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shrouds and lanyards

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  • Member since
    November 2005
shrouds and lanyards
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 30, 2005 7:21 PM

Hello all,

As my model of the Sana Maria is getting loser to the rigging phase, I am now concerned about how to actual rig it. Let me see if I can explain.

Firstly, this will be the first time for me to rig a ship model.

 I plan on seizing the shrouds. This will be for the mast eyes as well as the lanyards. (Boy, I hop I am getting this vocaulary down) Anyway, as I see it, I am going to have to seive the lines while they are off the ship. THe problem I can forsee is how to make sure they are all taut when I am finished. Basically, Once I do a set of shrouds, I will need to put the eye over the mast and attach the lower part (Lanyard) to the eyebolt. How do I guarentee that I make the shroud the coreect length? I do not want it to sag nor to be too taut.

I just ordered my deadeyes, blocks, thread, etc. Yes, expensive but since there are no deadeyes and only 10 blocks in the Heller Santa Maria kit, I think it is necessary to purchase these.

On the side, I have been also working slowly on the Pamir. I have tried Future floor wax and also Tamiya clear coat. I prefer to use Tamiya. I am working on ships and do not see that I will be using alot of clear coat so for me the cost is not the issue. I just much prefered the quality of the coat after use. Just my 2cents.

Also, For Prof. Tilley, I have finally tracked down some pictures of the Pamir which show those cables I was talking about which run from the maincastle over the afterdeck to the quarterdeck. It seems to run from 6inches to 1 foot off the ground is stayed with eyebolts. My guesstimate is that they are anchor cables and would have attached to the capstans somehow. Perhaps this may jog a memory for you and can further elaborate on this.

Thank you all,

Robert

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Thursday, December 1, 2005 1:03 AM

A light just went on in my head.  I think those lines running just above the deck of the Pamir are the cables running from the steering wheels on the midship deckhouse to the tiller head at the stern.  If I'm right, in real life they'd be either heavy steel wire or chain.

Regarding the shrouds of the Santa Maria, I need to start with a large caveat:  I've never done much research on 15th-century ships.  I have the impression that shrouds in those days were rigged pretty much like they were in later centuries, but I could be mistaken.  The following applies to 17th- through 19th-century rigging, but I think it's probably applicable to what you're doing.

Generally speaking, shrouds are set up in pairs.  Start with the first shroud on the starboard side.  Take a piece of the line you're going to use for the shroud and seize a deadeye into it.  Rig the lanyard between the upper and lower deadeyes and secure the end of the lanyard.  Make the distance between the upper and lower deadeyes about three times the diameter of the deadeye.  Run the shroud up around the masthead and back down again on the same side of the ship.  Seize the two parts of the shroud together temporarily, but leave the seizing line loose enough for the time being to let them slide up and down freely.  Seize the remaining upper deadeye into the loose end of the shroud, at a point that, when the lanyard is hauled taut, will make the upper deadeyes sit in line with each other. 

Then repeat the procedure to set up the first two shrouds on the port side of the ship.  Then do nos. 3 and 4 on the starboard side, etc.

If the number of shrouds on each side is odd, the first shroud goes up, all the way around the masthead, and down to become the first shroud on the other side of the ship.

I'm afraid there's no magic solution to the problem of aligning the deadeyes.  I personally find it one of the trickiest tasks in ship model rigging.  Some folks get good results by making a simple jig out of wire, to keep the deadeyes the proper distance apart.  Once you get some practice that probably won't be necessary.

 

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: vernon hills illinois
Posted by sumpter250 on Friday, December 2, 2005 12:10 PM

  Someone once suggested using a jig for building each pair of shrouds, before they were applied to the model. He didn't take into account that as each pair of shrouds was laid over the masthead, the next pair would have to be longer, because it lay on top of the eye of the preceding shroud.

   The upper deadeye of each shroud, pretty much has to be siezed in at "its own height", so even one jig can't really be used, unless the jig can be adjusted for each new deadeye. If it were easy, it wouldn't provide the challenge that makes it fun.

Pete

Lead me not into temptation ..................I can find it myself

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Friday, December 2, 2005 1:37 PM

The way it's supposed to work (there are exceptions to every rule) is that the line of upper deadeyes is parallel to the line of lower deadeyes.  The vertical distance between upper and lower deadeyes (viewed from the side) is supposed to remain constant.  But the vertical distance isn't the only dimension that concerns the modeler.

In practical terms, it's difficult to achieve that situation with any sort of jig, because the angle between the mast and the shrouds isn't constant.  The foremost shroud in the gang is vertical, or nearly so.  The next one back is on a slight slope, and the next a more pronounced one.  In a big ship (e.g., H.M.S. Victory), the aftermost shroud on each mast forms quite a noticeable angle with the mast.  As a result, the actual, measured distance between the upper and lower deadeyes of that shroud is considerably greater than the distance between the upper and lower deadeyes of the first shroud.  To put it another way, the lanyard running between the aftermost pair of deadeyes is considerably longer than the lanyard running between the foremost pair.

In its notorious, 1/100-scale H.M.S. Victory kit, Heller tried to simplify the rigging job by molding the deadeyes on sprue frames with the appropriate distance between them.  The modeler was supposed to rig the lanyards between the deadeyes before removing the deadeyes from the frames.  It was a good idea that almost worked - but it didn't, because Heller forgot that not all deadeye pairs are the same distance apart.  Using that system would make the upper row of deadeyes slant downward toward the stern.

