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

Page 143:


Experience has taught us, that securing the mizen-stay or stays to the main-mast, is more liable to accidents than if secured to the deck. Formerly the mizen stay-sail gave a reason for the mizen-stay being so high up on the main-mast, for supposing the mizen stay-sail to be set up on a separate stay, still it was much handier to have the mizen-stay out of the way working the mizen stay-sail. The very contrary is now in case, because the lower the mizen-stay, the better it is for working the main try-sail. To secure the mizen-mast independently ought to be considered a very desirable object. It must be admitted, if the main-mast, from shot or any other accident, should go below the mizen-stay, that the mizen-mast will stand a great chance of following it: and should the main-mast go above the mizen-stay, the mizen-mast will still be in great danger from the weight of the after rigging on the main-mast falling across the mizen-stay. When we take into consideration how much naval actions depend on the masts and rigging, we cannot be too careful in securing the masts independently, as much as possible. Let two ships of equal force engage each other under sail, let them both lose the main-mast; we will suppose one of the two ships has her mizen-mast stay secured to the main-mast, and that in falling the mizen-mast is carried away; now it is plain that the ship which has her mizen-mast standing, must have a great advantage over the other; from being able to keep her wind much better, she can take up a more advantageous position, while the ship with both masts gone must run off the wind, and thus expose herself to a raking fire.
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

Sjöhistoriska Samfundet | The Maritime History Virtual Archives.

Copyright © 1998 Lars Bruzelius.