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Fastening Spar to Mast


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I'm to the point in my Fair American build where I need some guidance on how to attach the spars to the mast. I've tried to find this on my own but I've come up empty handed.

Is the spar simply glued or pinned to the mast ? Do you then "tie" this with rope? Any and all help will be appreciated. If I can be pointed to any instruction or pictures that would be good too.


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A good idea is to drill a small hole in both mast and yard, about half way through on each, and glue in an invisible metal pin between them. This should provide an additional secure fixing, besides the other rigging. A extra 'rope' shouldn't be necessary, but very likely there is a 'parrel' of beads, or beads with wooden 'ribs' between.


Of course on the real ship there would be no pin, and the parrels would keep the yard to the mast.



Current builds: Sherbourne (Caldercraft) scale – 1/64th;


Statsraad Lehmkuhl (half model) 1/8th" – 1'.


Victory Bow Section (Panart/Mantua) scale – 1/78th  (on hold).


Previous build: Bluenose ll (Billings) scale – 1/100th.

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Hi Wally,

In my opinion it depends on the scale model and model size.

For models in 1:48 - 1:75 scale I use fastening such as on the original ship – halyard or sling and trus for course yards as also halyard and trus or parals for upper yards.

For models in scale 1: 100 and small boats  rather only attach with thread to the mast.




My models:
From kits
Vasa, HMS Victory, Le Solei Royale, Friesland
From scratch
HMS Warrior 1860, Esplanade, Grosse Yacht
Norman’s ship, HMS Speedy, La Royale
Peter von Danzig
Polacca XVII cent.
Current project:
SS Savannah 1818

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It is always best to consult reference books on the period of the ship you are modelling. I believe the FAIR AMERICAN dates from the late 18th century, so there should be several of books on rigging ships of that period that you could consult. Some of them may be even available on-line. I believe Darcy Lever's early 19th century book is available for downloading somewhere.


One has to distinguish between yards that would normaly stay put and those that would be hoisted up when setting sail. The method of keeping the yard near the mast would differ. As noted by the others before me, a rope, the 'parrel' would be slung around the mast and the yard in a particular fashion. In your period it may be in two parts which have been spliced around yard and has an eye-splice in each end; the two ends with eye-splices would be taken around the mast and lashed together. On the hoisting yards you may find also wooden cleats with a half-round hole; a rope- or iron parrel with hinges would secure such yard to the mast. Sometimes parrels could also be loosened or tightened from deck level; this may be necessary when bracing-up hard the yards.


The best model solution is always the one closest to the prototype, irrespective of scale. Due to the limits of material dimensions (and your dexterity) you may have to simplify things. However, I would dare say that the parrel-arrangement as discussed above could be even reproduced in a 1:200 scale and believe there are examples for it on the Web (look for miniaturist, such as McCaffery). Your ambition is the limit ...



panta rhei - Everything is in flux



M-et-M-72.jpg  Banner-AKHS-72.jpg  Banner-AAMM-72.jpg  ImagoOrbis-72.jpg
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