IN A GALE
IN A GALE-SCUDDING-LYING TO-RUDDER GONE-CUTTING AWAY MASTS.
LET the wind be supposed to be increasing gradually, the topsails to be single reefed, and the topgallant sails furled.
To Take In the Jib, and Set the Fore Topmast Staysail. Man the jib downhaul! Topmast staysail halliards! Clear away the downhaul! HOIST AWAY! Clear away the halliards!HAUL DOWN!
The jib sheet should be eased off as the sail comes down. In setting the staysail, first haul aft the sheet, and then ease it off as the sail goes up. To take in and stow a jib when blowing hard, it is always better to run the ship off if possible.
As the wind freshens, take a second reef in the topsails, and a single reef in the courses.
The wind increasing, to take a third reef in the topsails. proceed as with the second reef, observing not to brace the topsail or lower yards too sharp up. Get preventer-braces and parrels on. See Chapter XXIII.
To Haul up and Furl the Mainsail.
Man the main clew-garnets and buntlines! the weather clew-garnet, both buntlines and leechlines are manned. Before starting anything, haul taut the lee main lift, and ease off a fathom or two of the main sheet. Ease away the main tack and bowline! HAUL UP TO WINDWARD!
The lee buntline is hauled up as far as it will go.
When the weather clew is up, Ease away the main sheet! HAUL UP TO LEEWARD! Run up all the gear, send the men aloft and furl the sail, keeping the ship as near the wind as possible, and not sending the men on the yard until it is secured and sail hauled close up.*
To Send Down Royal Yards. The officer of the deck commands, Get the royal yards ready for coming down! At this order, the royal yardmen lay aloft and unbend royal gear, stop the yard rope out to leeward, bend the tripping-line to the snorter to windward, and send it down to windward and abaft everything; the topmen on deck
* If the main yard is weak, get a jumper on the weather yard-arm, before starting the main tack.
|take off the royal halliards and lead along the yard rope. Man the yard ropes and tripping-lines! Tend the braces! when manned, Stand by-SWAY! The yard is swayed up and down, and yard-arms unrigged as it comes down; the men in the top pulling up on the lee lift and letting go the weather one when the order is given to sway.The yards being on deck, are secured in the gangways or on the booms.|
Sending Down Topgallant Yards. Get the topgallant, yards ready for coming down!
The topgallant yardmen lay aloft, unreeve topgallant studding-sail halliards, unbend topgallant gear, &c., &c., as with the royal yards. Send down the yards to windward and abaft.
Leave the short yard ropes aloft, and send down the yards with the long ones.
Next close reef the topsails, as described in the previous chapter. When reefed, sway the yards clear of the cap and trim them.
NOTE. In hauling out the reef-tackles, preparatory to close-reefing, haul up on the clewlines when easing off the sheets, particularly in cold weather, when they may not render readily; otherwise, the leech may be torn out of the sail.
When it becomes necessary to take the second reef in the foresail, haul it up as described in taking in the mainsail, and reef as before. The sail being reefed, set it as already explained.
To set fore-storm staysail, and haul down fore topmast staysail, proceed as in taking in jib and setting fore topmast staysail.
The mizzen topsail will be taken in probably when the close reef is taken in the fore and main.
The main trysail may be set next, reefed if necessary. If additional after-sail is required, the spanker may be reefed and set before taking in the mizzen topsail.
To take in the close-reefed fore topsail, proceed as described in Chapter XXIII.
Finally, haul up and furl the fore sail.
The ship is now “lying to” under close-reefed main topsail, fore storm staysail, and probably single reefed trysail.
For gear manned and precautions observed in taking in sail, blowy weather, see Chapter XXIII.
PREPARATIONS FOR A GALE.
Get up and hook pendant-tackles, and preventer braces (if not already on); yards pointed to the wind, and secured and hoisted clear of the caps; anchors, boats, and guns, well secured; life-lines fore-and-aft all the decks; spare spars
|and yards on deck well lashed, as also everything movable on deck and below. Have hatches ready for battening down; spare axes at hand; pumps clear; storm staysails and gear overhauled and ready; relieving tackles ready for hooking; spare tiller at hand; also compasses.If expecting a hurricane, get the flying-jib boom in; send down top-gallant masts; studding sails out of tops; all shot below out of racks; pass a hawser round the laniards of lower rigging; cook provisions in advance; furl all square sails; set the fore storm-staysail and have the others ready; marl the sails down to the yards with the studding-sail gear, in addition to the gaskets.|
NOTE.-It is recommended to send down top-gallant masts in a heavy gale, when the vessel has much top-hamper, as it eases her considerably. When sending them down at sea, under whole topsails, it is better to lower the topsail yards at once, and send the masts down forward, than to attempt sending them down abaft. In the case of sending them down with the close-reefed main topsail set, fore and mizzen furled, send the main down abaft the topsail yard.
