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

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There is a point beyond which no vessel can scud without the greatest possible danger; of course much will depend on the size and height of the vessel out of the water, but I have never heard a dissenting voice as to flush vessels being by far the most dangerous while scudding in heavy weather. What I wish to observe is, that you should bring your ship to the wind while it can be effected without the greatest risk to ship and lives. If night is coming on, and the weather has every appearance of an increasing gale, with a falling barometer, and circumstances will admit, it would be advisable to lie the ship by the wind. In scudding, the tiller-ropes are constantly doing double duty; and though the relieving tackles are hooked, you cannot steer the ship with that nicety that you can with the wheel. Should the tiller-ropes unfortunately be carried away, the risk of broaching the ship to, is then considerably augmented; and if to this you add the increased difficulty of the management of a ship on a dark night, and a heavy gale of wind, with all these things considered, I do really think it would be right to bring a ship to the wind previous to night setting in, when you are doubtful about the effect scudding may have on the ship. Sometimes, unavoidably in scudding, you are obliged to carry your fore-topsail and foresail; when that happens, it may arise from some accident received to the spars or rigging on the centre masts, in which case it is generally considered advisable by good seamen to make the fore-topsail, and foresail rather rising sails, by easing off the sheets until they have that tendency, the main-topsail and foresail are the best sails for scudding under, while the ship will carry them. It is generally considered best that the foresail should rather raise the bow than have the contrary effect, more particularly in sharp vessels.
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.