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

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Topsail buntlines.

Frequent accidents take place for want of attention in getting a pull of the topsail buntlines, previous to the men being employed on the lower yards in calm weather, or when the sails are flapping in a head sea, &c. It is not an uncommon occurrence to see courses shifted in such a weather: if some of the men do not get hurt with the foot of the topsail for want of this precaution, it must be in having their whole attention directed to keeping themselves clear of it, instead of their energies being applied to the shifting of the sails. I have known several men receive very severe blows from the foot of the topsails. I was midshipman of a frigate when we lost a first-rate seaman, from a blow on the head received by the foot of the fore-topsail when stopping in the studding-sail gear while running into port; and though our own boats, and the boats of the different ships of war were on the spot as soon as possible, yet, from the blow on the head the man had received, he sank, to rise no more in this world. I have merely mentioned this case, related above, to shew the necessity of having the topsail buntlines well taut, so as to lift and tauten the foot of the sail as much as possible, while men are employed on the lower yards in such weather as I have just stated.
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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