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BOAT SAILING

IN

FAIR WEATHER AND FOUL

BY

CAPTAIN
A. J. KENEALY





CHAPTER XI

RIGGING AND SAILS

CHAPTER XII
CHAPTER XIII
 

WIRE HAS entirely superseded rope for standing rigging, and deadeyes and lanyards are fast giving way before the advance of the turnbuckle. An old sailor cannot help regretting the decline and fall of his profession and the growing popularity of the art of the blacksmith. So far as the rigging of ships is concerned, when wire rigging was first introduced it was thought that its rigidity would prove a fatal objection to its successful use. Science has, however, set its foot down firmly on such objections. The decree has gone forth that rigging cannot possibly be set up too taut, and the less it stretches the better.

The old argument that a yacht's standing rigging should "give" when the craft is caught in a squall, which old sea dogs were so fond of advancing, has been knocked on the head by scientific men who declare that a vessel's heeling capacity affords much more relief than the yielding quality of rigging. Thus all or nearly all of the modern immense steel sailing vessels in the East Indian and Australian trade have their steel masts stayed as rigidly as possible by means of turnbuckles, and practice seems to have demonstrated the truth of the theory. These ships encounter terrific seas and gales off the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn, and their masts are thus subjected to violent and sudden strains, but I have been assured by the commanders of several of these great freight carriers that they have never known their "sticks" to be imperiled by the rigidity of the rigging, and the tauter it can be set up the more secure the masts are supposed to be.

 

SHROUD, DEADEYE, LANYARD.

There are, however, a number of old salts who condemn this theory as rank heresy, and go in for deadeyes and lanyards of the old-fashioned kind, and the greater the stretch between the upper and the lower deadeyes the better are they pleased. There is no doubt that turnbuckles look neater than deadeyes, and they are probably well suited for small craft. The Herreshoffs have long used them for setting up the rigging of the sloops and yawls of moderate size which they used to turn out in such numbers, and which first laid the foundation of their fame. The boat owner can please himself as to which method he may choose, and he can rely that with either his mast will be perfectly secure. Both methods are shown in the accompanying cuts.

 There is one thing in connection with wire rigging that I must warn the amateur against. Beware of shod wire rigging. "Shoes" are iron plates riveted to the ends of wire rigging to receive shackle bolts. They are never reliable. Eye splices in wire never draw. "Shoes" often collapse without notice.

 

TURNBUCKLE.

Turnbuckles are very handy appliances for setting up rigging in a hurry, whereas the same operation conducted by means of a deadeye and a lanyard takes much more time and trouble. A small craft rigged as a sloop, cutter or yawl, requires only one shroud on each side to afford lateral support to the mast, and a forestay -- which in the case of a cutter or yawl should set up at the stem head, but on a sloop is set up on the bowsprit. A simple way to fit the rigging is to splice an eye in each shroud, forming a collar sufficiently large to pass over the masthead, first covering the part that is to form the eye with canvas sewn on and painted. The starboard shroud goes over the masthead first, then the port one and last the forestay. In large yachts the lower rigging is often fitted in pairs, the bight of the shrouds being passed over the masthead and secured in the form of an eye with a stout wire seizing.

Many riggers shackle the shrouds to an iron band fitted to the hounds. This plan is open to objection. There may be a flaw in the iron and the band may give way suddenly, causing the mast to snap off short like the stem of a clay pipe. Bands may look a little more snug than the collars, but they are heavier aloft and not so reliable, and for these reasons I am old-fashioned enough to prefer the collars.

 

TOPMAST RIGGING.

For a small sloop, cutter or yawl, a pole mast is preferable ; but all boats more than twenty feet on the water line should be fitted with topmasts, the rigging of which is shown in the cut.

The running bowsprit is almost obsolete nowadays, but the device still finds favor with certain owners of cutters and yawls of large size. It certainly has its advantages. The length of the bowsprit is reduced as the jibs are shifted, until when the spitfire or storm-jib is set the bowsprit is run so far inboard that it looks like a mere stump. In a seaway the benefit of this is obvious, the weight being materially reduced forward and the pitching consequently lessened. The jib also sits well and does its work, and is far preferable to that horror of horrors the "bobbed" jib of a sloop, which always makes a sailor's flesh creep when he sees it.

