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

Page 202:

Setting square-sails in blowing weather.

In setting a topsail by the wind, or with the wind on the weather side, the lee-sheet should be hauled sufficiently home to steady the lee-clew of the sail, minding to ease the clewline and buntlines, and keeping a steady strain on the lee top-bowline while the sheet is hauling home, thus you prevent the possibility of the sail getting over the lee yard-arm; when the lee-clew is well steadied with the wind, and sheet nearly home, then ease down the weather gear, and haul both sheets home, or square and hoist the sail. I have often ran both sheets home together, by keeping the yards braced up, and running the ship sufficiently off the wind to insure the sail keeping clear of the lee yard-arm; by this method you set your sail much quicker, and thereby less exposed to the wind. I have several times seen topsails set by hauling the weather sheet home first, but I do not consider it so safe to either sail or yard as steadying home the lee-clew of the sail first; by which means the body of the sail remains more quiet, by being blown on to the lee-leach while hauling home the lee-sheet, while the body of the canvass is blown from the weather-leach, and will consequently flap more heavily while hauling home the weather one first. A course should be set in like manner, by first steadying the lee-sheet aft, and then hauling the tack on board. If you have plenty of hands, you may man both sheets and tacks together, being careful to have the lee-clew steadied aft previous to hauling the tack on board.
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.