In a preceding paragraph, an arrangement of sail has been given for lying to in a gale, but should the wind be favorable, and the sea not running too high, as it will not unless the gale has been of long continuance, a vessel may scud before it, under such sail as the force of the wind will allow. In sailing with the wind aft, it is greatly disarmed of its force, and a vessel may carry safely some sail, when, if on the wind, she would be reduced to bare poles.
The best sails for scudding (or running) under, are, a close-reefed main topsail, and single or double-reefed foresail; and a gale is rarely of such violence that this sail cannot be carried safely. The former, by its height, will not be becalmed by the waves, while the latter may be necessary, in case of being brought by the lee, to pay her off to her course. The fore topmast staysail should always be set in scudding, or the fore storm staysail sheets hauled flat aft.
Vessels sometimes steer wildly in scudding, in consequence of being out of trim, of their bad qualities, or the force of the sea on either quarter, in which cases, or by the negligence of the helmsman, she may, in yawing, bring her sails aback. She is then “brought by the lee,” or “has broached to.” The proper manner of recovering her is as follows:
Brought by the Lee. Suppose, in scudding, with the wind a little on the port quarter, under the sail as above, you are brought by the lee, and have everything aback.
|The wind is now on the starboard beam, Put the helm hard to starboard! until headway ceases, when shift it. Man the port braces fore and aft. RISE FORE TACK AND SHEET! Clear away the head bo’lines! BRACE FULL THE HEAD YARDS! and shiver the after ones. Attend the lifts, as in former evolutions. She will pay off under this arrangement, the helm itself partly effecting it before she loses headway.When before the wind, right the helm and trim the yards for the course. Haul taut the lifts, &c.|
Broaching to. In case of having broached to, and brought the wind on, or forward of, the port beam, meet her with the helm and lee braces, by putting the helm hard a-port, and hauling in the starboard head braces.
REMARKS ON SCUDDING.
In scudding, the tiller ropes are constantly doing double duty; and though the relieving tackles are hooked, you cannot steer the ship with that nicety that you can with the wheel. Should the tiller ropes unfortunately be carried away, the risk of broaching the ship to is then considerably augmented.
Sometimes, unavoidably, in scudding, you are obliged to carry your fore topsail and foresail; when that happens, it may arise from some accident received to the spars or rigging on the main mast, in which case it is generally considered advisable by good seamen to make the fore topsail and foresail rather rising sails by easing off the sheets until they have that tendency. Of course, when all things are right on the mainmast, the main topsail and foresail are the best sails for scudding under, while the ship will carry them. It is generally considered best that the foresail should rather raise the bow than have the contrary effect, more particularly in sharp vessels.
There is a point beyond which no vessel can scud without the greatest possible danger. Of course much will depend on the size and height of the vessel out of the water, but there is scarcely ever heard a dissenting voice as to flush vessels being by far the most dangerous while scudding in heavy weather. You should bring your ship to the wind while it can be effected without the greatest risk to ship and lives. If night is coming on, and the weather has every appearance of an increasing gale, with a falling barometer, and circumstances will admit, it would be advisable to lay the ship by the wind; and as every gale may be supposed to partake of the nature of a cyclone, taking care to select, if optional, that tack which is indicated by the conclusions of the previous chapter.
TO BRING BY THE WIND AFTER SCUDDING.
We will, for example, bring to on the port tack.
Have the storm staysails ready, sheets hooked and moused, secure everything about the decks and below. Send everybody on deck. Put on and bat ten down the hatches. Man the fore clew-garnets and, buntlines, starboard fore and main and port cross-jack braces. Watch for a smooth time. Haul up the foresail, put the helm to starboard, brace up the after yards, and haul out the storm mizzen and hoist the mizzen staysail or set the main trysail. As she comes to set the fore trysail and meet her by the helm, the head braces, and by hoisting the fore storm staysail. Then haul taut the lifts. It may be necessary to furl the main topsail, and she may lie to better without the fore storm staysail. After she has recovered from the first shock of the sea, and has lost her headway, she will, with the helm a-lee, and under a proper arrangement of the sails, lie to, coming up and falling off two or three points, and drifting bodily to leeward.
