A VESSEL should always carry her helm as nearly as possible amidships, as she is then more completely under its guidance. A vessel that carries a strong weather helm, when by the wind, is liable, by the carelessness of the helmsman, to fly up, and in some cases, too far to be recovered without bracing the yards. Suppose, for instance, you are under all sail, by the wind, on the starboard tack-she comes to against the helm, proceed to recover her on the same tack.

TO BOX OFF. (Fig. 486.)

The moment you find her coming to, Put the helm up! Flatten in the head sheets! Ease off the main and spanker sheet! In most cases this is sufficient if the vessel has headway on, and she will fall off; then you may right the helm and. Draw the head sheets!

But if she still comes to against the helm, Main clew-garnets and buntlines! Spanker brails! UP MAINSAIL AND SPANKER! Man the weather head braces! RISE FORE TACK AND SHEET! Clear away the head bowlines! BRACE ABOX THE HEAD YARDS! If the wind is not already on the port bow this will effect your object, by boxing her off; and when the after sails fill, let go and haul as in tacking.


If the head yards were not braced abox in time, and the wind is now on the port bow, clear away all the bowlines, and square the yards fore and aft. Fig. 487. She will soon gather sternboard and fall off to starboard, from the effect of the helm, which is right for sternboard. As the sails fill, brace in the after yards by the port braces to keep them shaking, keeping the head yards square; as she gathers

Plate 114, Fig 486-493. Tacking by boxing off, wearing, etc


headway, shift the helm, and proceed as in box-hauling, which will have the desired effect. Fig. 487 (4).


To Chapel Ship (by the Wind on Starboard Tack). But if, instead of coming to, you are taken aback with a light breeze, to recover her on the same tack, proceed as follows: Put the helm to port, if she has headway on, haul up the mainsail and spanker, and square the after yards; the moment she gets sternboard, shift the helm (putting it to starboard), and she will fall off briskly to starboard. When the after sails fill and she gathers headway, put the helm again to port, and when the wind is astern, brace up the after yards by the port braces when the spanker will take, haul it out, and bring her by the wind. This is termed, “chapelling” a ship, by recovering her on the same tack without bracing the head yards. Fig. 488.

Sailing in squadron, if your ship does not go off by putting up the helm and flattening in the head sheets, proceed at once to tack, and carry sail and tack again when she has gained sufficient headway to return to your station. By this you will gain your station sooner than by the method given in the preceding paragraph, besides avoiding the probability of compelling other vessels, astern or to leeward of you, to leave their stations.

Both in chapelling ship and in “recovering on the same tack by wearing,” we start with all the sails aback and the wind on the lee bow. It amounts to the same thing whether she came to against the helm or was taken aback by a shift of wind.

In both cases we lay the after yards square; in chapel-ling, the head yards are left untouched; in wearing, the head yards are laid square.

Recovery by wearing is, then, preferable to chapelling, for the head yards, when square, will fill and give headway sooner than if left braced up, and will also allow the ship to come to more rapidly when she is brought to the wind in completing the manoeuvre.

To Chapel Ship without Touching Brace. Fig. 489. This may be accomplished in light weather without touching a rope, excepting, may be, the spanker brails. A light breeze takes you flat aback; order the helm down (with reference to the way the yards are braced), and as soon as she loses way, Hard up! and brail up the spanker. The ship will now gather sternboard, and back around with her stern to the wind. (See “To back a Ship around off a Lee Shore,” last chapter.) She will soon bring the wind right aft and come to a stand, when right


the helm. She will now gradually gather way, when the after leeches of the sails, assisted by the helm and spanker, when it will take, will bring her to on the old tack. This is not an uncommon practice during mid-watches in the doldrums.


The vessel, being on the starboard tack, is taken aback, or has come to against the helm and brought the wind on the port bow. When not sailing in squadron, and no other circumstance renders it necessary to recover on the same tack, go around on the port tack, thus:

If she has headway, put the helm a-port, brace around the after yards, and proceed as in tacking.

If she has no headway, put the helm a-starboard for sternboard, up mainsail and spanker, square the after yards. As she pays off to starboard, brace up the after yards by the starboard braces, and when they fill, “Let go and haul,” as in tacking. Set the mainsail and spanker, trim yards, haul taut the lifts, and steady out the bowlines.


