Contents
 
Boy's Manual of Seamanship and Gunnery

Sail Instruction

Part I

Q. Name the sails of a full-rigged ship ?

A. Main and fore courses are set on the main and fore yards ; topsails, topgallantsails, and royals, on the yards they are named after.

Spanker on the mizenmast.

Trysails on the fore and mainmast.

Fore topmast staysail jib and flying-jib on the bowsprit, jib, and flying jib-booms.

Topgallantsails, royals, and studdingsails are called small sails, and are only used in fine weather.

Main topmast and maintopgallant staysails are set on the main topmast and topgallant stays, fitted for the purpose.

The storm sails are fore and main storm staysails, which set on stays fitted for the purpose.

Fore and main storm-trysails, which are set on the fore and main trysail-masts, but on shorter gaffs than are used for the large trysails, and a mizen trysail, but in a similar way to the main and fore trysails.

Boat sails, for the use of the boats.

Wind sails, to give ventilation below.

Smoke sails, to be used when a ship is lying at anchor, head to wind, to protect the galley funnel, and keep the blacks from flying about the deck.

There are also a number of fancy sails - viz.:

A ringtail, which is set by halyards being rove at the spanker or boom-mainsail gaff end, the tack being hauled out to a boom, fitted on the spanker-boom end, similar to a studdingsail-boom on a yard.

A watersail sets under the spanker-boom end.

A spritsail, which sets under the bowsprit.

Skysails are set over royals.

Merchant ships frequently carry sails above these.

Q. Name the running gear of a course, and how it is bent to the sail ?

To the Leech.

Reef-tackles, bowlines, leechlines, and slablines

To the Clews

Tacks, sheets, and clew-garnet.

To the Foot

Buntlines and slab-buntlines, in the bunt a bunt-whip.

Reef-tackle blocks of courses are fitted with clasp-hocks, and are hooked to the reef-tackle cringles in the leech of the sail.

The leech-lines and slablines are bent to the leech of the sail with a running-eye over the same toggle, which is seized to the upper bowline-cringle ; when there are two leechlines and slablines the upper ones are bent to a toggle seized to the reef-tackle cringles. In brigs the leechline is rove through the leechline cringle, taken up abaft the sail, and hitched to the jackstay abreast of the leechline block. This is termed doubling the leechline, as it serves the double purpose of leech and slabline.

Bowlines.

The fore-bowline goes with a running-eye over a toggle, seized to the bowline bridle.

The main is fitted with a light runner and tackle, and attached to the lower bowline-bridle with a slip-toggle.

Tacks, Sheets, and Clew-Garnets

Are shackled to the clew of a sail,

The buntlines are bent with running-eyes over toggles, which are fitted with double strops, two each aide of the foot of the sail ; there are two legs to each buntline, each side of the sail.

Bunt slabline is a single rope clenched to the foot of a course on the after part of the sail.

A bunt-whip is hooked to a becket sewed to a double part of canvas in the bunt of the sail when furling.

Q. What gear do you let go and haul on in setting a course ?

A. Let go and overhaul leechlines, slablines, reef-tackles, buntlines, slab-buntlines, and ease clown the clew garnets.

Haul on the weather-tack and lee-sheet.

Q. What gear do you haul on and let go in taking a course in ?

A. Haul on clew-garnets, leechlines, slablines, buntlines, slab-buntlines. Let go the bowlines, and ease away the tack and sheet.

Q. Name the running gear of a topsail, and how it is bent ?

To the Yard.

A. Topsail-tye and halyards.

To the Leech.

Reef-tackles (large ships carrying heavy topsails are fitted with first and second reef-tackles) bowlines.

To the Clew.

Sheets, clewlines.

To the Foot.

Buntlines.

To the Bunt.

Bunt jigger.

The halyards are hooked in the chains. The tye-blocks are secured to a band round the sling of the yard by a bolt.

Reef-Tackles.

The reef-tackle pendant is rove through the thimble in the crown of the strop of the reef-tackle block, through the upper bowline-cringle, hitched, and the end seized. If the second reef-tackle is fitted, it is bent to the second reef-tackle cringle, which is between the second and third reef, with a half-hitch, and the end seized back.

Bowlines go with a running-eye over a toggle to the lower bowline-bridle in a fore or mizen, and the middle bowline-bridle in a main topsail. The sheets, if chain, are either hooked to the clew with clip-hooks, or shackled.

If rope, a thimble is seized in the strop of the topsail sheet-block, by which they are shackled to the clew.

Clewlines are lashed abaft the clew.

Buntlines are secured with a running-eye over a toggle.

A bunt jigger is hooked to the bunt-becket, and is used in hauling the bunt up in furling sails.

