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31 - Masts and Sails
Identification and Sequences for Assembling

images/009.gif (143 octets)   Introduction    images/010.gif (141 octets)

The "Assembling Instructions" of kits manufacturers do not indicate the function of the various components of the rigging.

Nevertheless, knowing this function would facilitate the organization of the model construction.

This chapter is going to resume quickly the various elements of the masts and the rigging. It concerns only the construction of kits and does not claim to have the precision of the monographs.

A visit on the site of Eric GAUTHIER's site will give you a great number and useful details about the rigging.

images/009.gif (143 octets)    1.  Masts, Identification    images/010.gif (141 octets)

  • On a 3 masts, the masts include:
  • The bowsprit (tilted forward).
  • The foremast (forward),
  • The mainmast (in the center),
  • The mizzenmast (aft).
  • Generally masts have 3 vertical sections:
  • The mast,
  • The fore mast,
  • The topgallant mast,
  • to which can be added the royal mast, over the topgallant mast.
  • The mast and the topmast are held together by the top and a cap.
  • The topmast and the topgallant mast are held together by cross trees and a topmast cap.
  • The bowsprit includes the bowsprit and the boom held together by a cap.

images/009.gif (143 octets)    2.  Yards and Sails, Identification    images/010.gif (141 octets)

  • Each section of a mast supports a yard. For example, on the mainmast we have:
  • The main yard, for the main mast,
  • The main topsail yard, for the main topmast,
  • The main topgallant yard, for the main topgallant mast.
  • The main royal yard, for the main royal mast.
  • Each sail keeps the name of the yard or the stay on which it is fixed.

images/009.gif (143 octets)    4.  The Standing Rigging, Identification    images/010.gif (141 octets)

  • The standing rigging maintains the masts.
  • Shrouds, back stays and stays form the standing rigging.
  • Composed of strong black cables (they are covered with tar), which tension is made by various kinds of tackles.
  • Tackles with deadeyes for shrouds and back stays.
  • Tackles with hearts or blocks for stays.
  • Each element of a mast is maintained:
  • Laterally backwards, by shrouds and or back stays.
  • Forewards, by one or two stays.
  • For masts:
  • Shrouds and back stays from the channels.
  • Stays from a previous mast.
  • For foremasts:
  • Shrouds from the top sides.
  • Back stays from channels.
  • Stays from a previous mast.
  • For topgallant masts:
  • Shrouds from the extremities of crosstrees,
  • Back stays from channels,
  • Stays from a previous mast.
  • For royal masts:
  • Back stays from channels.
  • Stays from a previous mast.
  • Between shrouds are ratlines, forming ladders for the access to the tops, crosstrees and yards. The space between ratlines is of 60cm, the diameter of the cable is of 2cm.

images/009.gif (143 octets)    4.  Running Rigging, Identification    images/010.gif (141 octets)

  • The running rigging covers all the lines which are used to manipulate yards and sails.
  • It is the running rigging which allows the ship to adjust her sails and her speed according to winds.
  • This rigging is made by relatively thin cables (1.5 to 2cm in diameter, natural beige colour), because they are manipulated by the crew and belayed on cleats, belaying pins or racks.
  • A yard reacts to three running rigging categories:
  • 1. Halyards, for hoisting yards. They are belayed on racks at the foot of the mast.
  • 2. Lifts, for keeping yards horizontal. They are turned on the belaying pins of gunwale racks.
  • 3. Braces, for mooving yards laterally. Pass generally through a stay or shrouds, before being stopped on the belaying pins of gunwale racks.

images/009.gif (143 octets)    5.  New Sequence for Stepping Masts    images/010.gif (141 octets)

  • Here is a sequence for stepping masts and installing , yards, rigging and sails so as to facilitate these steps.

  • The principle being to keep the space free behind the mast on which we are working.

  • images/01388.jpg (32833 octets)

  • Foremast:
         + Stepping the complete mast.

  •      + Placing and tension of shrouds and back stays.
         + Knotting ratlines.
  • Bowsprit:
         + Stepping the mast and its boom.

  •      + Placing the lower part of the fore mast stay.
         + Setting and tension of martingale backropes.
  • Foremast:
         + Stepping and tension of stays.

  •      + Knotting the crow's foot.
  • Bowsprit:
         + Setting foresails on stays.

  •      + Tension of stays.

    images/01435.jpg (31743 octets)

  • Foremast:

  •      + Setting yards and sails.
         + Tension and definitive lashing of sheets and lifts.

    images/01441.jpg (42912 octets)

  • Mainmast:

  •      + Stepping the complete mast.
         + Stepping and tension of shrouds and back stays.
         + Stepping lower mast ratlines.
         + Setting and tension of stays, starting from the lowest ones.
         + Knotting the crow's foot.
  • Foremast:

  •      + Setting yard braces
         + The definitive lashing up of braces being done later.

    images/01486.jpg (30216 octets)

  • Mainmast:

  •      + Stepping yards and sails.
         + Tension and definitive tie up of sheets and lifts.

    images/01495.jpg (39638 octets)

  • Stern launch:

  •      + Before stepping the mizzenmast,
         + Building and setting up the stern launch.

    images/01487.jpg (33255 octets)

  • Mizzenmast:

  •      + Before stepping the mast, fix the spanker on it.
         + Setting luff slides on the sail.
         + Attaching the boom and the gaff on the sail.
         + Thread the sail, its gaff and its boom on the lower mast.

    images/01515.jpg (42552 octets)

  • Mizzenmast:

  •      + Definitive stepping of the complete mast.
         + Definitive rigging of gaff and boom lines.
         + Tension of the spanker and application of epoxy.
            (cette méthode pour gonfler les voiles est remplacée par:    images/013.gif (521 octets))
         + Setting and tension of shrouds and back stays.
         + Knotting lower mast ratlines.

    images/01530.jpg (35089 octets)

  • Mizzenmast:

  •      + Stepping and tension of stays.
         + Knotting the crow's foot.
  • Mainmast:

  •      + Setting yard braces.
  • Mizzenmast:

  •      + Setting yards and sails.
         + Setting and tension of sheets and lifts.
         + Setting yard braces.
  • All yards:

  •      + Definitive fitting of yard braces.

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