The Wind Draws Aft. You have directions, as officer of the deck, to make the best of your way on a certain course, which is directly to windward. You are close-hauled, under topgallant sails, on the port tack. The ship comes up gradually to her course, and the wind continues to haul until it is directly aft.

Keep her full and by, and she will come up as the wind hauls until she is on her course. Then give directions to the helmsman, “Steady so!

Finding that the wind draws aft, give the order, Man the weather main and lee crossjack braces! Clear away the bowlines! Brace in a little the main topsail, mizzen topsail and upper yards, and then brace in the fore topsail and upper yards, and ease off a little of the fore main, spanker, and jib sheets. Aloft to loose the royals! Clear away the flying jib! Get the topgallant studding-sails ready for setting! When ready, LET FALL! SHEET HOME! RIG OUT AND HOIST AWAY! If you carry staysails, you may also set them at this time; also the topmast stun’sail when it will draw.

After trimming the after yards, it is customary to order the officer of the forecastle to Trim the head yards by the main!

The Wind, still Drawing Aft, is now


Abeam. Brace in the after yards as much as the wind will allow, keeping the sails full. Then brace in the head yards, taking in the slack of the topgallant studding-sail tacks. Ease off the fore, main, spanker, and head sheets, and set the topmast studding-sail, if not already set.A vessel is “going large” when the direction of the wind makes a greater angle than six points (67° 30′) with the course; and when the wind is abeam or a little abaft, forming more than a right angle with the course, then all the sails feel the full force of the wind, and the velocity of the vessel ought to have gained its maximum.

The Wind is now on the Quarter. Brace the after yards in nearly square, and then the head yards, taking in the slack of the studding-sail tacks. Man the weather main clew-garnet and spanker brails! Haul up the weather clew of the mainsail, brail up the spanker, and set the lower studding-sail.

The Wind still Draws Aft. Square the after yards and then the forward ones; get the lower lifts down to the square mark, and haul down the jib and flying-jib. Man the lee main clew-garnet, buntlines and leechlines, and haul the mainsail up snug. Haul down the staysails.*

The Wind is now Directly AftStand by to set all the starboard studding-sails! When ready, hoist the topmast studding-sail up to the lower yard. Man all the halliards, lower boom topping-lift, forward-guy, in-and-out jiggers, tacks, outhauls; tend the sheets, down-hauls, and clewlines. Haul taut! RIG OUT! SWAY TO HAND! Then, HOIST AWAY!**

In sailing with the wind directly aft, many of the sails are becalmed by those abaft them; the sails on the mizzenmast keeping the wind from those on the main, which again becalm those on the foremast. The mainmast acting more directly upon the centre of the vessel, should feel the full force of the wind, for which reason you may furl the mizzen topgallant sail, clew down the mizzen topsail, and haul up its reef-tackles and buntlines. This is termed scandalizing the mizzen.

With the wind aft, if the sea is not perfectly smooth, a vessel will roll more than if the wind were on either side. Care should be taken to keep the yards steady, by setting well taut the lifts and burtons.

It is a general rule, in trimming the yards for a shift of wind, when the wind draws aft, to brace in the after yards

* Bracing in with stun’sails set, be very careful to clap on the stun’sail halliards, lifts and burtons, and top up as the yards come in. Also keep a strain on the after-guy, boom-brace, and topmast stun’ sail tack.

** With stun’sails both sides, passaree the foresail, by means of a rope on each side, secured to the clew of the foresail, and rove through a bull’s-eye on the lower boom.


first; and when it hauls ahead, the head yards should be braced up first.When the yards are square in port, the lifts should be marked by the captains of the tops and mast-men, so that they may, by these marks, always be squared at sea when before the wind, or in coming to anchor; for studding-sails will never set properly on both sides unless the yards are square by the lifts; and in coming to anchor, after the yards are clewed down and braced square, a ship presents a miserable appearance with the yards topped up in every direction.


The Wind Hauls Forward. Having the wind aft, and all the sails set to the best advantage, the wind hauls forward on the starboard side, until she is close-hauled; proceed to shorten and regulate the sails, and trim the yards, as the wind hauls.