Q. What gear do you let go and haul on in setting a topsail ?

A. Let go clewlines, buntlines and reef-tackles, haul on topsail-sheets and halyards.

Q. What gear do you let go and haul on in taking a topsail in ?

A. Let go the topsail-sheets and halyards, and haul on the clewlines and buntlines.

Q. Name the running gear of a topgallantsail and royal ?

A. Of a topgallantsail, halyards, clewlines, buntlines and bowlines.

Halyards are bent with a studdingsail halyard-bend round the slings of the yard, or to a thimble in a strop ; the former is the best plan, as it carries the yard much closer up to the sheave-hole of the mast.

To the Leech.

Bowlines are bent with a running eye over a toggle.

To the Clew.

Sheets and clewlines. The sheets are bent with a sennit-eye over a spring-toggle, and the clewlines with a sheet-bend through the clew of the sail.

To the Foot.

Buntlines are only fitted to topgallantsails in large ships, and is a single buntline with two legs, which are clenched to the foot of the sail, or fitted with a running-eye over a toggle.

Of a Royal.

Halyards. Sheets and clewlines, which are bent in the same way as topgallant sheets, clewlines, and halyards.

Q. What gear do you let go, and haul on in setting a topgallantsail and royal ?

A. Let go clewlines for a royal, and bowlines, buntlines, and clewlines for a topgallantsail. Haul on sheets and halyards.

Q. What gear do you let go and haul on in taking a topgallantsail and royal in ?

For a Topgallantsail.

A. Let go bowlines, sheets, and halyards, and haul on the clewlines and buntlines.

For a Royal.

Let go sheet and halyards, and haul on clewlines.

Q. Name the running gear of a jib, flying jib, or staysail.

A. Halyards, downhaul, jib-pendants, and whips or sheets. Lacing for jibs, hanks for fore topmast-staysails, beckets for storm-staysails, tack-lashings, clew ropes, reeving-lines, footlines.

Q. How, and to what part of the sail is the gear bent ?

A. The halyards of jibs and staysails are hooked to the head cringle ; they are fitted with clip-hooks ; when double, the clip-hooks are seized in a thimble in the strop next the crown of the block.

The downhaul is rove through the head-cringle and secured with a sheet-bend.

Jib-pendants, or sheets, are secured to the cringle in the clew of the sail with a toggle and strop. This also applies to staysails.

Luff-tackles are used as sheets for storm-staysails.

The lacings of a jib, flying jib, main-topmast or topgallant staysails, are rove through the eyelet-hole in the luff of the sail, and round the stay. Sometimes the lacing is stopped to the eyelet-holes, and not rove through them, but it is not so secure.

Fore Topmast Staysails

The eyelet-holes in the luff are seized to hanks which are on the fore topmast stay.

Storm Staysails,

Fore and main, are fitted with beckets in the eyelet-holes in the luff of the sail, with an eye in one end, and a knot on the other end of the beckets, they are passed round the stay, and secured by putting the knot through the eye.

Q. Why are jibs and flying jibs fitted with lacings, and a fore topmast staysail with hanks ?

A. Jib or flying jib stays can be unrove, brought in on the forecastle, and then rove through the lacing, but as a fore topmast staysail is set on one of the fore topmast stays, which cannot be let go in bending or unbending the sail, the sail must be taken out to it, therefore all staysails set on standing stays must go with hanks or beckets.

Tack-Lashings

Are spliced in the tack-cringles of a jib or staysail ; they are secured round the bowsprit for a fore topmast staysail, jib boom, and flying jib-boom, for a jib or flying jib with three round turns, each turn being passed through the cringle in the tack of the sail, and secured to its own part ; in some cases, for the sake of smartness, a strop and toggle is used fur the purpose.

A Clew Rope

Is merely a rope's-end bent to the clew of a jib or staysail when the sheets are not bent.

A Reeving-Line

Is a rope's-end bent to the becket in the end of the jib or flying jibstays, to reeve them through the sheave holes in the jib and flying jib-boom ends in shifting jibs or flying jibs.

Foot-Line.

A foot-line is a rope's-end bent to an eyelet-hole in the foot of the jib, and led through a block at the bowsprit-cap, to haul it taut along the jib-room for furling at sea..

Q. What gear do you let go and haul on in setting a jib or staysail ?

A. Let go the downhaul, and haul on the halyards and jib-whips or sheets.

Q. What gear do you let go and haul on in taking a jib or staysail in ?

A. Ease off the sheets, let go the halyards, haul on the downhaul.

Foot-Line or Gap-Rope

Is a rope's-end rove through a block at the bowsprit-cap, and bent to an eyelet-hole in the foot of the jib, or to the clew of the jib.

It is useful for hauling the foot of the jib taut along the jib-boom when stowing the sail at sea blowing fresh, as it brings it and steadies it in place on the boom while the men are gathering it up.