How it has managed to survive is a marvel to me. It is a lubberly and slovenly device not good enough for a scow. The rigging of a moving bowsprit is shown in the cut.

 

RIG OF RUNNING BOWSPRIT.

 

When it becomes necessary to set the storm trysail, lower away the mainsail and furl it as fast as possible. Lower the boom down into the crutch amidships, and secure it by hauling the sheet taut and by tackles or lashings from each quarter. Unhook the throat and peak halyards and hook them on to the trysail gaff, the jaws of which parrel on to the mast, allowing the gaff end to rest on the deck. The topping lifts must be unhooked from the main boom and taken in to the mast or the rigging, so as to be out of the way of the trysail. Lace the head of the trysail to the gaff. The clew of the trysail is hauled aft by a luff-tackle which forms the sheet. Another tackle should be hooked to the clew and made fast to windward over the main boom and gaff, so that in case of a shift of wind the sheet may be hauled aft on the other side without delay or the danger of getting aback. Then you can man the throat and peak halyards and set the sail, trimming the sheet well down.

If you should have the misfortune to carry away the main boom, and you have no trysail on board, lower away the sail, unlace it from the boom, close-reef it, and set it with a luff-tackle for a sheet. When about to set the storm trysail and your vessel is yawl rigged, set the storm mizzen. It will keep her head up to the sea while the sails are being shifted. In a cutter, heave to by hauling the fore sheet to windward, keeping the jib full. Shifting jibs in heavy weather in a cutter requires care. The first thing to do is to get the sail up from below and stretch it along the weather side of the forward deck with the head aft. Haul the fore sheet to windward and trim the mainsheet in flat, tricing up the tack if the sail is loose-footed. Keep the boat as close to the wind as possible. Let go the jib outhaul, and the sail will fly in along the bowsprit. Muzzle it, man the downhaul, let go the halyards and down with it! Then reef the bowsprit. Some cutters are fitted with a rack and pinion wheel, with a handle like that of a winch, for this purpose. If not supplied with this handy contrivance, reeve a heel rope, and after slacking the bob stay fall and the falls of the shrouds and topmast stay, heave on it until you can knock the fid out.

 

HORSE FOR MAIN SHEET.

Then rouse the bowsprit in by the shroud tackles to the second or third fid holes, as desired; ship the fid and set up the gear, beginning with the bobstay, the weather shroud next and the lee shroud last, at the same time taking in the slack of the topmast stay. Now to set the jib. First hook on the sheets and take a turn with the lee one; next hook on the tack to the traveler and the halyards to the head. Man the outhaul and bowse the tack out to the bowsprit end. Hoist up on the halyards and sweat up with the purchase. Trim the sheet, let draw the fore sheet, ease off the mainsheet and sail her along again. If these instructions are carried out a storm jib may be set on a reefed bowsprit without parting a rope yam.

To shake a reef out in the mainsail, set up on the topping lift so that it may take the weight of the boom. Untie all the reef points. Cast off the lashing at the tack if the sail is laced to the boom, or come up the tack tackle if it is loose footed. Then ease off the reef earring and hoist the sail, setting up the throat first. You can then ease up the topping lift and trim sheet. A convenient method of bending and unbending a storm trysail is shown in Fig. X and Fig. E.

Fig. X represents the shape of the mast hoops, to each of which two iron hooks are fastened. The hoops are of the ordinary size, but about one-quarter of their length is sawn out and to the ends the iron hooks are riveted. Fig. E shows how the thimble toggles are seized to the luff of the sail at regular intervals. When it is necessary to set the trysail, adjust the jaws of the gaff to the mast, make fast the parrel, hook on the throat and peak halyard blocks and mouse them. Hoist up slowly, slipping the thimbles over the hooks on the ends of the hoops as the sail goes up. The sheet must be hauled aft before the sail is hoisted, and should be slacked off handsomely to allow the sail to be properly set. Then all hands should clap on it and flatten it in. If your boat is rigged as a cutter or yawl the foresail may have the tack made fast to the eyebolt to which the stay is set up. The luff of the sail is seized to galvanized iron hanks that run up and down on the stay. If the foresail has a reef band in it (as it should) a lacing is used between the reef and tack cringles. Don't bowse up the halyards too taut the first time you set the sail, and don't break your back flattening in the sheet. Give it a chance to stretch fairly. The same remark also applies to the jib, whether set on a stay or flying on its own luff, as it must necessarily do if your craft is equipped with a running bowsprit. For the sake of lightness, blocks are frequently made too small. Manila rope, of which both sheets and halyards should be made, has a habit of swelling when wet. It is generally rove on a dry day, and renders through blocks quite easily when in this condition. A rain squall will swell this rope to such an extent, and halyards will jam so hard, that sails will not come down when wanted, and disasters happen. The work of setting and taking in sail is made very laborious through small blocks and large sized halyards. It should be home in mind that halyards ought to run through blocks as freely when wet as dry. Blocks should always be fitted with patent sheaves.

