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Author Topic: top sail query  (Read 3304 times)

jaymac

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top sail query
« on: August 05, 2014, 03:56:38 PM »

Anyone seen or know why this topsail  should be different from the usual shape
 

 
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Netleyned

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Re: top sail query
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2014, 04:27:35 PM »

If its on a river/canal craft it would catch more wind when
the barge was sailing in cuttings or hedged river banks
Other than that it looks a bit strange.

Ned
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jaymac

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Re: top sail query
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2014, 07:22:27 PM »

 Its not a Barge Ned tiz a Cutter agreed it looks weird
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roycv

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Re: top sail query
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2014, 10:58:31 PM »

Hi I have a sail like that on my Graupner Nordeney fishing boat.  Works OK it came as ready made with the kit.
regards Roy
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tigertiger

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Re: top sail query
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2014, 02:11:42 AM »

At a guess.
It closes the gap between the gaff and the top of the main sail.


It stops the topsail from lifting the gaff when under tension, this would change the shape of the mainsail and perhaps affect handling or performance, especially in gusty conditions. This could also tear the head of the main where it is tied to the gaff.

The elongated shape allows for the downhaul, towards the base of the mast, to keep the sail taught.

The tension from the downhaul is more evenly distributed along the lines of both the top mast and the gaff, in a way which is less likely to tear the topsail. If makes for easier rigging'de-rigging if only attached to the mast, and not the gaff also.
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jaymac

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Re: top sail query
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2014, 07:26:33 AM »

The Deriggging yes that  must be it here is the full size Albeit New Build
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNP0YrLhK78
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Brian60

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Re: top sail query
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2014, 08:32:16 AM »

I have also seen that type of topsail in photo's of sailing smacks.

TomHugill

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Re: top sail query
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2014, 03:42:16 PM »

Most Gaff rigged ships have topsails like this. I believe the reason is they're more efficient than if they where just fitting in the triangle between the mast and gaff. They would be rigged on the lee side and swapped over for the return trip, but generally not during a voyage as they're quite tricky to bring in!
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jaymac

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Re: top sail query
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2014, 06:51:59 PM »

 Changing  tack That was the bit that bothered me on a model
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Netleyned

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Re: top sail query
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2014, 07:03:46 PM »

That's the big problem with model sailing ships.
No crew to back a headsail set up and let go runners

Build a scale sailer  and you need compromise

Ned
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jaymac

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Re: top sail query
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2014, 08:12:04 PM »

Aye  :} 
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TomHugill

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Re: top sail query
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2014, 08:47:06 PM »

That's the big problem with model sailing ships.
No crew to back a headsail set up and let go runners

Build a scale sailer  and you need compromise

Ned

It's not going to be 100% the same but with a gaff or Bermuda rig you can get pretty close. Square rigged ships are tougher and lateen even more so :(
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hammer

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Re: top sail query
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2014, 09:28:08 PM »

Having sailed two pilot cutters and a fishing smack, all with gaff topsails. I have never noticed any difference in the sailing, with the sail on the windward side or leeward.
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JerryTodd

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Re: top sail query
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2014, 04:53:51 AM »

I would say that sail was set a little low, and is cut too large.

Gaff tops'ls are either kept aloft or set flying. 

Kept aloft they're usually hooped to the topmast with halliard, down-haul, out-haul or sheet, a brail to get it back in, and tack line.  There's sometimes a line that hauls the tack up, an up-haul, and two tack lines so the tack can be raised and passed over the gaff's peak halliards.  These tops'l are furled in the cross-trees or top, since they're hooped it's not practical to bring them down every time you strike them.

Set flying means the sail is set from on deck and brought down.  Many boats that do this had a jack yard, or a club on the luff or the head of the sail.  My model of Pride below represents a typical jack yard tops'l which in the case of her type, extended the main mast above the height of the fore - it's normally a little shorter and she look a little like a ketch.  Not the clew is significantly raise from the gaff.  Only once do I recall us worrying about what side of the main the tops'l was set, and then we brought it down and reset it.

Later in her life, the jack yard was fixed aloft and a cable was run from it's head to the deck, a jackstay.  The sail was hanked to this stay and set from on deck, the jack yard stayed aloft.
It wasn't like that during my time aboard, and I've never seen that arrangement on any other boat - see attached.

BTW: The gaff tops'l is supposed to be set on the windward side so it won't funnel wind down and back-wind the main.

Brooks22

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Re: top sail query
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2014, 03:16:26 PM »

Great info Jerry, thanks. Always nice to hear from someone who's actually flown the sail under question. I've always wondered why the topsail was set on one side or the other.
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