It is also useful for flattening it in fine weather.

When rove through a block at the head of the jib, and bent to the clew, it is very useful in lightening the clew over the stays in shifting the sheets over.

Q. Name, the running gear of a boom-mainsail, spanker, and trysail ?

Boom Mainsail

A. Throat and peak halyards, vangs, and downhaul. Tack tricing-line, tack-tackle, lacing, boom-sheets, and topping-lifts.

Q. How, and to what part is the gear bent?

A. Peak and throat-halyards are hooked to the gaff. Vangs and downhauls spliced or hooked to the outer part of the gaff.

Tack Tricing-Line

The tail in the lower block is passed through the thimble in the tack of the sail, and hitched to its own part.

Tack-Tackle

Is hooked to the tack of the sail.

Lacing

Is a piece of soft greasy rope, spliced in an eyelet-hole in the luff of the sail above the reefs.

Boom-Sheets

Are rove through a block on the outer part of the boom.

Tapping-Lifts

Hooked to an iron band fitted with two eyes on the boom.

N.B.- This applies also to a spanker

Q. What gear do you let go and haul on in setting a boom-mainsail?

A. Let go vangs and downhauls, tack tricing-line, and ease the boom-sheets.

Haul on the topping lifts, peak and throat-halyards.

Q. What gear do you haul on and let go in taking a boom mainsail in ?

A. Haul on the weather sheet, vangs and downhaul, and lower the peak and throat-halyards, when the boom is amidship, lower the topping-lifts, crutch the boom.

N.B.- This applies to a spanker also.

Q. What is the use of a tack tricing-line?

A. To trice the tack of the sail up when required.

Q. What is the use of a tack-tackle ?

A. To haul the tack of the sail close down when on a wind.

Q. Name the running gear of a spanker ?

A. In addition to the gear attached to a boom-mainsail, as already explained, a spanker is fitted with an outhaul and brails, the gaff being kept always swayed up in place ; the peak or throat-halyards are not used in setting or taking the sail in.

Outhauls

A foot-outhaul is hooked to a thimble in the clew of the spanker.

A head-outhaul to a thimble in the peak.

Brails

The bights are seized to the after-leech.

Q. What is the difference in securing the after-clew of a boom-mainsail and a spanker?

A. The clew of a boom-mainsail is secured to the boom-end by an earring passed round the outer end of the boom, or shackled.

The clew of the spanker is fitted with an outhaul.

Q. What gear do you let go and haul on in taking a spanker in ?

A. Haul on the broils, always manning the lee-brails best, so as to spill the sail ; let go the outhaul, haul in the sheet ; when the boom is over the crutch, lower the topping lift.

Q. What gear do you haul on and let go in setting a spanker?

A. Let go the brails, and haul on the outhaul, ease off the weather vangs, downhauls, and sheets, and top on the topping lifts.

Let go the outhaul, haul in the sheet ; when the boom is over the crutch, lower the topping-lifts.

When the head of a spanker is fitted to run on an iron rod under the gaff, it is fitted with an outhaul at the head as well as the foot, also an inhaul.

Q. Name the running gear of a trysail ?

A. The same as a spanker, with the exception of no boom.

The gaffs are usually kept swayed up in place, but are sometimes lowered and swayed up each time the sail is taken in or set, similar to a boom-mainsail.

Brails are fitted to a trysail in the same manner as they are to a spanker, the sheet which answers the purpose of an out-haul is generally a luff-tackle hooked to the clew of the sail.

A piece of rope, called a lazy-sheet, is spliced in the clew thimble.

Q. What is the difference in securing the tack of a trysail to that of a spanker ?

A. A piece of rope, called a tack-lashing, is spliced in the tack-thimble by which the tack is secured ; it does not trice up like a spanker, therefore is not fitted with a tricing-line or tack-tackle.

Q. What gear do you let go and haul on in setting a fore or main trysail ?

A. Let go the brails and vangs, and haul on the sheet.

Q. What gear do you haul on and let go in taking a trysail in ?

A. Ease away the sheets, haul on the brails (the lee-brails best), so as to spill the sail, steady taut the vangs.

Q. What is the use of a lazy-sheet ?

A. To secure the clew of the sail while you hook or unhook the double sheet.

Q. Name the running gear of a gaff-topsail ?

A. Halyards, sheet, clewline, tack, and lacing.

Q. How, and to what part of the sail, is the gear bent ?

A. The halyards are bent to the yard with a studding sail halyard-bend, about one-third from the inner yard-arm.

The sheet is fitted in various ways - viz., sometimes with clip-hook, or a common hook and mousing, or a screw hook ; in either case it is hooked to the clew of the sail ; it is also, in some cases, fitted with a toggle and strop.