The other problem with jigs for this sort of thing is that they encourage the modeler to ignore the question of tension in the lines.  You could make a jig for each pair of deadeyes all right; it wouldn't really be difficult.  But unless you were extremely careful to set up all the shrouds with the same degree of tension, as soon as you removed the jig some of the deadeye pairs would droop and others would snap tight. 

My personal opinion is that, in situations like this, jigs are more trouble than they're worth.  Like I said earlier, I find the setting up of lower deadeyes one of the trickiest parts of rigging a ship model.  I don't think there's a way to make it really easy.  On the other hand, it's easy to fix a mistake if you make it:  cut the thread loose and start over.  And when the nice, straight, parallel rows of deadeyes are finished, they sure make the modeler feel like he/she has accomplished something.

The good news is that all the above applies primarily to ships of the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries.  There aren't a lot of contemporary pictures of ships from the era of Columbus, but the ones that do exist suggest that the sailors of that age were hardly obsessed with uniformity.  If there's a little variation in the spacing of the deadeyes on a model of the Santa Maria, it may well be authentic.  For that matter, as we discussed a little earlier in this thread, there's plenty of room for doubt as to whether such a ship would have deadeyes at all.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, December 2, 2005 6:23 PM

JT, forgive me questioning you please, but I have a question.

The lower row of deadeyes, will indeed be fixed, as they are tied down to whatever holds them, either rope or iron, there is then a lanyard thats purpose is to control the tension in the shroud right?

That said, there is no way the upper dead eyes will all be in line, as each one will require a certain position in order to maintain the correct shroud tension, unless the shrouds were all exactly correct in length and stretched at sea with the same amount.

Each shroud is different in length to it's neighbour, so would stretch at a greater or lessor rate(longer rope stretched more than a short one)

To have the dead eyes in the arrangment you discuss, would look good, but would have required an "ass" of a captain to enforce such uniformity, was it realy like that?

Again, sorry for the inquisitive mind, I'll stay and do detention but I have to know! lolWink [;)]

  • Member since
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  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Friday, December 2, 2005 8:54 PM

These are perfectly reasonable questions, without completely straightforward answers.

Our best evidence about such things takes the form of photographs, with paintings and drawings (by artists who knew what they were doing) a good second-best.  Preserved ships and modern full-sized replicas also are useful in establishing what actually works and what doesn't.

In theory, all the shrouds have to be in nearly-identical tension or they can't do their job.  That means that on the weather side of the ship they're extremely taut, and on the lee side (in a strong wind) they're slack.  In just about every photograph of a sailing ship I've ever seen, the upper deadeyes are lined up pretty precisely in a straight line parallel to the lower ones.  That's also how they've been arranged in every real ship and replica I've ever seen. 

Most of the preserved ships, and all of the photographs, in question date from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. During that period the process of lining up the deadeyes was made easier by a fitting called a "sheer pole" - a simple iron or wood rod that was seized to the shrouds just above the upper deadeyes.  The sheer pole made sure that all the deadeyes were in line - even if some of the shrouds were a little more taut than others. 

The sheer pole apparently made its appearance late in the seventeenth century.  For earlier periods, all we have to consult are paintings and drawings.  The vast majority of the ones I've seen show the deadeyes neatly lined up - sheer pole or no.  A couple of weeks ago my students and I took a field trip to Jamestown Settlement, and I took some pictures of the replicas of the early-seventeenth-century ships Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery.  Their deadeyes are lined up quite precisely - and they don't have sheer poles.  The guys who work on them tighten the shrouds every few days (more frequently when the ships are at sea).  I'm pretty sure the rope they use is some sort of non-stretchy modern synthetic (though it looks pretty convincing), but the appearance of those ships certainly matches what little contemporary graphic evidence we have.

I just looked through the contemporary pictures in a new book, The Tudor Navy, by Arthur Nelson.  In a lot of those old prints and paintings it's hard to see the details of the rigging, but in those where the deadeyes are visible they're lined up in parallel rows.

Remember that the seizings and lanyards aren't permanent, and can be adjusted fairly easily.  It was common practice to slack off the lanyard of the foremost shroud on the lee side of the ship, to give the lower yard a little more room to swing.  And I once watched a sailor on board the replica schooner Bluenose II while he overhauled the lower rigging.  He loosed the ends of the lanyards, then untied the seizings of each lower shroud, pulled the shroud a little further around the deadeye, replaced the seizings, and hove the lanyard taut.  When he was finished, the deadeyes were all arranged in a nice, straight row - slightly closer to the lower deadeyes than they'd been before he started.

With all that said, I do have my doubts about how neatly such things were actually done in practice.  I suspect that a ship at sea, far out of sight of land, that had just been through a storm, wasn't quite as ship-shape as the paintings and photos lead us to believe - with respect to the alignment of the deadeyes and plenty of other stuff.

