Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

will be seen that the draught is comparatively small, therefore, to get stability, the beam is proportionately large, with a result that enables a great amount of sail to be carried, as is shown by the sail dimensions given below; and to give handiness in turning to windward in narrow waters, where quickness is of great importance, the keel is short, with a long over-hanging counter, and this results in the boat carrying a very strong weather helm. The sails ordinarily carried by such a boat as the above are mainsail, jib, and topsail, the dimensions of which, in a medium wind, would be as follows : Mainsail, luff 23ft., head 28ft. 6in., foot 35ft., and leech 42ft. Jib, leech 23ft., foot 36ft., and luff 48ft. Topsail yard 23ft. One big jib is always used in preference to foresail and jib, and it is undoubtedly far superior, so much greater power being obtained from the unbroken plane of sail. Square topsails and spinnakers are seldom used on the rivers, as from the winding of the courses, runs before the wind are seldom long enough to make them of much use. The accommodation on such a boat would consist of a cabin about 8ft. or 9ft. long, with two berths, and fitted with lockers, table, &c. ; a forepeak, with berths for two men ; an open cockpit, about 10ft. long, with seats round and lockers, and surrounded by a 9in, coaming. Boats, such as the above described, are very fast on their own waters ; and, although built entirely for the river, yet on a fairly calm day at sea can sometimes show sea-built boats the way over the course ; but from the fact of their having large open cockpits, tall pole masts, and long bowsprits and spars, they are not desirable in a heavy sea.

The club here is the Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club, instituted in 1859, mustering about sixty boats, of from three to forty tons, the principal rig being cutter, and they are either clincher or carvel built, according to fancy. Besides this club, there is the Yare Sailing Club, established 1876, for model yachts, not exceeding four tons, and open sailing boats. The first mentioned are built much on the model of the 10-tonner above described. They may be compared somewhat to the Windermere yachts, but are not quite so large, the length over all not generally exceeding 23ft., or 17ft. between the perpendiculars, and about 7ft. bin. beam, with an average draught of water of about 3ft. 6in., and not more than one ton weight on the keel. The keels are not much rockered, and there is little difference between the draught fore and aft. The rig is very similar to that of the Windermere yachts, and the midship section here also, in many cases, is placed rather forwards ; but the sterns or counters are kept broader, though shallow, so as to bear the weight of the mainsail. It is said that the Windermere boats carry more sail than any boat of their size. I therefore give the dimensions of sails carried by a yacht here, 22ft. 2in. over all, 15ft. 8in. between stem and sternpost, and 7ft. 4in. beam, with a draught of water of 3ft. 6in., being, according to the Yacht Racing Association measurement, about 2} tons—[this was written when the length was taken along the keel instead of along the water-line, as is the rule now]-and, according to the measurement of the club (where half the counter is included), 3tons. Mainsail, luff 16ft. 6in.; head, 18ft. 6in.; foot, 22ft. ; leach, 30ft. Jib, leach, 24ft. ; foot, 22ft. ; luff, 33ft. ; the bowsprit being 17ft. 6in. outside the stem. Topsail yard, 18ft. Comparing the draught of water, beam, and weight of keel of the Windermere boats with those of Norfolk, the sail carried by the latter is proportionately very large, especially as regards the jib. These boats are not absolutely uncapsizable; bat accidents, except occasionally carrying away a spar or some of the rigging, seldom happen with skilful handling. Of course, sail is considerably shortened in heavy winds, and great care must be shown in the management of the jib, the sheets being eased off with each extra paff, and then pulled in again, by which means the boat is kept moving ahead without burying herself, and can be easily luffed into the wind if required. The greatest beam of these boats is generally just above the load-waterline, and the garboard strakes are fine, but there is no fixed plan for the build, some of the boats having bluff hollow bows, some fine straight entrances, and some have a great deal of “dead” wood above the aft end of the keel, and others are straked up the whole way from the keel. They are generally built with small cabins and open cockpits, with 6in. coamings and 10in. waterways, and are very handy and pleasurable boats, being easily worked by two hands, though capable of being handled single handed, and containing just sufficient accommodation and fittings to give two persons a night's lodging when required.