The Clewline

Is rove through the clew of the sail, and secured with a sheetbend when single ; when double, a tail is fitted to the lower block, and bent to the sail in a similar way. The upper clew-block is seized to the slings of the yard, and acts as a downhaul as well as a clewline.

The Tack

Is fitted with a hook, which is hooked to the thimble in the tack of the sail.

The Lacing

Is a piece of rope, one end of which is spliced in one of the upper eyelet-holes, in the luff of the sail, the other end being passed through each of the lower eyelet-holes, and rove round the mast as the sail is hoisted.

Q. How is the yard secured to the mast ?

A. By a parrel.

Q. What gear do you let go and haul on in setting a gafftopsail?

A. Hoist on the halyards, pass the parrel and lacing, let go the clewline, haul down the tack, and haul out the sheet.

Q. What gear do you haul on and let go in taking a gafftopsail in ?

A. Ease off the sheet, haul up the clewline, cast off the lacing and parrel, lower the halyards, and haul down on the tack, which acts as a downhaul.

Studdingsails.

Q. Name the running gear of a lower, topmast, and topgallant studdingsail.

A. Lower studdingsail, inner and outer halyards, tack, long and short sheets, tripping-line.

Inner Halyards

Are either hooked, or a tail is fitted to the block, which is bowline knotted to the inner corner of the head of the sail.

Outer Halyards

Are bent to the yard with a studdingsail halyard-bend half way or one-third out on the yard.

Tack

Is bent to the outer lower corner or clew of the sail, with a sheet-bend or running-eye over a cross-toggle.

N.B.- This applies to all studdingsails.

The Long and Shore Sheets

Are formed out of one piece of rope, rove through the thimble in the inner lower corner or clew of the sail, and seized together.

Tripping-Line

Is bent with a sheet-bend to the tack, or outer lower corner of the sail.

Topmast and Topgallant Studdingsail.

Halyards, downhaul, tack, and sheets.

Halyards

Are bent with a studdingsail halyard-bend to the yard one third out.

Downhaul

Goes with a running-eye over the outer yard-arm for a topmast, and the inner yard-arm for a topgallant studdingsail,

Tack

Is bent with a sheet-bend to the outer clew of the sail.

Sheets.

There are two to a topmast studdingsail, a long and a short one, formed out of one piece of rope by being rove through the clew of the sail and seized. A topgallant studdingsail has only one sheet.

Q, What gear do you haul on in setting a lower, topmast, or topgallant studdingsail ?

A. Halyards, tacks, and sheets.

Q. What gear do you let go and haul on in taking lower, topmast, or topgallant studdingsails in ?

A. Haul on the tripping-line and sheet for a lower, and the downhauls and sheets for a topmast or topgallant studdingsail, ease away the tacks, and halyards, and short sheets.

Loosing Sails

The lower and topsail yards are generally marked with a white band of paint round them, at a certain distance outside the quarter, called laying-out marks. After the pipe goes, loose and furl sails, and the order is given " away aloft," the hands get on the yards as quickly as possible, keeping between the laying-out marks and bunt, until the order, "trice up, lay out" is given.

Sail loosers on the lower and topsail yards, at the order "lay out," should clear away the gaskets and second reef-earrings as quickly as possible, and see the other reef-earrings clear, that is if the topsails and courses have no reefs in, but the bunt should never be let fall before the quarter and yard-arm gaskets are clear. Very often, at the order " let fall " the men in the bunt, without ascertaining if the outer gaskets are clear, let fall the bunt, and should one of the quarter or yard-arm gaskets be fast, the whole weight of the sail comes on it, and, in all probability, the lanyard of the gasket has to be cut ; the captain of tops, &c., should always see the stops of the top-bowline gone, and the bunt jigger of the topsail unhooked, also the bunt-whip of the courses ; this, at times, has been neglected, and the bunt-becket has been torn out of the sail. Topgallant and royal yard loosers should be very careful to commence loosing at the yard-arms first, and lay in as they cast the gaskets off more particularly at sea, and never let the bunt fall first, as it might be attended with serious consequences ; for instance, it is blowing fresh, the bunt of the sail is let fall before the yard-arms are loosened, the sail fills with wind like a bladder; rises above the yard, the hand at the yard-arm, not expecting it, is knocked backward, and most likely falls on deck.

In loosing jibs, care should be taken by the hand taking the cover of the jib or flying-jib off to cut the stop of the jib-halyards, and see the jib-pendants clear of the eyebolts in the bowsprit cap, and foot-line let go.

N.B.-In stowing jibs, before the covers are put on, the jib-halyards are always stopped to the lower part of the jib-stay, and the clew of the jib and cross-in jib-pendants are always stowed between the eyebolts in the foremost part of the bowsprit-cap.

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