When a vessel labors much in a seaway, either lying to or standing on her course, the sails should never be hoisted up, or the braces hauled, as taut as in a smooth sea; for the play of the masts will either carry away the braces and sheets or spring the yards. And if the pitching is hard and quick, you should see that the helm is eased, allowing it to go to leeward, so that she may obey freely the sea, the shock of which will be less violent against the rudder.
After the gale abates, sail should not be made upon the vessel too rapidly, particularly if her course will bring the sea ahead or forward of the beam. You should be content with giving her headway Until the sea also abates; for, by forcing her through a head sea, you strain every mast and yard, and injure the rigging.
Preventer braces, shrouds, and backstays, used in heavy weather, as a relief to the standing ones, are of great importance to the mizzen topmast. The standing part of the main topsail brace leads from the mizzen topmast nearly at right angles, while the angle formed by the backstay is too small to afford a sufficient support.
RUDDER, WHEEL-ROPES, RELIEVING-TACKLES.
The rudder, wheel-ropes, and relieving-tackles, should occupy the particular attention of the first lieutenant and navigator. The former, with its tiller, are permanent fixtures, so arranged, and of such durable materials, that they should withstand the severest shocks. Wheel-ropes are liable to chafes, and should be occasionally examined by
|the navigator. Those of raw hide, now in common use, are found to be fairly serviceable and durable. They should be occasionally oiled and be protected from injury.Relieving-tackles should be kept fitted, and constantly at hand, and, in a gale of wind, with a heavy sea, when the parting of a wheel-rope might endanger the vessel, should be kept hooked, and hands stationed by them under the direction of an officer.|
If the rudder head only has been carried away, the rudder remaining shipped, it can be used for steering by means of the rudder chains. In view of this possibility, the rudder chains should be stopped up so that their ends are accessible in case of need.
The possibility of having to use rudder chains for steering purposes has sometimes been overlooked; the chains themselves are difficult to get at, the fastenings on the rudder have not been sufficiently far down, and only common bolts have been inserted instead of a stout metal strap, which should clasp the after part of the rudder.
The rudder chains should have pendants spliced into them, leading up over the taffrail where they can be got at.
In using them to steer the ship, the rudder head being wrenched off, lower the cross-jack yard on the rail, lash it there, and lead pendants from the rudder chains through blocks at the yard-arms, hooking tackles into the pendants.
Cases have occurred, in which rudders have been unshipped or otherwise injured, so as to be of no further use, when it has been necessary to resort to some expedient to manage the vessel.
Vessels can always be better managed when by the wind, than in any other situation. They will sometimes steer themselves for hours, having their yards so trimmed and their sails so regulated as to keep by the wind. Care must be taken that the vessel holds a good wind, and at the same time does not gripe. By slacking. on the one hand, a few feet of the head sheets, and on the other of the spanker and main sheet, an equilibrium will be established between the head and after sails.
The moment you lose your rudder, bring her up by the after sails, bracing the yards, and meet her, as she comes to, with the head sails. Then, by reducing the sails forward or aft, and bracing the yards, you may steer her, until you can resort to better means, as follows:
TO STEER BY A CABLE.
Rouse up from below the heaviest hawser and a towline; middle and clove-hitch the towline, and veer the end of the
|hawser over the taffrail, through this hitch; after veering out about fifty fathoms of hawser, jamb the hitch and rack it well, securing it so that it cannot slip. Then veer out the hawser until the hitch takes the water. Lash the hawser on the centre of the taffrail, and a spare spar under it and across the stern, with a block well secured at each end, through which reeve the ends of the towline, one on each quarter. Reeve them again through blocks at the ports, abreast of the capstan, by which you may steer your ship until you can construct a temporary rudder.By rousing in the towline on either quarter, the force of the sea on the hawser, drawn over on that quarter, moves her stern the opposite way.|
STEERING WITH TWO DRAGS.