I'd also emphasize again that we're talking here about practices that became common long after 1492.  Some good reconstructions of Columbus's ships don't have deadeyes; their shrouds are set up with block and tackle.  And the few contemporary pictures from the period suggest that ships' rigging in the late fifteenth century was in general treated a good bit more casually than it was later.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, December 2, 2005 9:48 PM

Thank you JT,

So it was a case of the shrouds were set to a length(intitialy) that would allow the captain to maintain the ship that "looked" good. But after several weeks at sea, it's conceivable that those deadeyes were a little more up and down? then just tarted up for the sail into home port kind of thing? makes sense I guess.

A few months ago, I would not have even known what those terms meant, lol

As a side note, why move away from block and tackle? it would have been far easier to retighten a block and lash it off, than to redo a deadeye and then re bind the lanyard?

Lol, look at the first few posts I made, I said every answer poses two questions that I did not know I wanted to know beforeSmile [:)] still going strong.....

  • Member since
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  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Saturday, December 3, 2005 9:47 AM

On board an eighteenth- or nineteenth-century warship, with hundreds of men to keep occupied, overhauling the standing rigging seems to have been a near-daily exercise.  My guess is that such a vessel's deadeyes would have been neatly aligned virtually all the time.  I don't have any real information to support the following, but my guess is that things were a bit less stringent in the merchant service.  H.M.S. Victory had nine yards permanently fastened to her masts and a crew of between 800 and 1000.  The Cutty Sark had fifteen yards and a crew of 28 - including the officers and such people as the cook, the carpenter, and the steward, who rarely if ever went aloft.  Maintaining the rigging of such a ship must have kept the able seamen mighty busy.  (Actually the Cutty Sark is a bad example.  Her lower rigging is made of wire, which doesn't stretch nearly as much as rope.)

The first rigging blocks were chunks (blocks) of wood with holes drilled through them.  I'm not exactly sure when the movable sheave made its appearance - but it probably was pretty early.  (The blocks found in the surviving Viking ships, as I recall, don't have sheaves.  The wreck of the Mary Rose, which sank in 1545, has yielded dozens of blocks with movable sheaves - along with deadeyes, a complete set of parrel trucks and rollers, and all sorts of other remarkably modern-looking fittings.) 

The purpose of a block is to multiply the force of the person/people heaving on the line.  The sheave in the block turns in order to minimize the counteracting factor of friction.  Under normal circumstances the lanyard that connects a pair of deadeyes doesn't move.  The deadeyes don't have movable sheaves; their purpose is to impose a maximum of friction.  You'll see the effect when you start rigging them.  You'll find that pulling on the end of the lanyard makes it run pretty freely through all those holes - until you thread it through the last one.  Then the whole assembly seems to lock up; to adjust the completed lanyard you have to pull on the individual parts of it. 

The development of the sailing ship took a long time, and its evolution produced some things that didn't make much sense.  (In the Cutty Sark, for instance, we have three lower topsails, which are nowhere near the top; they're next to the bottom.  And the lowest square sail on the mizzenmast isn't called the mizzen course or mizzen sail; it's called the crojack.  One could go on indefinitely.)  But all those developments, slow though they were, were rational.  The old boys knew what they were doing.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, December 3, 2005 2:32 PM
Sounds like my question but worded differently, if deadeyes are hard to pull taught, why use them for something that needs adjusting daily? As you say, the block moves easier, the only advantage I can see is cost. Or possibly that a block and tackle may come loose easier.
  • Member since
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  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Sunday, December 4, 2005 12:14 AM

I'm not aware of any contemporary treatise that explains in any detail just what the precise logic behind any rigging details was.  Many practices evolved over the centuries, without a great deal of logic - other than the fact that experience had proven that they worked.

The basic principle, though, is that running rigging runs and standing rigging stands.  A block is a device designed to make it easy for a line to be hauled on - by a minimal number of people.  Running rigging lines move through the blocks constantly, every time the ship undertakes any sort of maneuver.  Just how often the deadeyes on the shrouds and backstays had to be adjusted I don't know; it probably varied considerably according to the size of the rope, the age of the rope, and the weather.  But the shrouds were intended to be as rigid as possible.

I'm aware of one partial exception.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, it was customary in some ships to slack off the foremost shroud on the lee side in order to give the lower yard a little more room to swing.  I've seen some old plans in which the foremost shrouds on the fore and main masts were set up with heavy blocks, apparently to make that process easier.  (If memory serves, one contemporary sailplan of the Constitution shows that arrangement.  I may be wrong about that, though.)  That's also why, in some ships, most of the ratlines stopped short of the foremost shroud.  The one of the lee side would spend quite a bit of its time hanging slack; the ratlines would have stopped it from doing that. 

 

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, December 4, 2005 7:08 AM

Prof. Tilley and Vapo,

While I started this thread I haven't actualy contributed to it. It has been fascinating just to read your Questions and Answers. Like you Vapo, the vocabulary is taking its time sinking in, but it is coming along. Now I just wish I could understand what your are talking about.

eg. this is off of the Victory thread you are all part of:

From Prof. Tilley

My normal suggestion is to figure on including all the standing rigging and those portions of the running rigging that hold the yards in position and make them move.  That means the halyards, jeers, lifts, and braces, plus the basic gear for the spanker (topping lifts, peak and throat halyards, boom sheets, and vangs) and perhaps the basic gear for the jibs and staysails (halyards, downhaulers, and jib outhaulers).

When I can confidently answer what all of those items are or what it means I will feel sooooooo much better.