The running rigging of a mainsail consists of peak and throat halyards, topping lifts, main sheet and peak downhaul. To bend a mainsail, shackle the throat cringle to the eyebolt under the jaws of the gaff, stretch the head of the sail along the gaff, reeve the peak earring through the hole in the end of the gaff and haul it out, securing it in the manner shown in the illustration. The earring is represented with the turns passed loosely in order to give the amateur a clear and distinct view of the proper method. It will be seen that a is the peak end of the gaff; b is a cheek block for the topsail sheet; c is a block for the peak down haul, used also as signal halyards, hooked to an eyebolt screwed into the end of the gaff, the hook of the block being moused; d is a hole in the gaff end through which the earring is passed.

 

 

The earring is spliced into the cringle with a long eye splice. It is then passed through d round through the cringle e; through d again and through e again; then up over the gaff at i and k, down the other side and through e again, and so on up round the gaff four or five times; at the last, instead of going up over the gaff again, the earring is passed between the parts round the gaff as shown at z; round all the parts that were passed through d, as shown at m, and jammed by two half hitches m and h.

If the sail is new from the sailmaker's loft, only haul the head out hand taut or you will ruin it. I have seen yacht skippers clap a "handy billy" tackle on the head of a new mainsail and haul on it till they could get no more. I have seen them treat the foot in the same way, the result being a great bag of canvas of no possible use in beating to windward. A mainsail costs a good deal of money and is easily spoiled. One of Mr. John M. Sawyer's splendidly cut sails can have all its utility and beauty taken out of it in half-an-hour by a lubberly sailing master. After the head earring is passed, lace the head of the sail to the gaff, taking a half hitch at each eyelet hole. Next seize the luff of the sail to the mast hoops with marline.

The foot of the mainsail should next be made fast to the boom in the same manner as the peak, the lacing going round a wire jackstay rove through eyebolts on the top of the boom. Do not "sweat up" either the throat or peak halyards too taut the first time you set it, and avoid reefing a new sail. Lower it down altogether, set the trysail, or do the best you can under head sail and the mizzen if on board a yawl. A mainsail should always be allowed to stretch gradually, and the slack of the head and the foot should be taken up at intervals. Remember that no greater injury can be done to a new sail than to try and make it sit flat by hauling out the foot too taut before it has been properly stretched. The best authorities advise that the sail should be set with the leech slack, and the boat run before a strong wind for several hours. Another excellent plan is to hoist the sail up with the foot and head slack while the boat is at anchor, and as it flaps about in the breeze the sail will stretch without injury. Of course when the head and foot are thoroughly stretched they can be hauled out taut as they can be got.

Personally, I prefer a mainsail with the foot laced to the boom, but all are not of my way of thinking. A loose footed mainsail still has admirers and this is how it works. The mainsail outhaul consists of an iron horse on the boom, a shackle as traveler, a wire outhaul made fast to the shackle and rove through a sheave hole at the boom end and set up by a purchase.

 

 GEAR FOR HAULING OUT LOOSE-FOOTED MAINSAIL.

 

If the mainsail is of the loose-footed variety it should be fitted with a tack tricing tackle and a main tack purchase. The last named is handy for bowsing down the luff of the sail "bar taut" for racing. Sweating-up the throat halyards lowers the peak slightly, and peaking the sail slackens the luff. By hauling up on the main tack tricing tackle till you can get no more, and at the same time lowering the peak, the mainsail is "scandalized" and the boom can then be gybed over in a strong breeze with the least possible risk of carrying away something.