If the hawser and towline do not answer the purpose, the following temporary steering gear has been tried, with success:
Make two cone-shaped canvas bags, with the seams well roped. Fit each with a tripping-line from the pointed end, and a good towline secured to a crowsfoot on the large end. The tripping-lines are secured inboard, so as to tow the drags, pointed end first, when the wheel is amidships; the towlines lead through blocks on the ends of the cross-jack yard (which is lowered across the rail), and thence through suitable leads to the wheel. When the wheel is turned, say to starboard, it brings a strain on the starboard towline, canting the starboard drag so that it tows mouth foremost, and bringing a strain on the starboard quarter, which turns the ship’s head to starboard. When the wheel is righted, the starboard towline being slacked off, the tripping-line takes the strain of the drag and cants it, pointed end foremost again, throwing it out of action.
Similarly turning the wheel to port, brings the port quarter drag mouth foremost, and throws the ship’s head to port.
The drags should tow with a long drift.
Men-of-war are generally supplied with spare pieces to construct a temporary rudder.
In the absence of these, a piece of a spare topmast may be used for the main piece, building out from its heel in proper form, and adding enough pig-iron ballast (also at the heel) to sink it. An eye-bolt is screwed into the upper end of this temporary rudder, and it is got into place in the same manner as an ordinary one, except that the hawser guys at the heel remain permanent.
|To supply the place of pintles and gudgeons, the head of the temporary rudder passes through the round hole of the spare lower cap, the wood around the square hole is cut away so that it will fit the stern-post, where it is secured after the rudder has been gotten over and placed.The vessel is steered by guys attached to the rudder outside, leading through blocks on the cross-jack yard lowered to the rail as before.|
In arranging the gear of a temporary rudder in a screw ship, it may be necessary to take the guys through the screw aperture under the after bearing, as at G, Fig. 506, and thence up on the opposite side. Or the guys may require leaders in line with the keel, as in Fig. 507.
In case it should be impossible to ship the head of the temporary rudder through the rudder hole, the plan shown in Fig. 506 might be adopted.
Use a spare topmast for the rudder stock, heel down, and weighted if need be. The rudder frame formed by a stout spar (capstan bar) secured in the fid-hole, so as to project aft, and other suitable pieces of timber securely lashed together. Take out the halliard sheave, and through the sheave hole thrust two iron mast-fishes, or a suitable iron bar, lashing to this a thwartship spar to serve as a yoke. Fig. 506 a.
A pair of sheers are rigged over the taffrail to hoist out, the rudder and maintain it in position, guys led as shown in the figure, or as in the dotted line g.
A back lashing B through the stern hawse-pipes counteracts the tendency to rise, and a tackle T from the upper part of the rudder head to the mizzen-mast is used to keep the lower part of the rudder clear of the stern-post when the vessel is making but little headway. A spare gaff, with the jaws pointed over the taffrail and securely lashed, is used to counteract the inboard thrust of the rudder.
With jury-rudders of this description, vessels have been handled in all kinds of weather, though difficulty is experienced in heaving to with them, unless canted well clear of the stern by some such arrangement as the tackle I.
Owing to its disadvantages when the ship has but little headway, the effect of lee helm in lying to might be obtained by keeping the screw (two-bladed) athwartships, but this use of the screw would depend on its form, and also the tack the ship was on.
A very good form of temporary rudder, adapted for vessels with small rudder ports, is shown in Fig. 507.
The rudder proper is a rectangle, which may be formed of a gangway grating covered with canvas, or which can be built up to suitable size with plank. It is fitted with two yard-bands, Y Y, as travellers, to hold it to the temporary rudder-post P.
|The rudder has four spans, one at the top, one at the bottom, and one on each of the after sides.Having cut a suitable spar (topmast studding-sail boom) to a proper length, fit a block and heel guys at the lower end. The heel guys lead through bull’s eyes on each side of a length of stream chain, the chain passing under the keel. On the same chain may be leaders, K, for the wheel-ropes. In the figure the lizards for the heel guys are shown, fitted. separately and crossing under the keel.|
To get the bight of a chain at the required place, drop it, overboard from forward, under the bowsprit, with the bull’s eyes lashed on and marrying lines rove through them, then bring the ends of the chain aft outside of all.
Through the block at the heel of the rudder-post is rove the downhaul for the rudder, which secures to the lower span and comes inboard through the rudder port. The head of the rudder-post is securely lashed inboard. A line from over the taffrail secures to the span on the top of the rudder, and the wheel-ropes lead through the fair leaders K to the sheaves in the cross-jack yard, that spar being lowered on the rail.