With that being said, don't stop. This is great.

Robert

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, December 4, 2005 9:28 AM

Yes, sorry for the partial thread hijack, but like you, I still don't get all the terminology.

This kit would have been a damn site harder were it not for these people, they are so friendly and willing to share their collective "brains" it makes it so much more enjoyable learning.

  • Member since
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  • From: vernon hills illinois
Posted by sumpter250 on Sunday, December 4, 2005 1:15 PM

Robert,

It took me quite a while to remember what the * jeers were! Jeers are temporary tackles used to hoist the lower yards, they were usually set up under the tops, and held the yards until the lifts could be rigged, and the cranes reassembled. Halyards (haliards) are used to raise sail. Lifts, position yards horizontally. Braces rotate the yards around the mast, to position sails to port or starboard.

The Spanker is usually a gaff headed, fore and aft sail rigged to the mizzen mast ( in a three mast ship).topping lifts adjust the outer end of the boom (vertically)  The Throat haliard lifts the forward end of the gaff, the Peak haliard lifts the aft end of the gaff.( the peak haliard can be used to adjust the fullness of a gaff headed sail, sometimes called a fisherman's reef) Boom sheets, or just "sheets" set the angle of fore and aft sails, and set the lower corners of square sails. Vangs, typically attach to the aft end of the gaff, and can be used to change the angle(port to starboard) of the gaff. Outhauls, are usually used on the foot of a fore and aft sail, to stretch the foot along the boom. An outhaul is also attached to the reef cringle (eye in the sail), to stretch the "new foot" of the sail when it is reefed down ( made smaller to handle heavier winds). Downhauls are used on jibs (and sometimes on "jib headed" sails) to aid taking down sail.

The professor caught me with "Jib outhaulers", as most jibs are attached to stays with rings, or "hanks",and normally would not have outhauls. I have had the pleasure of going out on the bowsprit to cast off the gaskets on the heads'ls so they could be hoisted. Also been there to take in heads'ls and secure them.

Pete

Lead me not into temptation ..................I can find it myself

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, December 4, 2005 3:41 PM
 sumpter250 wrote:

Robert,

It took me quite a while to remember what the * jeers were! Jeers are temporary tackles used to hoist the lower yards, they were usually set up under the tops, and held the yards until the lifts could be rigged, and the cranes reassembled. Halyards (haliards) are used to raise sail. Lifts, position yards horizontally. Braces rotate the yards around the mast, to position sails to port or starboard.

The Spanker is usually a gaff headed, fore and aft sail rigged to the mizzen mast ( in a three mast ship).topping lifts adjust the outer end of the boom (vertically)  The Throat haliard lifts the forward end of the gaff, the Peak haliard lifts the aft end of the gaff.( the peak haliard can be used to adjust the fullness of a gaff headed sail, sometimes called a fisherman's reef) Boom sheets, or just "sheets" set the angle of fore and aft sails, and set the lower corners of square sails. Vangs, typically attach to the aft end of the gaff, and can be used to change the angle(port to starboard) of the gaff. Outhauls, are usually used on the foot of a fore and aft sail, to stretch the foot along the boom. An outhaul is also attached to the reef cringle (eye in the sail), to stretch the "new foot" of the sail when it is reefed down ( made smaller to handle heavier winds). Downhauls are used on jibs (and sometimes on "jib headed" sails) to aid taking down sail.

The professor caught me with "Jib outhaulers", as most jibs are attached to stays with rings, or "hanks",and normally would not have outhauls. I have had the pleasure of going out on the bowsprit to cast off the gaskets on the heads'ls so they could be hoisted. Also been there to take in heads'ls and secure them.

Pete

 

Oh much clearerConfused [%-)]

I'll get it all in maybe a year or so I'm sure,lol

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, December 4, 2005 7:29 PM

Oh wow,

I am not worthy.Bow [bow]

Pete I am sure you wrote the bove with the best of intentions, but I only understood about 5%. words such as to, a, is, and a few 3 letter words. Blush [:I]

Why couldn't they have just called everything something like this, that, these, those. Than all they have to say is pull the big rope from that big piece of wood so the 3rd cloth will open up. Don't touch the tacky black rope, jus the other colored one. I will tell you when to stop. No, on the other side. That thingy goes over that thinging with a few of those rope thingys to keep it there. etc...... Wink [;)]

Here is my list of books I am having sent from Amazon. First shipped to my dad for free shipping and then to here. Tey want about $3.00 for each book plus the shipping fee. I don't understand why it costs money to remove a book from a shelve for international orders but not local? Maybe they use white satin gloves for the handling. Perhaps with these books, I will understand what Pete said, or more than likely having to order more books to figure out the first books. I did see an illustrated encyclopedia for sailing ships. Any good?