Fig. 25 gives the form of the longitudinal section, and Fig. 26 the cross section amidships, but these vary so much in different boats that they must only be considered as approximately correct.

They are excessively sensitive to any movement of the helm or sails.

The weather helm they carry is so great that at times it needs all one's strength to prevent them "taking charge" and driving into the wind. Theoretically there seems to us too much of a struggle between the great mainsail and the jib, which shall overpower the other, and the violent weather helm must

stop the boat in no inconsiderable degree. When the boats are running before the wind the bows are so much depressed that we have frequently seen the bowsprit end in the water picking up stray bunches of weed. All hands are then gathered aft as far as possible to counterbalance this. If the spars and canvas were much reduced, and the open cockpits more fully decked in, we think the boats would stand sea work excellently well, but as they are at present rigged it is neither safe nor pleasant to

FIG. 25. THE NORFOLK SLOOP. be caught in a “lop” with them. When the bowsprit drives into a wave and a body of green water is launched into the jib, the consequences may be serious.

The rig is generally called “cutter” in Norfolk, although it is really the sloop. The bowsprit is a standing one, and the forestay goes to the end of it instead of to the stem, as in a cutter. As the bobstay also leads to the bowsprit end and cannot be altered, it some- FIG. 26. NORFOLK SLOOP

MIDSHIP SECTION. times happens that when the foresail is reefed and the traveller is half way in along the spar, the latter bends and springs like a huge bow, and is sometimes carried away. The Norfolk sailormen, however, will not admit that there are any drawbacks to their boats, and they certainly have not as yet been beaten by any other rig brought to sail against them. If any Thames man possessed of a boat of the Alert type reads this and chooses to come to Norfolk to try his fortune, he may depend on a welcome and fair play.

We have had no personal practical experience in sailing the little yachts which add so much to the beauty of Windermere, but we may state that the rig is exactly the same as that of the Norfolk sloops. The form of the hull is also strikingly alike, but the Windermere yachts have more of the counter immersed, draw much more water, and have an enormous weight of lead on their keels. This is necessary on account of the sudden and heavy squalls which sweep down from the mountains. These may throw the yacht on her side, but the weight of lead will raise her again when the sheets are eased or the wind pressure removed. Mr. Kemp says these boats are uncapsizable, and may be made unsinkable by means of water-tight compartments or full decking.

Their great draught of water, however, unsuits them for river sailing, and for sea other types of boats have their advantages over the Windermere ones. Their spars and sails are unfitted for sea work, for the same reason as the Norfolk craft, and if these are reduced to seagoing size the boats would not sail so fast, owing to the bluffness of their bows; their great displacement in comparison with their length and their general “tubbiness,” which requires an enormous quantity of sail to drive them. These boats, therefore, are not likely to come into general use, except on lakes like Windermere. At the same time we should state that these deductions are not from our own experience, but from the information derived from others.

CHAPTER X.

LUG SAIL BOATS-CLYDE BOATSTHE COBLE

-CRAB BOATS SPRIT-SAILS LATEEN
MUDIAN-SLIDING GUNTER.

to us,

The old fashioned lug sail without a boom is scouted by many be-
cause it is old-fashioned, so that its use is now chiefly confined to
fishermen. The exceptions that now occur to us as within our
own knowledge, are the amateur sailors of the Clyde, and a Club
of coble sailors on the Northumberland and Durham coast.
The fishermen are very fond of the lug. As one of them said
66 When

you
let

go the sheet the sail is nothing more than a flag,” meaning that it did not hold any wind as a sail, as a boom will, in some degree, even when the sheet is eased off to its utmost or let go altogether.

At sea, there is, of course, much more room than on a river, and there is seldom any necessity for frequent and short tacks. Therefore in the lug sails used by the fishermen the tack of the lug is carried past the mast and made fast to the weather bow. More effect is given to the sail when stretched out in this way, and the mast need not be stepped so far forward, as the centre of effort of the sail is carried orward with the luff, but there is an inconvenience and a danger attending what is termed the “dipping lug.” At every tack the sail has to be lowered, the sail shifted to the other side, and the sail again hoisted. This is a trouble and inconvenience which would be inadmissible in narrow channels. The danger is, that if the boat is luffed too

« ForrigeFortsett »