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

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On the single whip and pendant.

The single whip and pendant, when applied to working ropes, has several disadvantages. In the first place, the block and strop, through which the pendant reeves, must have the whole strain, whereas, with the double whip, nearly half the strain goes to the standing part. This is more particularly observable when the whip and pendant are applied to topsail-clewlines, for then the whole weight of clewing up the topsail, falls on the quarter block-strops; consequently, they are carried away much oftener, and thus increase the chance of their going when the topsail-clewlines are most wanted, viz., in gales of wind, & c. Much of the purchase of the whip and pendant is lost by its liability to take turns in the whip. The casualty of a point now and then getting into the clewline-blocks in their ascent and descent, is not counterbalanced by the single whip and pendant. While on this subject, we think that ropes of such consequence as the topsail-clewlines, should not be dependent on the same strop with the top-gallant sheets, thereby rendering two sails liable to accidents at the same time. Two single blocks on each side of the topsail-yards should be fitted, each with separate strops, and entirely independent of each other; one on each side for the clewlines, and the other for the top-gallant sheets. This will make the topsails and top-gallant sails quite independent of each other, as far as the quarter-blocks are concerned. I cannot see what difficulty there could be in making a block that would keep out the points of the topsail while setting, or taking them in. It appears to me, that blocks like the clew-garnet blocks, which are allowed for the courses, might be made to answer very well, with little alterations.
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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Copyright © 1998 Lars Bruzelius.