Newbie rigging question

Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Messages
7
Points
3

I am building the bark Endeavor from AL. Very bad directions, all black and white fuzzy photos and bad English etc. I am ready to rig. I plan to build the Bowsprit, masts and yards, rig them with standing and running rigging then mount them on the ship. Do I put on the sails before I mount the Masts? I am planning on mounting the Bowsprit first, then foremast and on back.

Suggestions welcome. Thanks.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2018
Messages
738
Points
403

Location
Ramsey, Minnesota, USA
There is a careful balance in choosing your assembly steps between ease of assembly and ease of installation. Some modelers do hang all the ropes for the standing and running rigging from the masts, but are very meticulous in labelling each line with tags. Doing it this way can turn into a tangled mess if you are not careful. Most people set the masts in place after installing all the blocks on the yards, and sometimes with the running rigging attached to the mast assemblies, and then rig the standing rigging with all the running rigging lines hanging out of the way until later.

It becomes difficult to tie the lines to the belaying points on the rails, knightheads, and belaying pin racks while keeping the lines at the proper tension. It is much easier to secure the bottom ends of each running rigging line to the belaying point, and tie the opposite end to where it attaches to a yard or stay up higher, and the tension you want is easily maintained.

The best way I know takes a LOT of planning ahead and labelling the running rigging lines with paper tags. before setting the masts, ensure all blocks are attached to the yards, and the yards are installed. Also, tie all the running rigging lines to their belaying points on the hull. Use some thread to temporarily hold these loose ropes in groups hanging over the side so they don't get tangled. Install the masts and yards, rig the standing rigging, then start running the running rigging ropes for lifts and ties to support yardarms, and cargo hoists up through the blocks to their tie off points on the yards/staylines/whatever. Then attach the sails and rig sheets, clewlines, bowlines, and other lines used to control the sails. Yes, the shrouds and ratlines will become and obstruction to accessing the deck, and there's no getting around that. Start rigging with the highest sails and work downward, which will allow you the most access to the deck and belaying points for a longer time in the process, since the courses make access even worse. I usually rig the sails on the bowsprit, then the foremast, mainmast, and mizzen mast in that order. because of the difficulty in rigging a lateen sail on the mizzen mast, you may rig that before you rig the main course so you have more access with your tools and fingers to the deck that way. Always rig brace lines for controlling the angle of the yardarms last, since they would get in the way if rigged earlier.

Note: If you are angling your yardarms at an angle other than perpendicular to the hull, you should use a length of thread to install temporary braces to hold the yardarms in position at the proper angle and you rig the running rigging, or the running rigging will not have the correct tension. I usually tie a length of thread to a yard arm and run it forward, tying the other end to a mast or top or whatever works, and tension it to provide the desired yard angle. Then install running rigging. That way, all the yard on a mast have the same angle from top to bottom, and there is no stress on the yardarms and consequently its corresponding lifts, ties, and parrel. You don't want to break anything.

No matter what order you use on the first ship, you will change your order slightly for the next one in order to avoid some of the difficulties in access to tie-off points and running the ropes through tops and between the tangle of lines as things get closer to the end. I use a length of wire with a narrow loop bent on one end to draw lines through the tops. It's an invaluable tool to fishing the lines through places you can no longer get your fingers, tweezers, or forceps into. May the gods of patience be with you, and may fortune ever be in your favor.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Messages
7
Points
3

Thank you for your reply. With this information, I may actually be able to rig the ship and still like afterwards.
 
Joined
May 24, 2018
Messages
136
Points
103

Location
Auckland, New Zealand
Hi, I agree that starting with the bowsprit and working aft is the best approach. I know that most resources and a lot of people say you should rig the masts before attaching them to the ship, but I've always built up the masts and then done the standing rigging then attach the spars and do the running rigging. It just seems to work better.
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Messages
7
Points
3

Thanks for the information. The more opinions I can get will lead to a successful rigging experience. I would imagine that the rigger’s eyesight, manual dexterity and experience will determine what method works best for the individual.
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2018
Messages
57
Points
78

Location
Easton, Maryland, USA (The Delmarva Peninsula)
Hi, I install the standing rigging in conjunction with the installation of the masts and bowsprit. The purpose of the standing rigging in the real ship is to support and stabilize the masts, and that's how I employ it in my models. So I work from the deck up. First the lower masts and bowsprit go in. then their shrouds and stays go in an serve to fine tune the final position of the masts and bowsprit. Now I know these elements are precisely aligned with each other and are at the correct rake angle and position, etc. So then I can install top masts, and maybe the jib boom, knowing that I am working from a good stable and accurate foundation. Then I add the running rigging for the top masts, etc, and pull those elements into their exact final positions and alignment before moving on to topgallant and royal masts, etc, etc, etc. The yards, booms, and running rigging are largely put off until last. To me, the advantages have seemed obvious. Hope this may be helpful for you too.
 
Top