Archiver > MARINERS > 2003-06 > 1055366753

From: "Brian Cave" <>
Subject: Re: [Mar] 27 ft Sailing Whalers. RN, RAN, RCN & RNZN
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2003 22:25:55 +0100
References: <005e01c3302b$6df97da0$b79548ca@diogenes>

Hi Olaf,

I'm looking at the Manual of Seamanship Vols. 1 & 2, both dated 1951, and to
be honest the illustrations in Volume 1 don't help much in answering your

1. The mainsail yard was hoisted by a strop hooked to the traveller, so I
guess it was rigged as a dipping lugsail.

2. The mizzen certainly passes through the tiller which has a yoke and yoke
lines leading aft to another yoke on top of the rudder. There is a topping
lift to raise and lower the boom. However the drawing doesn't indicate how
the mizzen sheets were arranged, but presumably they were attached to the
boom and led for'd to the coxswain's position through single blocks or
eyebolt guides.

The actual wording in Volume 2 says, "The coxswain and stroke secure the
rudder lanyard inboard and ship the rudder, yokes, yoke lines and tiller.
After seeing that the slings and other gear are clear of the wake of the
mizzenmast, they stand the mast vertically on the cross bench and step it
through its cross piece. They then clear away the mizzen and lower the boom,
clip and mouse the mizzensheet deadeye to the stern post, and see that the
mizzensheet is led between the yoke lines. The mizzen may then be sheeted
aft to steady the boat, or it may be topped up."

Volume 2 has little more information on ship's boats apart from particulars
of size, weight, sail area, dimensions of masts, details of anchor sizes,
chain , oars capacity etc. etc., but it covers other boats in addition to a
cutter and whaler, and includes both sailing and power boating.

Complete rigging instructions are contained in Volume 2. Ah, I've just found
the bit which covers your Question 1 - "the main yard is hooked to a
traveller shackled to the main halyard, and the tack of the mainsail is
bowsed down by a tack-tackle rove to the keelson. The luff of the foresail
is clipped to the forestay by spring hanks. The mizzen is laced to its mast
and boom.The foresheets consist of two single parts of rope spliced to
clip-hooks which hook into the clew; the main sheets consist of two double
whips rove through bullseyes and joined by a pair of clip-hooks to the clew,
and the mizzensheet is rove from the boom through a block or a deadeye on
the stern post to a cleat on the mizzenmast. Lizard bullseyes made fast to
the risings are provided as fairleads for the foresheets, and eyeplates are
provided in the stern sheets for the standing blocks of the main sheets. The
mainsail is fitted with brails and provided with a spreader for bearing out
its foot when the boat is reaching or running.

Phew - if that doesn't get you a drink I don't know what will!! <grin>


----- Original Message -----
From: "Olaf Smith" <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2003 4:09 PM
Subject: [Mar] 27 ft Sailing Whalers. RN, RAN, RCN & RNZN

> Up until about 30 years ago naval ships of the civilised English-speaking
world were wont to carry motor whalers, pulling whalers and sailing whalers
as ships boats. Due to a waning memory and waxing crankiness I have gotten
myself into a pub argument with other old mariners of a similar disposition.
To resolve said argument and win me the alchoholic reward I know I deserve,
can anyone assist with the following info:
> 1. Was the mainsail rigged as a dipping lugsail or was the gaff yoked
to the mainmast?
> 2. I recall that the mizzen mast passed through the tiller but how
were the mizzen sheets arranged.
> 3. Does anyone know where I can access drawings or photographs of the
boats as the Admiralty Manual of Seamanship Vol 1 is, sadly, out of print
and the Naval Sailing Associations seem to have appallingly short memories.
> Regards,
> Oldsalt
> ==== Mariners Mailing List ====
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> Ted Finch:
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