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Author Topic: Did sails really get used like this?  (Read 3896 times)

NoNuFink

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Did sails really get used like this?
« on: December 18, 2013, 03:21:42 PM »

 About 3 weeks ago I posted a query to see if anyone could identify a model (No Luck!)
 Since then I have been looking at other pictures of the same model and I'm curious about the sail furling.
 
 Please bear in mind that I know SFA about sailing:
 The model appears to show main and fore sails gaff rigged and the area reduced by raising the outer end of the boom.
 Would this have been done in normal practice? It seems a strange way to do it to my ignorant eye.
 
 The pictures below show it better than the original picture and it seems that on the model, the sails sails were kept like that for sailing or static i.e. not just for access below decks, as all the pictures have the same sail configuration.
 
 NNF




 
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JayDee

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Re: Did sails really get used like this?
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2013, 03:31:24 PM »

Hello NNF,

A lazy way of doing it, but, they also had the Paddles to keep them moving!!.
If their trip involved a lot of direction changes, like a winding river - - who would blame them!.

John. :-))
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malcolmfrary

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Re: Did sails really get used like this?
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2013, 05:11:20 PM »

Quite possibly they didn't want a large area of canvas next to a funnel belching sparks.  The other sails might have been there to aid stability - a small sail at the top of the mast acts like an air brake to sideways motion, assuming that the wind is in the right direction.
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pugwash

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Re: Did sails really get used like this?
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2013, 10:25:25 PM »

NNF this method of temporarily reefing a sail, particularly a gaff rigged sail is known as "scandalising a sail" and dates back
many years.  I have never used it as I have always sailed on a sloop rigged yacht but if you google the term you will get
lots of info and I guarantee you will only understand about 1 word in 4 -  I couldn't and I have been sailing for over 50 yrs
Geoff







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roycv

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Re: Did sails really get used like this?
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2013, 09:43:24 AM »

Hi all, when traveling along rivers with high banks Severn etc. the only effective wind is high up.
regrds Roy
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NoNuFink

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Re: Did sails really get used like this?
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2013, 03:16:57 PM »

OK guys - Thanks for the input. 

@Pugwash.  I'm guessing that "scandalise" ( or ize) in this context means 'reduce area in a quick, temporary but likely to be untidy manner' (my interpretation).  However from what I have read so far from googling, it was/is far more common to lower the gaff (at either, or both, ends).  There appears to be very little on the net about raising the boom but perhaps it would depend on the specific boat and whether a top sail was in use?

Anyway it appears that it is a realistic, if unusual, layout for a model.   

I notice that there have to be two halyards to the top of the mast, one each side of the sail  One pulls the boom up and the other (on the other side of the sail) furls the sail.  I can't help feeling that it wouldn't have been first choice for a rig.

Anyway - thanks again guys

NNF
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Netleyned

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Re: Did sails really get used like this?
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2013, 03:38:39 PM »

NNF
Google Brail Sails.
Will show you how it works.

Ned
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NoNuFink

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Re: Did sails really get used like this?
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2013, 10:39:36 AM »

Ned, 
Thanks for that - yet another term to search on %%
Unfortunately there appear to be an inordinate number of blind sailors so searching using the word word Brail (or Braille)  doesn't bring up much useful.   However I can see that the pulling the sail up to the gaff throat, like a curtain tie back, was common on spritsail barges.
What I have not found is a detailed picture of the mast head gear. Where there was a boom, there must have been a block for the boom lifting halyard to get to the deck (and a winch?).  There must also have been a similar arrangement for the bail rigging.

Anyway none of this is important.  It was just my curiosity about the practicalities and a suspicion that if I ever get around to building a model of that sail/steam crossover era,  it would have that sort of sail layout.

Thanks once again guys

NNF
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Brian60

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Re: Did sails really get used like this?
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2013, 09:59:26 PM »

In my copy of Holmes of the Humber he desribes this method of setting sail for inland waterways. Once they came off the big river (Humber) into the tributaries like the Ouse or Trent, the only way to get further inland was to set high sail to catch the wind above the river banks.

Brooks22

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Re: Did sails really get used like this?
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2013, 05:32:21 PM »

To me, scandalizing a gaff rig sail meant dropping/dipping the gaff, not hoisting the boom. I don't think anyone would try to hoist the boom when at sea. Trying to control the swing of the gaff is hard enough; to try to control the swing of the boom, as the ship rolled, would strain the gear. If the boom got loose, it could scythe the shrouds or backstays, leading to dismasting.

I suspect the model owner was trying to make the mainsail look the same as the boomless foresail. The brailing up of the boomless foresail, as seen on the model, was quite common. You only have to watch out for the flying blocks on the clew (which could be controlled by keeping the sheets taut) as the sail was brailed in; same problem exists when controlling a jib's blocks when tacking. It's possible to brail up the boomed mainsail the same way as the boomless foresail, if the main is "loose-footed" (ie. only attached to the boom at the tack and clew). The clewline is slacked as the sail is hauled up and forward.  Brailing-up was a common way to reduce spanker area on squaresail ships; spankers were commonly loose-footed just for this reason.
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Nordsee

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Re: Did sails really get used like this?
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2013, 05:18:31 PM »

NNF this method of temporarily reefing a sail, particularly a gaff rigged sail is known as "scandalising a sail" and dates back
many years.  I have never used it as I have always sailed on a sloop rigged yacht but if you google the term you will get
lots of info and I guarantee you will only understand about 1 word in 4 -  I couldn't and I have been sailing for over 50 yrs
Geoff
I was reading about old Essex Oyster boats and there was mantioned many times that the boats were "scandalised"before they started to Dredge for Oysters.
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Netleyned

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Re: Did sails really get used like this?
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2013, 05:45:15 PM »

In the days of scandalising sail rigs
Most sails were loose footed
I.e no boom so it was an easy way
of taking the way off and leaving
topsails rigged for inland passages.

Ned
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Brooks22

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Re: Did sails really get used like this?
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2013, 06:04:15 PM »

Here is a screen shot of a scandalized pinky schooner. The fore and main gaffs have been dropped at the peak so that the gaffs are horizontal. In addition, the tack of the mainsail has been hoisted, reducing the drive of the mainsail (and improving visibility for approaching an anchorage for ships with a low boom).

You can view the Youtube video, it's nicely done.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOmlQcdN0D4
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slug

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Re: Did sails really get used like this?
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2014, 06:40:36 AM »

when going into port would it be done to give more deck space to unload cargo ..no boom in the way...happy new year all tony
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dave301bounty

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Re: Did sails really get used like this?
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2014, 07:23:14 PM »

This has been a really interesting piece on sails ,fascinating is a better way ,thanks a lot you fellas ,keep luffing .
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danl

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Re: Did sails really get used like this?
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2014, 11:42:36 AM »

Here's a pic of an RC model, Syren.  The driver is hitched up, a sail configuration I actually saw used on the Brig Niagara when I crewed on her.
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