List:

Modeling Books:

Ships of Christopher Columbus (Anatomy of a ship)

Basics of Ship Modeling By Ashey

The Way of a Ship: By Villiers

Sailing Ship Rigs and Rigging: By Underhill

Ship Modeling Simplified: By Mastini

The Ship Model Builders Assistant: By Davis

 

I hope these come in handy

Robert

 

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Monday, December 5, 2005 12:40 AM

A jib is a triangular sail set between the foremast and the bowsprit (or, more properly, the jibboom, which is an outward extension of the bowsprit).  It made its appearance late in the seventeenth century.  Being set so far forward, it was able to exert enormous leverage in turning the ship around.  By the mid-eighteenth century (if not a little earlier), somebody figured out that the amount of force it contributed to the turning motion of the ship could be adjusted by changing the position of the forward bottom corner (the "tack") along the length of the jibboom.  The farther out along the jibboom the tack was secured, the more effect a wind blowing from abeam into the jib would have on the ship's tendency to turn downwind.  So somebody invented the jib traveler.  

The jib traveler was a ring, made initially of rope and later of iron, that slid along the jibboom.  It was controlled by the outhauler (a line running from the traveler to either a block at the end of the jibboom or a sheave in the end of it) and the inhauler (a line running from the traveler to the forecastle deck).  Hauling the outhauler and slacking off the inhauler made the traveler move out along the jibboom; the reverse made it move in.

Another characteristic of this arrangement was that the jibstay (the line that ran from the jibboom to the foremast, and to which the long side of the sail was secured) had to change in length when the traveler was heaved along the jibboom.  Hooked to the traveler was a block, through which the jibstay passed.  (When the iron traveler was introduced, it usually had a roller built into it for the jibstay.)  The end of the jibstay was then taken inboard to the forecastle deck; in a big ship it usually had a tackle rigged to its inboard end for the purpose of hauling it taut.

The other lines associated with the jib in those days included the halyard (running from the peak of the sail, alongside the jibstay to the masthead, then through a block and down to the deck), the downhauler (running from the peak of the sail down to a small block on the traveler, then inboard to the forecastle), and a pair of sheets - one leading to each side of the ship, for use when the ship was on the port and starboard tacks.

Fairly early in the nineteenth century this system got simplified a bit, with the elimination of the traveler.  From that point onward the jibstay was rigged permanently between the masthead and the jibboom, and the inhauler and outhauler disappeared. 

From Spelunko's standpoint, the good news about all this is that it's irrelevant.  The Santa Maria sank long before the jib was invented, and the Pamir's jibs were rigged with permanent stays.

Regarding jeers - in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries they generally were part of the permanent standing rigging.  The primary purpose of the lifts in that period was not to support the yards but to make it possible to tilt them in the vertical plane.  In a big warship like the Victory there was a relatively fail-safe system of keeping the lower yards aloft, in case any of the components were damaged by shot.  The jeers hauled the yard up in the first place, and generally stayed in place.  (The jeer blocks for the mainyard probably were the biggest blocks in the ship.)  Once the yard was up, it was secured to the mast by the "truss," a fairly simple system of heavy ropes that could be slacked off a bit, so the yard could swing a little more when the ship was working to windward.  And a heavy, parcelled-and-served line called a "sling" was rigged between the yard and the lower cap (usually with a pair of bullseyes) to hold the yard up.  If either the sling or the jeers got shot away, the yard (theoretically at least) would stay aloft.  During the process of "clearing for action," the rope slings sometimes were replaced with heavy chains for extra insurance.  If either the fore- or mainyard ever came down, the result would be disastrous.

All this is hard to describe verbally - and probably harder to understand.  The drawings in the Longridge book make it all pretty simple.

Early in the old movie "Captain Horatio Hornblower" (the one with Gregory Peck), a wind comes up to rescue Hornblower's ship from a long period of doldrums.  Somebody yells, quite enthusiastically, "Away the mainyard!"  That line always gives me a laugh.  (If the order were carried out, most of the ship's rigging would collapse in a matter of seconds.)  Another of my favorites is Charles Laughton's famous line to Clark Gable in the original "Mutiny On the Bounty":  "Mr. Christian, I won't rest until I see you hanging from the highest yardarm in the British navy!"  The real Captain Bligh surely would have known that (assuming the lifts of the ship in question were properly rigged), there were two highest yardarms in the  British navy:  one at each end of the highest yard in the British navy.

Spelunko - That's a pretty good list of books.  One word of warning about the Davis one:  it's full of good information, but it was published in the 1920s.  Don't expect the techniques described in it to be up to date.  I'd recommend two others (both paperbacks, and not terribly expensive):  Wolfram zu Mondfelt's Historic Ship Models and George Campbell's The Neophyte Shipmodeler's Jackstay.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
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  • From: vernon hills illinois
Posted by sumpter250 on Monday, December 5, 2005 12:31 PM

The jib traveler was a ring, made initially of rope and later of iron, that slid along the jibboom.  It was controlled by the outhauler

Live and learn! Thankyou Prof. Tilley that was something I had never heard of, or considered. The description of jeers in Steele's Elements lead me to believe that jeers were temporary, Your explanation makes very good sense.

The real Captain Bligh surely would have known that (assuming the lifts of the ship in question were properly rigged), there were two highest yardarms in the  British navy:  one at each end of the highest yard in the British navy.

Aarrr, Mr. Christian..but you see, it be my intention to 'ang ye twice! Aye, so be it, and fall on!

Pete

Lead me not into temptation ..................I can find it myself

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, December 6, 2005 10:09 AM

Hope this link helps out, it simply confirms(of course) everything JT has already mentioned, Smile [:)]

http://www.all-model.com/wolfram/PAGE58.html

I know I'm going to regret this, is there a simple answer to why the shrouds don't all fix on the mast head the same way? why the multide of fixings?

