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

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On the fore-yard being carried away in narrow waters.

When the fore-yard is carried away in a position requiring sail to be set quickly on the fore-mast, the following plan is recommended by some of the best seamen in the navy. -- Replace the broken fore-yard with the main-top sail yard, to which, bend and set the main-top sail as a course, proportioning the number of reefs to the tauntness of the mast, and as the cross-jack yard and main top-sail yard ought to be of the same size, replace the fore-top sail, by setting the mizen-top sail bent to the fore-top sail yard; of course when you have plenty of sea room, one of the numerous methods of fishing or making a jury-yard had better be adopted.

It may be of consequence to bear in mind that flat iron bars have been used for fishing spars, by letting them nearly flush into the wood, and hooping them well over. The Asia, in the Mediterranean, fished her fore-yard in this manner, and it was found to answer very well. Her commander informed me that shortly after the fore-yard was fished, the ship had to work to windward in very tempestuous weather, and that the fore-yard did not complain.

* "Incalculable are the evils which may result from the "springing" or snapping of a lower yard, especially the fore one. A ship may be placed in so perilous a situation, and time so pressing, that the very existence of the vessel may depend upon the dispatch with which this important spar can be repaired and replaced. The following strong and expeditious method has been twice tried, and with eminent success.

"If the yard be severed, get both pieces down on deck, and place them together to assume, as nearly as possible, their original position. Hollow out, so as to fit the cylindrical surface of the yard, two square anchor-stock pieces; in doing which, a depth of two, or three inches will suffice. Place one piece on the top, and the other secured to the under part of the yard. Towards their extremities dub down the superfluous wood, and round the edges ready to receive the requisite woldings.

"Preparatory to boring holes for the bolts, set close to the anchor-stock pieces, with wedge upon wedge. Introduce then eight or ten bolts of inch or three-quarter inch diameter, which must be severally clinched. Cut scores for eight, or ten wooldings, and woold away, with well stretched rope of three, or three and a half inch. The yard may the be replaced aloft. There will be found no necessity for studdingsail booms, or other spare spars. This method was transmitted to Capt. Glascock by Capt. John Norman Campbell.

"In two instances, on board of forty-four gun frigates, I witnessed," says the writer, "the success of this expeditious plan. In the first, the main-yard went in two pieces, about ten feet from the slings. The accident occurred at eight, a.m., and at six, p.m. on the same day, the main-yard was in its place, and the main-sail set.

"In the second instance, the fore-yard was carried away, about the same distance from the centre, and was repaired and replaced in about the same interval of time.

"Both ships, for several weeks subsequently, had to contend with heavy gales and bad weather, yet the repaired yards stood as well as they did prior to the accident.

"To make a temporary lower-yard. When a lower-yard is entirely carried away at sea, it is not uncommon to make a yard with the spare spars supplied to the ship. This is frequently done by bringing two studding-sail booms end to end, which together makes up the length of the yard; then to scarf them by bringing the spare topsail and top-gallant yard in the middle, and other small spars, as top-gallant studding sail booms, &c., to make up the form of the yard. When the different spars are so placed as to overrun each other in the best possible way, they are then well woolded together, and the yard is formed.

"The rolling of the ship makes it frequently difficult to keep the spars together, till woolded, in which case it is better to lay any inferior pieces on the deck, as skids, and fix the lower ends guyed to the sides of the ship: by this means the different spars may be kept sufficiently steady to woold in a proper manner. Whatever part the wooldings are applied to, it is necessary to fit chocks between the spars to keep them firm, and for the woolding to lay fair over them, so as not to wound the spars.

* Capt. Glascock's Naval Manual (Page 115). [Back]
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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