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CHAPTER VII.

THE SLOOP RIG - THE ALERT NORFOLK

CENTRE-BOARD BOATS.

THE Sloop rig is undoubtedly the most handsome of all rigs. Fig. 20 delineates it, and is drawn to scale. It will be seen that there is a bowsprit at the stem, or an iron bumpkin where the foresail is small. The mainsail is hoisted by two halyards, the

main halyard and the peak, though why the Una style of halyard, afterwards mentioned, should not be adopted, we never could see. In hoisting the sail the throat (or main) and the peak halyards are hauled in at the same time, so that the gaff goes up at right angles to the mast until the

sail is up as far as the FIG. 20. THE SLOOP.

hoist will allow. Then the peak halyard is belayed while the other is swigged on, and made as taut as possible and belayed. Then swig on the peak until there is a wrinkle in the sail at the throat, when it may be belayed. Then the topping lift, whose office is to top or

lift

up the boom, is slacked a little, so that the sail bears the weight of the boom. It will be seen that the boom end fits into a gooseneck, or movable joint, at the mast, so as to allow it free play. Sometimes jaws are used like those on the gaff, but these are not so convenient. The gaff has jaws which half encircle the mast, and a parrel, or cord, with perforated wooden balls strung on to it, prevents the gaff from being blown away from the mast, and at the same time permits it to run freely up and down. The luff of the sail is fastened at intervals to rinys or hoops which are round the mast, and the latter should be greased in case the hoops stick, as they often do. The main sheet

may be arranged in many ways. For an open boat, such as we are now considering, the best way is to have a horse, which is an iron bar fitted across the counter or on the transom, passing over the rudder-head, with a ring working loosely along it (Fig. 21). To this ring is secured a double block. Another

FIG. 21. THE HORSE. is on the boom, and the sheet passes through these with the fall leading down to the hand of the steersman, and belaying to a cleat. If the wind is light, the sheet need not be rove through all the sheaves of the blocks.

The jib or foresail is hoisted by a halyard, which in general passes through a block on the mast, then through a loose block with a hook, one end being fast to the upper block and the fall leading down on deck. The bowsprit has a bobstay, and in large boats bowsprit shrouds as well. These are always useful, because a line can be bent across and across, so as to form a sort of network, into which the sail can be lowered without fear of its falling into the water. Upon the bowsprit is an iron ring, called a traveller, which is hauled out to the end by the jib outhaul passing through a sheave at the end of the bowsprit, and belayed to the bowsprit bitts.

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The clue of the jib is hooked on a hook on the traveller and the sail is hauled out as far as it will go. Next the hook of the halyard block is fastened to the throat of the jib, and the sail is rapidly hoisted and sweated up as taut as ever it

will go.

The jib has two sheets. At the lower corner of the jib next the mast, there are two single blocks. One end of each sheet is fast to an eye in the deck, between the mast and the gunwale ; the sheet passes through one of the blocks outwards, back through either a large eye fastened on the shroud, which is a good and simple plan, or through another block fastened to an eye on the gunwale or in the water-ways ; if the boat is halfdecked, then it leads aft to the hand, and in a small boat there had better be no cleat to fasten it to. The sheets should go outside the shrouds.

In sailing a sloop the jib has to be worked with more care and judgment than the mizen in the last mentioned rig. The manipulation of the mainsail will be readily understood without any further instruction. When running dead before the wind the jib will take care of itself, and is practically of little use, as it cannot be kept drawing. With the wind on any other point it must be kept just full and drawing. If it shakes it must be sheeted flatter, or if you are too close to the wind she must be kept away a little. In fact, the jib is a good index to the helmsman whether he is too close or too full. In tacking when the helm is put down and the boat comes up to the wind, the jib will shake and flap about. The sheet that was the lee sheet, and is to be the weather one, is to be slacked off and the lee sheet to be hauled in as the boat's head pays off on the other tack. If the boat should not come about quickly enough the jib can be backed by holding the sheet aweather, and this will force her round fast enough. In fact, this is the great

advantage of the sloop rig in beating to windward in narrow channels.

More sail can be hoisted on this rig and the cutter than upon luggers, by means of topsails and spinnakers. Of the latter we shall treat afterwards. The topsail is shown on the figure. There is a topsail halyard leading through a sheave hole in the mast. This is bent on to the topsail yard at the point which experience determines to be the best for the set of the sail. A few experiments will determine this, and the place should be marked. The proper knot is figured afterwards in the chapter on knots and splices. There is a heel rope or tack to the topsail. A turn of this around the mast before it is belayed to the cleats below will keep the sail from tearing away from the mast. The topsail sheet is bent to the clue, then passes through a sheave fastened on the end of the gaff, and through another at the throat. When this is hauled upon the sail is sheeted home, and it is belayed; the topsail should be fully hoisted and set before it is sheeted home.

The most successful centre-board sloop upon the Thames is the Alert, of which the lines and dimensions have been published in the Field. She is noteworthy in that she is not over-canvassed or over-sparred, a most common fault in racing craft. The following are some of her measurements :

Stem to sternpost, 17ft. 5in.
Length on load water line,

19ft. 3in.
Breadth, 7ft. 3in.
Lranght without plate, 2ft. 7in.
Draught with plate, 4ft.
Total ballast, 164cwt.

Tonnage, 381 tons.
Mast deck to hounds, 16ft. bin.
Boom, 19ft. 6in.
Gaff, 12ft. 9in.
Bowsprit outboard, 8ft.
Topsail yard, 19ft.
Mast from stem, 6ft.

Area of mainsail, 270 square feet. Area of topsail, 70 square feet. Area of foresail, 90 square feet. Total sail area, 430 square feet.

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3 4 5 6

11 12 13 14 15

If the reader wishes to rig a sloop for himself let him make drawing to scale, and then taking the length of the boat he has, or is designing, find her other dimensions according to a suitable scale.

It may not be amiss here to give an easy method of preparing C

a scale. Suppose you see a

E drawing of a boat, and you А)

wish to apply it to a design 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

of, say, 16ft.

Draw the line A B (Fig. 22), of the length of the drawing; draw 0 D and EF at each end at right angles.

Take any inch measure and G lay one end of it at A, then

slope it down until the line EF marks off sixteen divisions, as at G. Mark off the divisions from the measure

on the line A G; then rule FIG. 22. DIAGRAM FOR DRAWING

parallel lines from them up TO SCALE.

through A B, which is now divided into sixteen equal parts, forming a scale for the rest of the drawing.

The centre-board boats which are sailed in the matches of the Yare Sailing Club in Norfolk are of a greater rise of floor and draught of water than those in use on the Thames, and would, we think, beat them in racing. The press of sail they carry is something astonishing, and their speed and handiness leave nothing to be desired. They, however, require two men to sail them effectively.

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