Francis Liardet: Professional Recollections on Points of Seamanship, Discipline, &c., 1849.

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On the positions of the masts.

It is not unfrequent to use a great variety in the standing of the masts, some ships have all the masts to rake more or less, and now and then you see a ship with her fore-mast stayed forward, &c., if the fore-mast is stayed forward, it is said to assist the ship in tacking, when once the head sails take aback, but I have my doubts, whether it does not resist her coming to the wind, quite as much as it does her good, after it once takes aback. The practice of staying the foremast forward must tend to make the sails on the foremast depress the bow. Raking the mizen-mast appears to have the effect of raising the stern, more particularly when scudding in gales of wind; this, therefore, may be useful when not carried too far; the rake of the mizen-mast enables that mast to bear the weight of the braces, &c., of the sails on the main-mast better, than if it were quite upright. There can be little doubt about the upright position of the masts giving the square sails the best horizontal propelling force. Raking the masts will tend to decrease heavy pitchings: the send aft of a ship is generally so small in proportion to her pitch, that you need not entertain any fear of raking your masts on that account: a ship in pitching displaces a quantity of water equal to the immersion of the bow, at which time a large proportion of the water rushes aft, upon which the ship falls, which makes her send aft with considerably less violence than she pitches. I have seen several vessels in which they were obliged to have recourse to raking the masts to make them easy.
Francis Liardet: Professional Recollections on Points of Seamanship, Discipline, &c.
William Woodward, Portsea, 1849. 8vo, frontisp., (6), x, 319 pp, 1 col. plate of signals.

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

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