Tag Archives: rigging

More on Amaryllis

We have stepped Amaryllis’s rig for a photo opportunity. As with every such exercise, there arise several questions, closer examinations, and learning moments.
How was this catamaran really rigged and sailed? There is no apparent throat halyard, no apparent running back stays…
How was the jib rigged and jib club attached? How was the jib attached, raised, and sailed?
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New Exhibits & Last of the Rigging

During the week leading up to the RELIANCE volunteer appreciation day, the team built out some accompanying exhibits highlighting the metal hull large yachts built by HM Co. The exhibit area is taking shape, and over the next several years we’ll build content to make a comprehensive exhibit. No rest for the weary!

Meanwhile, the last major rigging was added to RELIANCE. We’re hoping to display two new elements. Steve Thurston delivered a stunning #1 Jib Topsail. It is HUGE– long and lean. But, it is too large to haul up. We need that extra 14′ of clearance that isn’t in the Hall of Boats. Sometimes we just wish we could take a can opener and cut a hole in the roof!

We did, however, add the “club topsail club”, even though the topsail can’t be raised either. It enabled us to try out the rigging to sheet the club home. Very complex! Below shows the wooden club which serves as an extension of the gaff.
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On the starboard side, the outer sheet leads through the reef block and then forward along the boom to tackle and a cleat.
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Also on the starboard side, the sheet leads from a becket block on the gaff tip to a block on the club and back. From there, it goes forward to a block hanging from a pennant which is attached to the starboard side of the gaff jaws. This sheet leads down to the boom capstan and cleat.
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This starboard side arrangement is shown on a picture of RELIANCE.
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On the port side, a sheet leads from a becket at gaff tip up to the club and back down again, where it leads to a pennant hanging from the portside of the gaff jaws. This pennant does not have a block, but rather a thimble through which the sheet travels. It leads to a block and tackle at the boom where it is tied off. The inner sheet is hitched to the inner end of the club and lead through a block on the gaff; a second thimble on this same pennant and then is tied off at the boom.
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Making Our Manila Authentic

For the past year, we’ve been making eye splices and wire-manila splices in our “manila”, which was made for us by Martin Coombs. Since manila fiber does not scale down in size, our manila line wouldn’t look correct if made from the real thing, so we opted for cotton.
To add a touch of manila color we steep our lines in Lipton tea. The irony of using Lipton Tea bags has not been lost on us! So I ask, who really won? Who is best remembered from the 1903 series?
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Lines have been hanging to dry and going slack. These had been pulled taut and all kinks and twists taken out when hung to dry.
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Our process also highlights old school seamanship items. From the Marlinspike seamanship chapter in “The Bluejacket’s Manual 1944,” given to us by Chris Bade:
1. “Line shrinks in length when wet and , unless allowed to shrink freely, subjects itself to a strain as great or greater than it would carry under a load. For this reason, lines which are belayed should be slacked when wet…”
2. “The size of fiber line, except small stuff, is specified by the number of inches in its circumference…the length of fiber line is given in fathoms.”

Winter Progress

Work has been progressing over this early winter on all the details of the rigging; the blocks, splicing, and making up the shackles are all getting done. We recently dry-fitted the main sheet system. You can see Herb in the background making a micro-splice. Poor guy!

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The Saturday crew has been working with extra gusto!
Laura completed all splices for the two topmast backstay runners and started the wire-manila peak halyard tail splice. Joe has been repainting the deck which, over the past two years in the shed, has become shop worn; Bern has been helping with making blocks.

Meanwhile, Burr delivered his latest masterpiece: the topmast cone assembly. You may remember that last fall, Bill fashioned the lignum vitae truck, and several years ago, Mike cast a topmast cone. Well, Burr took those pieces, machined the cone, then made the topsail halyard sheave and metal housing, and assembled everything together. We couldn’t even find the housing solder joint. So awesome!

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Did we mention that the average age of these guys exceeds 80?!

Merry Christmas From Our Crew to Yours!

Laura made boom lift pennants and a peak halyard pennant. These doubled-over wires are made similarly to grommets: an endless loop of wire seized together at the thimbles  at each end. Thimbles at the mast are directly attached to the mast eyes with no shackles, so Laura makes up the wire on the mast.

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Sandy has been fabricating blocks; shown here are the eight 14″ blocks on RELIANCE, six including a double block for the main sheet (the other two are for the peak and throat jigs at the base of the mast).

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Bern routed out grooves for the straps and the strippers in the base of the block.

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Finally, here’s RELIANCE fully painted after Buck and Don’s hard work!

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Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and thanks to everyone who has supported us thus far!!

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New Feats and Footies

We’ve started assembling the jib halyard. Burr made all the links, while Bruce threaded he shackle pins. Bern tapped said shackles to receive the pins.

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Meanwhile, the endless toil of filling and fairing both the rudder and the boat continues. Bruce, Bern , Zach spend plenty of their time working on this; just look how much dust we can make!

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Chris Broman visited the museum this past weekend, flush from victory with his “footie” yacht at the World Marine Trade Conference in Providence. He’d also attended a breakfast presentation Sandy gave there on the wonderfully modern Herreshoff Manufacturing Company.

We have our own “footie” champion, Mike, so the challenge has been issued!! Note, Chris has a split mainsail and boom; an airfoil shape but also goes wing and wing downwind! Just a little G2…

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Prepping for Paint and Sails

The crew has been working diligently so that the RELIANCE model can be finished for the museum’s opening this coming spring.

We have put hanks onto the rigging for both the jib top sail and the stay sail; these pieces will be used to sew the sails directly into the rigging.

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Meanwhile, Laura is working hard to finalize the overall rigging within the mast system.

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While this has been going on, the struggle to perfectly fair the hull and keel has continued. Sandy spent a good portion of time on this duty, while Zach sanded the rudder down so that it would form well into place. He managed to take a short enough break to get a quick photoshoot!

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