 

To prevent mast hoops from jamming when the mainsail is being hoisted or lowered, a small line is seized to the fore side of the top hoop and then to every hoop down the mast. When the throat halyards are pulled on, the fore sides of the hoops feel the strain and go up parallel with the after sides. The accompanying figure shows this at a glance.

It is true that this method has found little favor with amateurs, but I tried it with great success on my first cruising craft, and later on in a yacht of far greater pretensions. The "wrinkle" should by no means be despised.

 


  

CHAPTER XII

LAYING UP FOR THE WINTER

CHAPTER XIII

 

THE JUDICIOUS yachtsman will personally superintend the laying up of his craft. If he has that inestimable blessing, a good skipper, he should not discharge him at the close of his summer season. If he does he will bitterly regret it. A yacht requires as much watchful care as a baby, and this is especially true during the trying winter season. So wise yacht-owners who have in their employ faithful captains should hold on to them like grim death to a deceased army mule. Good men are not too plentiful these times.

A few practical suggestions as to preparing the vessel for the winter are here appended. In the first place, sails should be well dried before being unbent, and then should be carefully stopped and labeled, and the same remark applies also to the running gear. By all means secure storage ashore for sails, gear, cabin fitments and furniture, carpets, upholstery and bedding, otherwise you may have cause to regret it in the spring. In most of the buildings devoted to the storage of yacht gear proper platforms or stages are provided, so that a free current of air may circulate, and thus prevent damp, mildew and decay. The lower tier on the platform should consist of the warps and running gear, on top of which the sails should be snugly coiled. Above these the furniture, bedding and upholstery should go. All can be covered over with an old light sail to protect them from dust. This can be removed as often as necessary for airing purposes.

On the other side of the Atlantic judicious owners of storage warehouses make their platforms rat-proof, following out the same idea as the farmer does with his wheat stacks. Each support to the stage is capped with a metal cone, which effectually stops the upward progress of the sail-devouring vermin. Well conducted warehouses are well ventilated, and the temperature is kept tolerably even by heat.

Of course, all articles of value, such as plate and nautical instruments, should find repository in their owner's dwelling.

All light spars should be sent ashore and lashed up under the beams of the warehouse. The same with the rowboats, but with attention to the fact that they should be so supported as to have their weight evenly distributed, and thus prevent them from being pulled out of shape.

Many expensive boats are hopelessly ruined by neglect of this precaution. This is the proper method of supporting a rowboat so that straining her is impossible. Six eyebolts should be screwed into the under side of the beams of the warehouse at proper intervals to take the weight of the boat amidships and at the third of her length forward and aft. From these eyebolts ropes of sufficient length should depend, to which, in the bight, a handspike is passed, on which, bottom upward, the boat is hung.

A yacht laid up without the greatest care deteriorates in value to an enormous extent. The first process after dismantling is to clean the vessel thoroughly inside and out, just as carefully as if she was about to be continued in commission. After getting her as bright as a new pin, all the hardwood -- that which is varnished or gilded -- should be covered up with canvas

After the yacht has been thoroughly skinned, as far as her internal arrangements are concerned, the last process preliminary to paying her out of commission, is to give her decks a coat or two of bright varnish -- shunning that mixture known in the trade as pure oil, as deleterious to all decks.

It is cheaper in the long run to provide a yacht with properly fitted winter hatches which entirely cover the hardwood deck fittings and secure thorough ventilation, as then the regular skylights can be left open.

In small craft the sailing master will be sufficient to keep the boat in first class condition. On larger vessels, according to size, he should have competent assistance.

Whether a yacht is moored alongside a quay or another vessel, winter storms cause her to do a little rolling, which invariably induces chafing. Unless a vessel is properly protected by fenders, her planksheer and bulwarks are sure to be seriously injured, and to repair this part of a ship is costly in the extreme; especially in regard to the planksheer. Should the planksheer be "shoved up" by contact with the dock or the ship to which she is moored alongside, the damage done could only be properly repaired by the removal of both bulwark and rail. To guard against severe injuries of this kind unceasing vigilance is necessary. If you can induce your skipper to live on board, all the better. In such a case your yacht will be kept in as dainty condition as your wife's boudoir. Snow is very penetrating. It will find its way even through rubber boots. A little leak may at first have no significance. But the leak increases and rot follows, fastenings are corroded and paintwork discolored.

