Observations and Instructions


Of Reefing Top-Sails.

The people should be aloft in the top-mast rigging ready to lay out when ordered. If going before the wind we must depend entirely on its strength, whether it will be necessary to bring the ship to, or not, for that purpose; in which case it must be done just so much as to spill the sail for lying quiet whilst the men are on the yard. As the ship comes-to, lower the top-sails, bowse out the reef [p 21] tackles, and haul taught the bunt lines; keep the yard square; when secured, send the people out. In moderate weather, reefing before the wind is performed as at all other times reefing upon a wind is done. To reef upon a wind, man the weather brace, luff the ship up that the weather leech may lift, let go the bowline and lower away. In taking the third reef in, it is usual when the wind blows fresh to start four or five fathoms of the weather-sheet (to ease the reef-tackle-pendant) and to haul up the clue-line and bunt-lines. When the course is not set, the lower yard [1] being sufficiently squared will answer the same purpose. In close reefing the weather-clue-line is generally hauled quite up. The principal points to be attended to in reefing a sail are, to spill it by the braces and the helm so that the people may perform their duty with ease, and free from danger; hauling forward on the lee-bow-line prevents the sail from getting over the lee-yard-arm, but the following method of taking a sail in will have the same effect. Keep the ship a point free, haul up the lee-clue-line and bunt-line; when up, haul up the weather-clue-line; when half up, let go the bow-line and hallyards; round in the weather brace, bring the ship to the wind, and spill the sail. Leech lines are very convenient for spilling top sails.

1) When this is done, care must be taken to bowse the trusses taught, and to haul taught the braces, or else the yard will fly about. [Back]
anon.: Observations and instructions for the use of the commissioned, the junior and other officers of the Royal Navy, on all the material Points of Professional Duty. Including also, forms of general and particular orders for the better government and discipline of His Majesty's Ships: Together with a variety of new and useful tables; among which are, General Tables for Watching Ship's Companies in all Rates; -- For shewing the Stations of the different Officers at Quarters; -- For the General Appropriation of Men at Quarters, in Ships of every Class; -- For Furling Sails; -- Mooring and Unmooring; -- Making and Shortening Sail; -- Tacking Ship, &c. &c. With an Appendix; being a complete set of forms for watch, station, and quarter bills for ships of war. By a Captain in the Royal Navy.
P. Steel, London, 1804 (1st). 8vo, 17.5x9 cm, (2), iv, (2), 80 pp, 7 fold. plates.
Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

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Copyright © 1996 Lars Bruzelius.