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Tuesday, December 6, 2005 10:23 AM

I guess I don't understand the question.  That drawing from the web is a good rendition of how the shrouds of a ship like the Victory went over the lower mastheads.  (The topmast shrouds were secured to the topmast heads similarly.)  Slightly different methods of seizing, etc., were used by different nations at different times, but that drawing is a good, generic rendition of how it was usually done.

Later, toward the end of the nineteenth century, large ships started using wire for their lower rigging and lots of things got changed - including the way the ends of lines were secured.  The transition was fairly gradual, though.  The Cutty Sark (1870) has wire lower shrouds, but they're seized around the mastheads and secured with deadeyes and lanyards almost exactly like the Victory's.  The upper ends of the shrouds on board the modern Coast Guard sail training barque Eagle, on the other hand, are simply shackled to eyebolts welded to a steel band around the mast, just below the top, and the lower ends are set up not with deadeyes but with rigging screws (i.e., oversized turnbuckles).  I imagine the Pamir's lower shrouds were rigged like that - but I'd have to check to be sure. 

That drawing, incidentally, is reproduced from Wolfram zu Mondfeld's book, Historic Ship Models, which I mentioned a few posts back.  I'm not sure how much of the book is on the website, but any newcomer to the hobby would be well advised to keep a printed copy on the workbench.  Mondfeld occasionally tends to generalize a little too much for my taste, and the very nature of the book means that there's not enough specific information in it to build a model of a particular ship.  And the text has a distinctly European slant - especially in terms of such things as materials and tools.  But although a drawing like that may not exactly be worth a thousand words, but it's certainly preferable to several hundred of mine.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    November 2004
  • From: Chandler,AZ
Posted by mkeatingss on Tuesday, December 6, 2005 11:10 AM

   There's an unbelievable amount of great information in this thread. Some of it new to me. However Spelunko's question was "how to do".

   Easy, do a simple serve. Both ends of the line will slide through the serve, making adjusting the line length easy. A drop of clear flat paint will make the serving permanent. But don't do this until all shrouds, on the mast, are in place and adjusted for length and tension.

If Spelunko will send me an email at mkeatingss@cox.net I'll send him some pictures on how to do it. I've used this method on 2 Cutty Sarks, a Thermopile, 2 Constitutions, a Victory, a Mayflower, a Santa Marie and I don't know how many of others. Quick, simple (relatively speaking) and looks great.

Mike K.

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, December 6, 2005 11:43 AM
JT, what I meant was , why the different seizings? why not fix all shrouds to the mast head in the same manner? for the same mast.
  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Tuesday, December 6, 2005 1:33 PM

With the exception of the odd-numbered shroud (which, as we established earlier, is a slightly special case), they are all seized in the same manner. 

The key drawing in the group from the Mondfeld web page is the top one, which shows the masthead from the side.  What you're looking at is a series of eyes seized into the shrouds.  The eyes are put over the masthead, one after the other, alternating from side to side.  Each of them is rotated a little further back on the masthead, so the shrouds "fan out" as they head downward toward the channel. 

The drawings below that on the web page just illustrate different ways of handling the problem of making the eyes.  I think Mondfeld is actually over-generalizing a little bit (that sort of thing is inevitable in a book that covers such a breadth of material).  He seems to be taking it for granted that, if a mast had an odd number of shrouds, the odd one would have an eye seized or spliced in its end and the eye would go over the masthead.  That was in fact one of two ways of doing it.  In the other method, the shroud went right around the masthead and down the other side of the ship.

For model-building purposes that distinction isn't worth losing sleep.  I'm sure Longridge explains how he thinks it was done in the case of the Victory; he's good enough for me.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, December 6, 2005 1:42 PM

yes, that's why I asked, because in that book it shows the same thing. I.E different ways of seizing, so you just pick one and use it for all, my missunderstanding, I though each shroud was siezed differently for some reason.

Thanks for the clear up

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, December 6, 2005 7:56 PM

Hello gentlemen,

What a fantastic post this has become.

To further the discussion, Here is my question.

When seizing the shroud at either the top of the mast or at the deadeye, How do you detemine how often (or how long) to make the seize? Ah, that didn't come out well. Let me try again.

From the top deadeye of the lanyard, the shroud is thread (Um, vocabulary is not with me this morning, time for more coffee). Around this is the seive. Let's say I am using a .9mm shroud thread. For the seive I use a .1mm thread. About how many times is this thread wound around the shroud before it is tied off?

Any cool website for showing how to do this on a model? I have seen so seizing machines, but how can someone use this if they need to seive the shroud while it is attached to the mast. All very confusing. I am not so worried about the Santa Maria but the Pamir worries me with having to seive all the shrouds this way. God forbid when I get to the Victory in my next life.

By the way Vapo, has your child been born yet? Here is a way to take care of a baby. Since you have ready access to CA this is better. Put some on the top of the head, push baby to ceiling, wiat for 20 seconds and walla, not crawling baby to worry about. hehehehe

Robert

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, December 6, 2005 8:20 PM

Funny you ask, mid way through dinner, we thought we may need to "get to the car, quick" but no, we're still waiting,lol. Another two weeks I hope, then the mother inlaw arrivesBanged Head [banghead]

As far as how many turns, I have two answers, we'll three if you count," not a bloody clue"

The number thirteen seems to ring a bell ffrom the pages and pages I've been reading, or it is just enough to fix the shroud, I don't think there would have been a fixed number.

