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

Page 194:

Shifting a topsail while the other sail is still set.

If, in chasing off the wind, you have any reason to doubt the strength of either of your topsails, from being much worn, or from having split in shaking a reef out, or otherwise, you had better shift it at once, as the chase may try you by the wind. This evolution can only be practised when the ship is going free, with any benefit to her speed. It has been done by some good officers in the following manner:-- we will suppose the fore-topsail the one to be shifted: middle the sail to be bent, across the fore-stays, stopper the clews of the topsail, unbend the fore-topsail sheets and buntlines, have good burtons on the fore-topsail yard-arms, and well boused taut. If neither of your fore-topmast studding-sails are set, overhaul the halliards down, and bend them on to the first reef cringles, the head earrings should be made fast to the topmast studding-sail halliards, or whips used for that purpose, as you do to the yard-ropes in bending a course. Send a light burton down before the topsail, and hook it in the centre of the head of the topsail, single your topsail-sheets, and bend them to the clews of the spare sail, bend your buntlines to the proper places on the foot of the sail, but do not make fast the robins to them, bend the fore top-gallant bowlines to the head of the topsail by the robins, about half way out on the head of the sail, so as to keep the sail going up clear of the points of the one bent; when all is quite ready, man everything together, and send the sail up as a flying sail; be careful to get a good pull of the reef-tackles, before the men lay out on the yard to unbend and bend sails. It will require the greatest care in displacing the earring of one sail, and placing the earring of the other: when your robins are fast, you may let the old sail hang by the reef-tackles, then run your clewlines up high enough for sending the sail on deck, with the help of the burton at the mast-head, which must be shifted abaft the topsail-yard for so doing.
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.