Observations and Instructions


On Striking Top-Masts.

Top-masts should be struck but in few instances without first getting the top-gallant-masts on deck. It is a prevailing idea, but certainly without much foundation on reason, that the rigging of a top-mast, when down, counterbalances the desired effect of striking it, and the immense lever only which a fidded top-mast constitutes, bespeakes the utility of striking it, particularly if there should be a swell. If pains be taken to bowse the rigging well down afterwards, and frap it round the mast, the quantity of wind it may hold may, perhaps, be greater than if fidded, but certainly not so much as to render the effect of striking the top-masts useless. Top-masts are most commonly struck in an open roadsted, when the wind blows directly in, and no possibility exists of getting to sea; to render the want of top-sails requisite, or when the safety of an anchorage is preferred to that of the sea. The top-masts being unfidded, if the lower yards are up, they should be [p 23]. lowererd together, till the top-tackle-blocks are a few feet from the catharpins, so that, if required, the top-tackle-pendants may be let out to lower the mast lower down. In swaying up top-masts and lower yards, the top-masts are generally run up till the fid-holes are in sight; [1] then the lower yards, bringing the main jeer to the cap-stern; otherwise, if strong enough, sway both up by hand, when ablock, fid the top-masts; stay them, and set up rigging.

  1. When the top-masts are high enough, if the top-gallant-masts are down, let hands go up and place the rigging, and be ready to receive them as soon as the top-masts are fidded. [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.
The second edition in 1807 and the third in 1841.
Ref.: MaB*; Witt 111;
Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

Sjöhistoriska Samfundet | The Maritime History Virtual Archives | Seamanship | Search.

Copyright © 1996 Lars Bruzelius.