I'm sure someone else has a much cleaner explanation, but my money is on no fixed number, as for how to do itSigh [sigh] well I'm sure I'll find out, soon enough, the poop deck is on, I'm finishing the toilets at the bow and the stern galleries will be done within the week. So then it's onto the "ropey" bits, don't hit me JT, I know they are realy called stringsWink [;)]

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Tuesday, December 6, 2005 8:28 PM

Vapochilled - Not quite.  Each of those detail drawings has a fairly specific application.  For the lower shrouds (and, for that matter, the topmast shrouds) of the Victory  you want Drawing No.1 - a simple round seizing.  On 1/100 scale - particularly on your first effort - I recommend forgetting about Nos. 2, 3, and 4.  Splicing line on that scale is something few modelers try - and it's extremely difficult to do to scale.  No. 5 is do-able for the odd-numbered shroud on a mast, but if you just run the shroud around the masthead and down the other side few people will argue.

For the highest (and thinnest) backstays a variation of No. 4 might be in order.  Just untwist the thread for half an inch or so, slip the mast in question through the gap between the strands, and twist them tight again.  Looks quite a bit like a cut splice on 1/100 scale.

Spelunko - the books you've ordered will answer these questions better than I can.  You really need some drawings and photos.  I think you'll find that latter-day sailing vessels like the Pamir generally had three seizings on each lower shroud.  (I don't remember, offhand, whether the Victory has two or three; I suspect the latter.  As for the Santa Maria - who knows?)  In a ship like the Pamir the shrouds themselves were made of wire, and the seizings frequently were painted white.  Remember that there were no deadeyes; by the 1930s the deadeye had become almost extinct in large ships, having given way to the rigging screw.  The latter was, in essence, and oversized turnbuckle.  The lower end of the shroud typically was seized to a shackle, and the pin of the shackle was shoved through the upper eye of the rigging screw.  And if you start thinking about how to do all that, twenty or thirty times, on 1/200 scale, you'll start to understand why I've never built that particular kit.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, December 6, 2005 8:48 PM

Prof Tilley and Vapo,

Firstly I did order the books mentioned before and have just ordered per Prof. tilley's suggestion:

Wolfram zu Mondfelt's Historic Ship Models and George Campbell's The Neophyte Shipmodeler's Jackstay.

For Vapo, Sorry to hear about the inlaw coming.

For Prof. Tilley, When I bought the Pamir and started on this site, I thought...Oh, 6 or 7 months for the Pamir. My estimation now I know was way off. Give it a year and 1/2. This is OK. THis is for fun not $$. I will also be building other ships in the meantime to keep me going. Probably something such as a tug, paddle steamer,or similar. I think I will really need an enormous madifying glass for rigging thePamir. Nothing like justifying purchasing more tools. I just hate it when I have to browse through the hardware stores for hours and hours and hours.

Well, since I am here, might as well ask. I am nowhere near the rigging phase of the Pamir. There are no deaeyes. So, would you advise purchasing shackles from someonelike bluejacket? Do they make them?

well, thanks for the help,

Robert

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Tuesday, December 6, 2005 9:50 PM

Spelunko - In reality each of those rigging screws (i.e., oversized turnbuckles) would have an eye forged in each end.  The one at the lower end would be shackled to an eyebolt in the deck.  (Sometimes the eye and shackle were replaced by a clevis - pretty much the same thing, but a little simpler.)  The shroud would be seized around another shackle (actually the shroud would be seized around a metal thimble, through which the shackle would be shoved), which would be secured to the upper eye of the rigging screw.  And the upper end of the shroud would (I think) be shackled to an eybolt welded to the mast band, just below the top.  That's three shackles per shroud.  If I remember correctly, there are at least six lower shrouds on each side of each mast - and four masts.  That's a minimum of 144 shackles, just for the lower shrouds.  The standing rigging of the Pamir probably contained a total of several hundred shackles of various sizes - and the running rigging would require at least that many more.  A shackle that's six inches long is a big shackle.  On 1/150 scale, six inches translates into .040".  Forget it.

On small-scale modeling like this (it's a big ship, but a mighty small scale) the key to success is to figure out how to make things look right, without actually making them to scale.  If I were doing it (gawd forbid), I'd concentrate on coming up with a good, practical way to represent the rigging screws.  Lengths of very thin plastic tubing - maybe insulation pulled from fine electrical wire - just might work.  It might be that slipping the lengths of tubing over the shrouds would give a convincing result.  Or maybe running a piece of fine wire through the lenght of tubing and forming a hook on each end; hook the bottom one into the deck eyebolt, and seize the shroud into the top one.  Or it may be, by pure luck, that the turnbuckles sold by the model railroad detail parts companies (e.g., Grandt Line or CalScale) would hae about the right proportions.  I'd have to try several tricks before settling on one.