Every vessel afloat suffers more or less from "sweating," caused by the difference between the temperature of the air outside and inside the ship. To obviate this a fire should be kept going; not a furious furnace that would involve a great expenditure of coal, but simply some heating device that gives a moderate amount of warmth all through the ship. Thus, when the owner returns to his yacht in the spring, he will find her sweet and clean and will never regret the few paltry dollars it has cost him to keep his floating summer home in seagoing condition. The careful skipper will see that his extra help is kept busy, so that not only a casual visitor must compliment her owner on her spick and span condition, but a naval architect or a Lloyd's surveyor can find no flaw or fault to peck at. For, down to her deadwood and timbers, by the application of soap, hot water and plenty of elbow-grease, she is made fit for repainting right down to her keel.

By conservative and preservative methods such as these a yacht's life is prolonged, and she will always fetch her value in the market, the noisome odor of bilge water being unknown.

The foregoing remarks are applicable to pleasure craft that are kept afloat during the winter. It is needless to expatiate on the benefit of hauling out yachts of any size or construction, whether of wood, composite, iron, steel or Tobin bronze or aluminum. The expense of hauling large boats out is considerable, for obvious reasons, and thus it is that yacht owners do not care to incur the cost. This objection does not apply to small craft, which should invariably be landed for the winter and efficiently protected by canvas, or other covering, from the destructive influence of snow and rain. All that has been said above in relation to the storage of sails and gear applies as much to a one-tonner as to the largest pleasure craft afloat.

When we go into the question of steam yachts, no better advice can be given than that contained above, so far as hull and equipment are concerned. It is different when the proper care of machinery is considered. There it is where the services of a loyal and skillful engineer come into full play. Unless sufficient attention is paid to a vessel's boilers and engines during the critical time when she reposes in dock, disastrous results, entailing vast expenditure, are sure to follow. The complicated and ingenious mechanism which propels the modern steam yacht requires devoted regard. Very expensive when new, repairs during their second season, if in any way neglected in the winter, call for the resources of the purse of a Croesus. In matters of this kind the old adage which relates to a stitch in time should be noted by the prudent yacht owner. Thus it is that an engineer and a sufficient staff should be kept on the pay roll in the winter for economic reasons alone. By this means extravagant bills for unnecessary repairs will be avoided. The engineer will take pride in his work and do justice to a liberal employer.

It is well known that engineers can only become acquainted with the true capacity of machinery by long and careful study. Statistics have proved that marine engines in the navy under the direction of good men have been run with less coal, less oil and greater working power year by year when the same man has had control of the engine room. All of which means less strain on the owner's bank account

Lincoln's famous aphorism about the unwisdom of swapping horses when crossing a stream applies with great precision to skippers and engineers. It takes time for the most masterly and adroit captain to become acquainted with the peculiar idiosyncrasies of a vessel, for it is true that each one has her own individuality, and it takes time to comprehend her. In this they much resemble the fair sex. It is a case of whip and spur on one hand, and saddle and bridle on the other. Which is to wield the whip or wear the saddle is a question between captain and ship. The struggle is sometimes a long one, but in the end mind conquers matter.

The captain, as in the case of Gen. Paine and the Mayflower, eventually gets the hang of her, brings her into a state of submission, and compels her to become a cup winner. The engineer in his own sphere accomplishes similar results. His machinery runs with the regularity of a chronometer. His owner's bills for coal and oil are confined within reasonable limits. There are no breakdowns. His firemen implicitly obey his orders, and all goes well in engine-room and stoke-hold.

If these few practical suggestions and hints prove of any service to yachtsmen, captains and engineers, the writer will feel happy. He has simply touched on the limits of a wide and fertile subject that might be expatiated upon at a large expense of paper and printer's ink.

 


CHAPTER XIII

USEFUL HINTS AND RECIPES

 

TO WHITEN decks, mix oxalic acid with fresh water in the proportion of one pound to the gallon. Apply lightly with a mop and wash off immediately.

