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Sequence of Rigging and Attaching Sails to Yardarms


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Hello, Never built a sailing ship!!!!!!!  Have completed the wooden hull, deck, masts. Have rigged the shrouds and ratlines. My question is what sequence should I do now and how do I attach sails to yardarms. Thank You. Very respectfully, Rich

I am working on USS CONSITUTION 1797 Wooden Model Ship.


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Work from the deck up and from the bow out. Masts and bowsprit consist of three or more individual units that rise one upon the other getting more slender as they stack up farther from the deck. All these parts have specific names and all the rigging that will go on the spars also have individual names- and on the real ship they all performed specific functions. Its going to be very difficult to learn all this but on the other hand if you get some ship model building books you will find all the information there. Plus there are a LOT of build logs here on Model Ship World that go from a bare hull to a completed ship, most of these with step by step photos with detailed written comments. There are a LOT of USS Constitution build logs to chose from and you will have no trouble at all finding photos of every step of the rigging process.




 Niagara USS Constitution 


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Short Guide to period ship model rigging.

After hull finishing and mast installation is time for „spider works” it is rigging.

All belaying racks , cleats must be already installed also is recommended to install eye bolts on ship decks or drill holes for it .

My sequence is:

1.Standing rigging – stays , shrouds, backstays, bowsprit standing rigging. I start with this works from foremast down shrouds and proceed going up and next to stern.

With proper tension of shrouds, stays and backstays position of mast is adjusted.

This is very important to control position of masts using plumb-line.

2.Yards furnishing. I install blocks and standing rigging on yards as also yard’s truss or parral. After fully furnishing of yards is time for attaching sails and running rigging: lifts, clew lines, leech and bunt lines, reef tackles

Next is time for attach sails to the yards.

3. Yards with sails are installed on masts and required running rigging  is made -  from topmast sails going down.

4. Remaining running rigging is installed: sheets and tacks, braces.

With proper tensions of sheets, tacks and braces the yards are shifted into

required position.

Tension of bowlines can help form bunt of sails.


Foto 1-9 Rigging workshop and jigs

Foto 10-12 Deadeyes tyig and jig

Foto 13 Ratlines tying with use of upholstery needle and stencil.

Foto 14-16 Yards and sails ready for "weddin"

Foto 16-18 Jigs for blocks tying and tackle made


Recommended books:

Rigging Period Ship Models by Lennarth Petersson

Rigging Period Fore-and-Aft Craft  by Lennarth Petersson

Historic Ship  Models b y Wolfram zu Mondfeld























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Welcome to the forum. Who is the model manufacturer's you are building? The davits look like it might be the Constructo? Each model has it's own strong and weak points. If we know the manufacturer it narrows things down a bit. 

Edited by robnbill


Chantilly, VA


Its not the size of the ship, but the bore of the cannon!


Current Build: Scratch Build Brig Eagle


Completed Build Log: USS Constitution - Mamoli

Completed Build Gallery: USS Constitution - Mamoli


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You and Rich (Hipexec) are building the same model. I just finished the Mamoli version. Most people here are building the Model Shipways version. However, if you follow the logs you will see that everyone has a slightly different take on how they like to do the rigging. I would read the logs and see which way you want to do it.


There are also a number of good books on the subject. Tadeuz listed most of them. I would also add "The 44-Gun Frigate USS Constitution, "Old Ironsides" (Anatomy of the Ship)" by Karl Heinz Marquardt. There are a number of mistakes and inconsistencies in the AOS but it makes a good reference point along with all the other references on the ship. Of course the Navy site and the museum website are also great sources of information. 


She is a fun ship with a great history and the first one that I really  rigged. Luckily for me the Mamoli plans walked me step by step through most of it.


Chantilly, VA


Its not the size of the ship, but the bore of the cannon!


Current Build: Scratch Build Brig Eagle


Completed Build Log: USS Constitution - Mamoli

Completed Build Gallery: USS Constitution - Mamoli


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