Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Getting waaaay ahead of myself

There has been considerable discussion lately about sailing rigs, and though sailmaking season doesn't begin until February, we're already examining possibilities for Monomoys No 2 and 3. There were nine standard sailing rigs adapted for this type of boat by the US Navy and US Coast Guard. Of these, four are two-masted and five are one-masted. Here they are:

Single Masted Varieties

Dipping Lug Rig - the most common rig to be contracted for before 1899, when contracts oddly ceased to specify. This is the most powerful and weatherly sail arrangement and the most capable in foul weather, as we experienced during Conquer the Chesapeake in Monomoy No. 1. That boat's poor windward performance can be attributed to the mediocre product of my first sailmaking experience.
Sliding Gunter - described by Knight as "not as powerful or weatherly as the dipping lug" the photos of this type of rig seem to be of boats with a mast stepped through the #1 thwart. Based on a sail plan sketched into the margin of a plan dated 1921.

Single Spritsail - another with a mast stepped through the #1 thwart. The basic drawing showing this rig suggests rigging in boats without centerboards, and is from a plan dated 1897.
Spritsail and jib (photo) - combines a rather large main spritsail and a jib. This rig is specified in many seamanship texts for the Navy's "Whaleboats" after about 1880, however with dipping lugs being ordered until 1899, it is unclear how prevalent or not this type was. An easy to handle rig, it provided significant driving power and a great range of adjustment for varying weather conditions.
Standing Lug and Jib - shown in a series of photos taken of boats belonging to the USS Enterprise in the late 1880s, this may be an example of a ship altering the sailing rig of its boats - there is no documentary evidence to support the alterations.
Double-Masted Varieties
In each of these, the aft mast is situated through the #4 thwart.

Double sliding gunter and jib, from photos of boats built at Charleston (SC) in 1933 and in Charlestown (MA) in 1914.

Double spritsail, from an undated photo of a Monomoy-type boat underway in the early 20th century.

Dipping lug, standing lug, from a drawing in the 1914 US Navy Deck and Boat Book.

Marconi ketch, from Chapman's Small Boat Piloting and Seamanship (1959).


Based on the extant fittings, it is impossible to determine the original rig of NHS Monomoys No. 2 and 3, except to say that it was set on a single mast. There is evidence in both boats of single shrouds and a forestay, but the former had been removed and the fitting holes plugged up. No information is found in the contract for their construction. It is possible that their rigs were changed in their service life, but what is clear is that both were altered together.

We also have to determine if we are going to rig both boats identically or if we're going to mix it up and give ourselves more variety.

One option, and the one I am leaning on right now is to build identical rigs for both now, and modify them later as desired. But we have plenty of time to explore this in the months ahead.


Ongoing preparations for stem removal continue at the Dockyard. We're also making preps to stabilize No. 3 - that is, put keel blocks under her and remove her cradles. Right now, much of that hinges on available material, as we're running out of timber for blocking and shoring.

More about weekend work - or lack thereof - tomorrow.


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