Good elastic marine glue for paying seams after they are caulked, can be made of one part of india-rubber, twelve parts of coal tar heated gently in a pitch kettle, and twenty parts of shellac added to the mixture. When about to use this preparation, dip the caulking iron, used to drive the oakum or cotton thread into the seams, in naphtha, which dissolves the glue and helps to closely cement the seams. If oil is used instead of naphtha, the glue will not adhere. When melting marine glue for paying, take care to heat it very slowly.

Mildew on sails is almost impossible to remove, but the stains can the rendered a little less unsightly by well scrubbing the sail on both sides with soap and fresh water, and then leaving the sail to dry and bleach in the sun. Avoid the use of chloride of lime or other caustics or acids, which, while they might take out the mildew stains, would certainly rot the duck. Sometimes sails must necessarily be stowed when damp or wet, but they should be hoisted up to dry as soon as practicable. Every boat should be provided with waterproof sail covers.

Composition paints and other mixtures for preventing the fouling of boats' bottoms are plentiful as clams. Each one is warranted to be a specific against weeds and barnacles. But wooden or iron vessels, however treated, if left for any length of time at anchor anywhere on the Atlantic or Pacific coasts, are sure to become encrusted with barnacles and to be covered with such a rich growth of marine grasses as would take some particularly active work with a lawn mower to remove. Luckily small boats can easily be hauled out and scrubbed, but those with any pretension to size should most certainly be coppered. Copper in salt water will keep clean for a long time, the exfoliation being extensive. Some authorities recommend that the copper be coated with one or other of the compositions prepared for that purpose, but I think that to leave the copper clean will be more satisfactory in the long run. A coppered cruising vessel should not require her bottom to be cleaned more than four times in the season, but the oftener a racing yacht is hauled out to have her copper burnished the better should be the result, so far as speed is concerned.

There are several capital paints in the market with which to coat a yacht or boat below the waterline. But admirable though they may be, they are by no means weed or barnacle proof.

In choosing a binocular marine glass, take care not to be persuaded into buying a trashy article. A good one should have a magnifying power of seven times, as well as what is known as good definition -- that is, the quality of showing all the outlines of an object with complete distinctness and without any haziness. To find out if a glass has this quality, direct it at any object clearly outlined against the sky -- a church steeple, for instance. If the outlines of the object are indistinct, or if they are bordered with violet, blue, orange or red light, reject the glass, as it will never be worth anything. The frame of the glass should be rigid, or the tubes will become twisted and then you will see two objects in place of one. The more powerful a glass is the less field it possesses. While high power is desirable, it is well that a glass should have a large field. A poor glass is worse than none at all.

That sterling seaman, Capt. S.T.S. Lecky, tells a capital story about a marine glass, which I commend to anybody about to purchase one. In the window of a shop he noticed a binocular with a tag on it, which asserted that the glass had rendered an "object" visible at the distance of ninety miles. This was attested by a letter to be seen within. The captain's curiosity was excited. On inquiry in the shop he found out that the "object" was none other than the peak of the Island of Tristan d'Acunha, in the Southern ocean, which is so lofty that it can be seen in clear weather by the naked eye at a distance of one hundred miles. Therefore I say let your motto be caveat emptor when you go cruising about in search of either a cheap marine telescope or binocular among marine store dealers or pawnshops. Remember that clearness of definition is more to be sought than high magnifying power, as in misty weather the glass with the last-named quality in a marked degree magnifies the haze as well as the object, and, of course, makes it still more blurred and indistinct -- a defect on which it is unnecessary for me to further enlarge.

It is hard to distinguish with a low priced binocular on a thick or rainy night the color of a vessel's lights, a white one sometimes appearing with a green or reddish tinge, and a green one looking like a white one. This applies also to lightships and lighthouses, and should make you careful as to your selection of a glass.

 

Captain Lecky says the proper way to test a binocular for night use is not to stand at a shop door in broad daylight, trying how much the glass enlarges some distant clock-face, but to wait till nightfall and test it by looking up a dark street or passage, and if figures before only dimly visible to the naked eye are rendered tolerably clear by the aid of the glasses, you may rest assured you have hit on a suitable instrument. It is well to go in the first place to an optician, and not to a "shoptician" versed in cheapjack methods.

