860475_thumb.jpg

Thanks for initializing this very helpful thread,

Gregor

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Useful tip, Gregor! I'll make sure I have the bobstay installed strongly before getting on to the main mast. I'm shortly to start work on the bowsprit, having almost completed the deck (I'm working on doing the windlass as a hexagonal one as per the original plan and your own model -- an idea which may or may not come to fruition).

 

Thanks

 

Tony

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I'm looking forward to new pictures in your log, Toni!

Here the bobstay I added yesterday (0.75mm, fully served). It's more than an accessory, it really helps the bowsprit to stay in it's place.

post-27-0-67367800-1419943583_thumb.jpg

post-27-0-37166100-1419943848_thumb.jpg

Gregor

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