My suggestion:  study the photos and drawings in the books, and get a clear notion in your head of what the real thing looks like.  That's the first step in figuring out how to reproduce it on a small scale.  In any case, this particular problem is not one you need to be losing sleep over at the present time.  You've made a wide decision to start with a Santa Maria.  I'm sure you'll have much more confidence and knowledge about rigging when you get that one under your belt.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, December 7, 2005 10:42 PM

Good day,

Prof. Tilley,

Here is a picture I have found of the shroud for the Peking. As you, I am sure, are aware, This ship was of the same line as the Pamir, hence I think the rigging of this part of the shroud is the same. Correct me if I am wrong. I ahve not yet done a detailed comparitive analysis of these 2 ships.

From this picture, I can see a "deadeye" at the base which is bolted onto a metal beam. The shroud is wrap around this deadeye and then banded together with some sort of clasp. My idea ofa turnbuckle is either wrong or I do not see one. This setup as per the photo is in my eyes like a seize, except instead of rope, there are metal clasps. Am I close?

If I do not say it enough, I truly thank you for your very detailed and yet understandable descriptions of how to possibly go about building a ship and what the different aspects of the ship we are dealing with.

Someone mentioned in another post I believe that to live next to you would be truly lucky. Yes and No. If I have a question, I can go to you and not only could you describe what is going on but also show me. No, because I would become a permanent ficture in your home and never get to the actual building a model nor see my children. My better half, well....a vacation from her might not be too bad.

With sincere gratitude and admiration,

Robert

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Wednesday, December 7, 2005 11:18 PM

The Peking and Pamir are indeed similar - though by no means identical.  (The Peking is bigger, and I think - though I may be mistaken - she's a little newer.)  Much of the rigging of the Peking is applicable to the Pamir, with one large caveat.  The Peking languished and decayed for many years before the people at New York's South Street Seaport Museum took her in hand and restored her.  By that time much of her deck machinery (the Jarvis brace winches, for example) had been removed, and so far as I know those fittings have never been replaced.  So what we see today is just a hint of the total outfit of rigging she used to have.

This particular picture is useful, but (like most pictures) has the potential to be a little deceptive.  I haven't been on board the ship for many years, but I think the character doing the Tarzan imitation in the foreground is standing on a wood pinrail that's mounted on pedestals just inboard of the shrouds.  His feet, in other words, are three or four feet above the deck.  The round-ended pins sticking up from the rail, to the right and left of his feet, are the handles of belaying pins.  If the ship were in service, each of them would have a piece of running rigging attached ("belayed") to it.

What's visible above the pinrail, therefore, is just part of the system by which the shrouds are secured. 

The guy's holding onto an unidentifiable piece of running rigging with his right hand; his left hand is on one of the topmast backstays.

The round fittings to which the shrouds and the backstay are seized are not deadeyes.  (A deadeye has three holes in it - like the eyes and mouth of a skull.  Hence the name.)  They're thimbles.  The u-shaped metal pieces that are bolted to the thimbles are the clevises that form the upper ends of the rigging screws (turnbuckles).  The barrels of the rigging screws (the parts that turn, to adjust the tension of the rigging) are obscured by the pinrail at the bottom of the picture.  (If the picture was cropped bigger at the bottom, they'd be visible below the pinrail.)  Presumably their lower ends are fitted with similar clevises, which are bolted to eyebolts in the deck (or, more correctly, the steel angle irons that form the waterway at the edge of the deck). 

The only line whose seizings are visible is the backstay (the one the guy is holding with his left hand).  There are four seizings.  They appear to be made of light rope, and are painted white.

The flat iron bar that runs between the thimbles is new to me; I'm not sure what the proper name for it is.  Its purpose is pretty obvious:  it keeps the clevises from turning in the barrels of the rigging screws, thereby loosening themselves.

Just below the guy's right hand, and a foot or so above it, are two of the ratlines.  Two more ratlines are visible below those two, though it's easy to confuse them with the black paintwork of the ship in the background.  The Peking being a latter-day sailing vessel, the ratlines are made of straight iron rods rather than rope. 

The vessel in the background is the 3-masted ship Wavertree.  In your version of the picture it may be possible to see some interesting details on her; my monitor's too small to show much. 

That's about all I can glean from this particular picture.  When the books you've ordered arrive, you'll find lots more.  The drawings in Harold Underhill's book will make the working of rigging screws and deadeyes obvious.

Even this small glimpse of the rigging details emphasizes how complex it all is.  The basic principles are pretty simple, but a great many small, individual parts are involved.  Consider the backstay in the guy's left hand.  The whole thing consists (I guess; I obviously can't see the whole setup) of an eyebolt in the waterway, the two clevises, the barrel of the rigging screw, the thimble, the bolts and nuts holding the clevises to the thimble and the eyebolt, the twisted, multi-strand wire that forms the backstay itself, the four pieces of rope that form the seizings around the thimble, another thimble at the upper end, another eyebolt welded to the masthead, a shackle (with a bolt and cotter pin) to hold the thimble to the eyebolt, and (I imagine) two or three seizings to hold the backstay to the thimble.  Reproducing all this stuff on 1/150 scale - and doing it over and over and over again for all the shrouds and backstays in the ship -  would be quite a challenge.  That's why so few modelers do it.  I'm not one of them.

Again - get a good clear understanding of what it really looks like, and then concentrate on figuring out how to represent it, without actually reproducing it in every single detail, on the model.  That's the key to success in small-scale ship modeling.

 

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

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