Iron ballast should be coal-tarred, painted, or whitewashed with hot lime.

Masts and spars should be scraped and sandpapered. If there are any cracks in them, they should be stopped with marine glue before scraping. Apply a coat of wood-filler, then a coat of spar composition. When hard, give a second coat. Never apply varnish when there is much moisture in the atmosphere. In the vicinity of New York, wait till the wind is northwest if you wish to secure the best and most brilliant results.

If your boat is white, when repainting don't forget to mix a little blue with your white lead, raw linseed oil and dryers. This cerulean dash improves the look of the paint, and is far better than black, which produces a ghastly tint.

 

SCOWING AN ANCHOR.

When for any purpose it becomes necessary or desirable to anchor a small boat on ground known, or suspected, to be foul, it is advisable to scow the anchor. Unbend the cable from the ring; make the end fast round the crown shank and flukes with a clove hitch a, and bring the end a back to s, and stop it round the cable with a piece of spunyarn; take the cable back to the shackle and stop it as at b. When the cable is hauled upon by the part O, the stop at b will part and the fluke of the anchor can be easily broken out and lifted. For larger vessels a trip-line is sometimes bent to the crown and buoyed instead of scowing the anchor.

A capital composition for painting the bottoms of boats up to the waterline is made as follows:

Take one pound of red lead, four ounces of copper bronze powder, the same weights of arsenic, chrome yellow and paris blue, one pint of dryers, one pint of boiled oil and one pint of copal varnish. Mix thoroughly, strain and apply. If too thick add more varnish. It will dry a rich copper color. It is neither barnacle nor weed proof, but is as good as some of the more expensive paints which pretend to possess both these qualities. Before painting, scrub the wood well and smooth down with pumice stone. Let it thoroughly dry before you begin to use the brush.

 

A good black paint for the outside of boats is made thus:

To six pounds of best black paint add one pound of dark blue paint and half a pint of dryers. Mix with equal quantities of raw and boiled linseed oil until of the proper consistency. Stir well. Strain carefully, and then add one pint of copal varnish.

 

To stop cracks in a spar:

When the spar is thoroughly dry run in marine glue. When the glue is hard scrape some of it out and stop the crevice with putty stained the same color as the spar.

 

Iron mold and other stains can be removed from a deck by a solution of one part of muriatic acid and three parts of water.

 

THE LEAD LINE.

The hand lead weighs fourteen pounds. The line to which it is attached is twenty-five fathoms long, and is marked as follows:
At two fathoms, leather with two ends;
at three fathoms, leather with three ends;
at five fathoms, white muslin;
at seven fathoms, red bunting;
at ten fathoms, leather with hole in it;
at thirteen fathoms, blue serge;
at fifteen fathoms, white muslin;
at seventeen fathoms, red bunting;
at twenty fathoms, strand with two knots in it.

By the different feel of the materials used it is easy to distinguish the marks in the dark. In sounding when the boat is in motion, swing the lead round and heave it as far forward as you can. By filling the hollow at the base of the lead with grease or tallow, a sample of the bottom mud or sand adheres to it, which may be useful in verifying the position of the boat by comparing it with the chart on which the nature of the bottom is indicated.

The first fathom of the hand lead line for use in a boat of light draught may be marked off in feet in any legible manner satisfactory to the marker.

The marks on the deep sea lead line commence with two knots at twenty fathoms, another knot being added for every ten fathoms, and a single knot at each intermediate five. A hand lead for use in a small craft need not be so heavy as fourteen pounds.

It may not be generally known that all watches are compasses if used according to the following instructions. Point the hour hand to the Sun, and the South is exactly halfway between the hour and the figure XII on the dial. For instance, suppose it is four o'clock; point the hand indicating four to the Sun, and II on the dial is South. Suppose, again it is eight o'clock; point the hand indicating eight to the Sun, and then figure X on the dial is South. Some cranks carry a compass card in their watch case so that they may always determine without delay or trouble the direction of the wind whenever the Sun is visible.

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1.0 07/30/00

Edited by Craig O'Donnell.
Etext & images ©2000 Craig O'Donnell, all the usual whining applies.

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