Observations and Instructions


-- Orders to the boatswain

After the storm stay-sails have been used, [1] the first opportunity is to be taken to dry them, to unbend them, and keep them the uppermost sails in the sail-room. Before day-light, at sea, the captains of the tops, forecastle, and after-guard, and the gunner's mate, are to report that every thing is ready to make sail; as, for example, the jewel and royal-sheet-blocks on the top-gallant-yards; the royals and studding-sails ready to set. If the top-gallant-yards are down, the yard-ropes are to be clapped on, and the yards ready to be sent up. The top-sail-sheets are always to be bowsed close home, and the jib and stay-sail hoisted taught up every morning; and no rope ever suffered to hang slack about the ship. This is so essential to the proper appearance of a man of war that it must never be neglected.

  1. The custom, in some ships, of keeping the storm stay-sails always bent, appears a very bad one, as they must thus be exposed to much wet, without the possibility at all times of drying them. This will render them unfit for their proper uses, by soon becoming rotten, whilst it cannot be offered, as an excuse, that the want of time prevents getting them ready; for, with precaution, they may be always bent before they can be required. It seems to be a good practice to use the storm stay-sails as substitutes for the fore and main-top-mast stay-sails, and the fair-weather mizen-stay-sail, and to bend them only when the others cannot be set. [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

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Copyright © 1996 Lars Bruzelius.