RE: questions about sailing

Forum Forums General Discussions questions about sailing RE: questions about sailing

On 5/17/2013 5:11 PM, R wrote:

> I give up.
> I've been building, rigging, restoring and sailing traditional
> vessels for over 35 years but I can see that being the font on all
> matters nautical for this group is important to you so I will leave it
> to you to answer any technical questions in future, okay?

I appreciate answers from you both. To make the rough calculation
(interesting to me) that 1 degree of rudder is effective I needed R's
description of his experience PLUS the typical wheel/rudder data Dino
provided, that I asked for. I think questioners benefit when a BBS has
answers from multiple sources of varying authority as long as they can
correct each other without getting as frustrated as R.

In my experience (except for my first message) this BBS is very quick at
distribution, I send a message and see it come from the group in
seconds. I appreciate the prompt responses I got from R & Dino. If they
aren't getting such quick reception of each other's messages that can
lead to crossed emails and corrections and contradictions which are NOT
very dangerous. If I get misinformed I'll be happy to see the correction.

Or, I'll learn how names of things have evolved. The 19th century terms
are what I need most to understand TOL. R said "Reefing square sails
died out long before James' day! " and described what is done to stow a
rectangular sail. James & Baines call for reefing multiple times, I
wonder if that's a script anachronism, or they're doing something more
temporary than stowing.

> By the way, have you worked out why there are usually three cutouts for
> the boom?

Nope. My first idea was that if the ship is still underway, and you want
to stow that boom even temporarily, then if there's still wind it will
be easier to stow in the leeward cutout. But I'm not convinced that's
really easier. When Dino said the gaff goes in a second cutout I
believed that. When R pointed out the gaff is too short, he's obviously

I do claim credit for inventing the balanced rudder while I was trying
to guess how long the Sea Cloud's rudder is, and thinking about how a
rudder should be pivoted. I can see how the bit of rudder in front of
the pivot would reduce the strength the helmsman has to apply, so it
makes sense it would reduce his feel for the force between water & hull
as a function of ship's course.

> Like so many land expressions that came from the sea, 'To pour oil on to
> troubled waters'. Oil slowly seeping out of a canvas bag towed behind a
> ship would create a slick which would flatten the breaking crest of a
> wave, messy business though!

Is this a superstition? I think they were not hove to, so they would
stay ahead of the slick. Seems like it would only help a ship following
closely behind. Also I would think it would take a thick layer to
flatten crests at sea, many barrels of oil. How much oil would the 1880s
Soren Larsen carry? Can waves from behind overtake the ship? I would
expect even a thin layer of oil would calm the smallest turbulence in
the waves. But the larger mass movement which could be felt when an
ocean wave reached the ship, that would not be noticeably reduced by
several slowly seeping bags yards away. Am I wrong? I'm guessing.

I think it is not necessary to apologize to someone you are correcting,
they probably appreciate it. Apologizing implies that you must be
hurting them when you correct them because they are more interested in
pride than truth. Dino plainly isn't hurt. I think R is too easily
frustrated by seeing errors. Errors are normal in BBS environments and
not a problem if they're corrected. I understand errors from others add
to the writing load R has to do to maintain the high standards of
accuracy we expect from TOL.