In a light breeze the rudder must be hauled up nearly to the level of the water to have its greatest effect; the greater the speed of the ship the more the rudder should be immersed.
With a jury-rudder of this kind, the Austrian barque Norma was handled with ease during a thirty-day passage from Candia to Trieste, beating up to her anchorage in the latter port.
USING A DRAG IN A GALE.
The method of steering by a hawser or cable may be resorted to in other emergencies besides that of losing a rudder. It is related by an officer of great experience, that having being caught in a hurricane, in the Florida channel, in one of our small vessels, it was found that she steered so wildly as to be in constant danger of broaching to. It soon became evident if something was not done the brig would certainly be lost. The largest hawser on board was there fore got up and paid out over the stern for a considerable distance in her wake. Its effect exceeded the most sanguine expectations. It acted as a drag, seeming to break the force of the sea, and steadying the little vessel so as to render broaching to impossible. The severity of the gale may be understood when it is known that a Spanish frigate foundered at her anchors in the Havana, and three merchantmen. went down in sight of the brig.
UNDER CLOSE-REEFED MAIN TOPSAIL, REEFED MAIN TRYSAIL, AND FORE STORM STAYSAIL, YOU ARE KNOCKED DOWN.
Hard up! LET GO MAIN TRYSAIL SHEET AND PEAK OUT-HAUL! Main topsail clewlines! Let go the sheets! CLEW UP! If you have time to clear away the fore topmast staysail, or foresail, hoist away the first and haul aboard the fore tack, but if not, and the ship does not go off, Man the weather fore rigging! Send as many men aloft as can stand there, and she will probably fall off.
A SHIP ON HER BEAM ENDS.
If thrown on your beam ends at any time, under any circumstances, let fly everything. If she does not right, cut away the masts (which in this case will be accomplished by cutting the laniards of the weather rigging). Cut the lashings of the spare spars and boats if possible, as well as of everything else on deck which will float.
If on soundings, cutting away an anchor (chain bent) will bring her head to wind, and perhaps right her.
TO RIDE OUT A GALE
UNDER THE LEE OF A SPANNED SPAR.
Liardet says: “It is astonishing that so few attempts have yet been made by seamen generally to save their vessels by riding out gales under the lee of spars. We continually hear of boats being saved by these means; and if a ship get on her beam ends, stop-waters are advised to be veered from her quarter to get her before the wind by the best professional writers, and seamen generally. But let a vessel have her sails blown away, be partially dismasted, or even wholly so, rolling about in the trough of the sea; still you seldom hear of the same resources being tried to ride the ship by. The stream cable, or one of the strongest hawsers, bent on to the wreck of the masts, &c., previous to cutting it away, would make a capital sea-anchor; however, should you not be able to make a hawser fast to the wreck, it takes very little to keep a ship head to wind; a few spars from the booms, a quarter, or stern boat, might be so slung, as when sunk to ride the ship well; even a small anchor and cable veered to about fifty or sixty fathoms, would be found most useful; whatever you put over the
|bows will tend to make the sea strike the ship in a better position for her safety. We are strongly of opinion that if more attention were paid to having a stop-water of some kind from the head of the ship to make her ride head to wind, when from the loss of masts, rudder, sail, or derangement of engine, you cannot keep the ship out of the trough of the sea, it would tend to lessen the number of shipwrecks.”For description of a sea anchor, see ANCHORS.|
CUTTING AWAY MASTS.
First pass a hawser outside the laniards of the rigging on the side you intend the masts to fall over. If the port side, cut away the mast on the starboard side, as high up as you can, for the stumps will be of service in securing your jury-masts; and, when you have weakened it sufficiently, cut away all but a pair of laniards on each side, guided by circumstances; then get out of the way, and cut away the remaining starboard laniards, keeping fast the stays till the mast has fallen, when you free them immediately. And finally, cut the port laniards adrift, which you will be able to get at by their being kept up by the hawser.
If all three masts are to go, commence with the mizzen mast and work forward; although, when at anchor, it is generally not advisable to cut the mizzen mast away, as it is of great service in keeping the ship steady, head to wind. This supposes that you intend to try to ride out a gale. If you are cutting away expecting to go on shore, the foremast may be spared if there is any chance of saving the crew by running for any particular spot, otherwise cut it away, and hold on to the last. Neverslip your cables and run for the shore in the hope of making a lee by laying the ship in a slanting direction; if the anchors drag she may as well go ashore stern foremost as in any other way.