Question about gaff-spar sizes

Joined
Jul 9, 2019
Messages
449
Points
323

I am building a two-masted schooner, Black Prince (1775) and I noticed that the rigging plans show that the foremast (schooner mast) gaff-spar is actually larger than the main gaff-spar. This is my first build, but I have been trying to do a bit of historical research to supplement the kit and I have been reading Marquardt's, The Global Schooner. The section in that book on masting says that the gaff on the schooner mast was slightly shorter than the main gaff.
Does anyone know if the plans in the kit are just wrong, or was there a particular tradition that reversed the sizes of these spars? It's easy enough to switch these, but I am curious about the possible variations on this, and on its historical accuracy.
 
Joined
Jul 9, 2019
Messages
449
Points
323

I am building a two-masted schooner, Black Prince (1775) and I noticed that the rigging plans show that the foremast (schooner mast) gaff-spar is actually larger than the main gaff-spar. This is my first build, but I have been trying to do a bit of historical research to supplement the kit and I have been reading Marquardt's, The Global Schooner. The section in that book on masting says that the gaff on the schooner mast was slightly shorter than the main gaff.
Does anyone know if the plans in the kit are just wrong, or was there a particular tradition that reversed the sizes of these spars? It's easy enough to switch these, but I am curious about the possible variations on this, and on its historical accuracy.
Bumping this up the thread hoping for a response. Any information would be appreciated.
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2019
Messages
591
Points
308

Location
North Carolina,United States
To make a short explanation of this - the size (length) and diameter of spars was a percentage of the sizes of the masts on which they were located, as well as on the size of the other spars on that mast. It's quite complicated, but generally, the higher the spar on the mast the smaller its size.
 
Top