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Thread: Stunsl question

  1. #1
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    Default Stunsl question

    Picton castle Stuns'ls.jpgpost-3035-0-27850900-1407928338.jpg
    Picton Castle's port Stuns'ls and Europa's port and Stbd stuns'ls viewed from forward.

    I have some questions about how they're rigged and why. (aside from "to capture more wind" of course, pardon the pun)

    So, for starters, looking at PC's stuns'ls, the outer head of the lower is rigged to the end of the end of the boom directly. The head of the whole sail is up high on the rig as the boom is rigged above the yard and allows this. Compare this to Europa's which are rigged below the yard to simplify working sail from the yard without having to trice up the booms etc. and therefore much lower on the rig. This leaves a small space between the stuns'ls compared to PC's lower and topmast stuns'ls but what I'm interested in is the stuns'l yard fastened to the outboard third of the lower stuns'ls. Why does Europa use a lower stuns'l yard while PC does not? PC also appears to use a lower stuns'l lower boom at the foot of the sail while Europa uses the more classical swing boom below the sail, sort of like a spinnaker pole but fastened to the hull side. Are there reasons/beneifts to doing it one way vs the other? I suppose a small lower stuns'l boom fastened to the sail is much easier to manoeuver than a long swing boom like Europa has.

    Look now at the head of the topmast stuns'ls on both vessels. They're made fast to the end of the yard and not the end of the boom. Why not hoist the topmast stuns'l yards to the end of the booms and not the end of the yards? Is it a structural reason due to the smaller sizes of the spars and fear of breaking them with the added stresses? If so, why not simply enlarge them a bit? The lowers hoist to the ends of the booms, why not the topmast stuns'ls as well? A wider sailplan could be had if the heads were all rigged to the ends of the booms and not the ends of the yards. Anybody have any expertise with this?

    Inquiring minds need to know.

    Thanks,
    Daniel
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    -Henry David Thoreau-

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Stunsl question

    "Different ships, different long splices." I'd recommend taking a look at Howard Underhil's Masting and Rigging the Clipper Ship and Ocean Carrier (https://www.amazon.com/Masting-Riggi.../dp/0851741738 ) and Sailing Ship Rigs and Rigging. ( https://www.amazon.com/Sailing-Ship-...JCYRM93BAB6H7G )

    Biddlecomb's The Art of Rigging ( https://www.amazon.com/Art-Rigging-D...DKT2QRMZ81XHYW ) is also helpful, focusing more on the British Admiralty tradition than Underhill's treatment of commercial vessels.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Stunsl question

    Different ships, different long splices would be the first answer. However, my belief is that they are set to take advantage of the luff length of the stunsls in relation to the sheeting angles. The air is freer aloft and the upper stunsl booms are able to take advantage of that factor. It is an arbitrary choice. Where did the photos come from? My time in square is a bit limited so, someone else my have a better answer.
    Jay

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Stunsl question

    I have both of Underhill's books. Masting and rigging is the bible for this sort of thing and I reference it all the time. I was also thinking different ship's different long splices when composing the questions above. Photos are from the web somewhere. I was aboard Europa and PC when they were in Lunenburg this summer but those are not my pictures. Taking advantage of luff length is an interesting theory as well. Could very well be that. My time in square rig was limited as well, it was a long time ago (20+years) and there were certainly no stuns'ls involved.
    Thanks guys.
    Daniel
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    -Henry David Thoreau-

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Stunsl question

    Looking at my book case, I have Biddlecomb as well. Less useful in this type of gear though. Wrong era.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    -Henry David Thoreau-

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Stunsl question

    Wouldn't they work better if they were rigged aft of the sails they are overlapping? / Jim

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Stunsl question

    For containing wind but I suspect if you look closely at how they are rigged, they'd tend to catch on the leech of the square sail which would tip the stuns'l's outboard end forward spilling even more wind than is lost already. Interesting thought though. Maybe there'd be a way to rig them from further aft so they wouldn't tend to do that but I can't think what it may be.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    -Henry David Thoreau-

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Stunsl question

    Keep in mind that stun sails predate the spilt topsails and top gallants by fifty or more years. Might want a look at late 18th / early 19th century systems. I suspect that much was carried over.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Stunsl question

    Wouldn't they work better if they were rigged aft of the sails they are overlapping? / Jim
    I suspect they're a lot easier to set and douse if they're handled in the lee of the other sails, rather than dragged up and down to windward. That's a lot of canvas --all of it set flying, no less-- and of the sort that you don't want any fuss if you need them down NOW. Having them blanketted by the main column of sail would make handling them a lot easier.

    Alex

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Stunsl question

    Quote Originally Posted by Pitsligo View Post
    I suspect they're a lot easier to set and douse if they're handled in the lee of the other sails, rather than dragged up and down to windward. That's a lot of canvas --all of it set flying, no less-- and of the sort that you don't want any fuss if you need them down NOW. Having them blanketted by the main column of sail would make handling them a lot easier.

    Alex
    I heard one old timer say that studding sails were invented just to keep the crew occupied in the doldrums.

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