The wind is now on the starboard quarter, the. port studding-sails, from the eddy wind out of the topsails, topgallant sails, and royals, are lifting. Stand by to dip the port studding-sails! Having men on the lower, topsail, and topgallant yards; while you lower on the halliards, they haul down on the inner leeches of the studding-sails, and dip the yards forward; then, HOIST AWAY! and now, the studding-sail yards being forward of the sails, the eddy wind has no bad effect upon them. Hoist the mizzen topsail, set the mizzen topgallant sail and royal and the flying jib.

Dipping lee topgallant studding-sails is not recommended.

When bracing forward, the officer of the deck usually trims the fore yard himself, directing the officer of the forecastle to Trim the upper yards!

The Wind still Hauls Forward. It becomes necessary to brace up a little by the port braces.Stand by to take in all the port studding-sails! Having everything manned, Haul taut! CLEW UP! LOWER AWAY! HAUL DOWN! RIG IN! The booms being in, and alongside, studding-sails in, the men making them up to stow away, Man the port braces, forward guy and fore tack!Attend the starboard braces, studding-sail tacks, outhaul, and after guy, and let go the lee lower lifts, BRACE UP! Haul forward the fore tack! Trim the upper yards, and lower boom by the fore yard. Man the main sheet and spanker outhaul! Let go the main buntlines and leechlines, and have them well overhauled. Ease down the lee clew-garnet, HAUL AFT! Clear away the brails!HAUL OUT!* Trim aft the jib sheet!

* Or, set the spanker (as it is taken in) with the weather clew of the mainsail.


or if the jib had been hauled down, Man the jib halliards! Clear away the downhaul! HOIST AWAY! Haul taut the weather lifts and braces! Haul out the studding-sail tacks!The Wind Hauls AbeamStand by to take in the lower studding-sail! When ready, Haul taut!CLEW UP! Lower away! HAUL IN! Get the lower boom alongside, brace up a little the yards, overhauling the lee lower lifts. Man the main tack! Ease down the weather clew-garnet, HAUL ABOARD! Trim aft the jib sheet, fore, main and spanker sheets.

The wind still hauls, being now forward of the beam; brace the yards sharper up, attending the studding-sail tacks, and overhauling well the lee lifts; haul close down the fore and main tacks, and flat aft the sheets; haul aft the spanker sheet; then haul taut the weather braces, and weather lower lifts.

The wind still hauling the studding-sails lift; Stand by to take in the studding-sails, royals and staysails! When ready, IN ROYALS! Lower away, haul down, RIG IN! Make up and stow away the studding-sails, trice up the studding-sail gear, and get the burtons off the yards. Trim the yards and sails, and haul the bowlines fore and aft. You are now as you were at the commencement, but on a different tack. Weather permitting, leave the royals set.


The yards are braced up on either tack, and the wind has died away until it is perfectly calm.

Haul up the courses, brail up the spanker, haul down the jib, and counter-brace the yards, either by bracing around the head yards, or the after ones. In this position she is ready for any wind that may spring up. If there is any swell on, furl the light sails to save them from chafe.

Suppose, for instance, the head yards are braced up by the starboard, and the after yards by the port braces, helm amidships. If the breeze strikes her:


On the starboard bow: Port the helm, hoist the jib starboard sheet aft; when the after yards fill, brace around the head yards, shift over head sheets. Fig. 490.
On the starboard beam: Hoist the jib, port sheet aft; brace around the head yards at once. Fig. 491.
On the starboard quarter: Brace in the after yards, trim the head yards by the main, make sail. Fig. 492.


On the port bow:
(Sails on fore not aback.)
Starboard the helm for sternboard, hoist the jib, port sheet aft, square the after yards. When the fore topsail fills, right the helm and brace up the after yards. Shift over the head sheets. Fig. 493.
On the port beam: Hoist the jib, starboard sheet aft, brace around the after yards at once. Fig. 494.
On the port quarter: Trim the after yards first, then the head yards by the main, make sail. Fig. 495.
If the breeze strikes her ahead, then-
To pay off to port: Port the helm for sternboard, hoist the jib, starboard sheet aft. When she has fallen off sufficiently, shift over jib sheet, LET GO AND HAUL! Fig. 496.
To pay off to starboard: Starboard the helm for stern-board, hoist the jib, port sheet flat aft, brace around briskly the head yards, square the after yards. As she goes off, brace up the after yards, and at the proper time, LET GO AND HAUL! shift over the jib sheet. Fig. 497.

So you have your vessel, by either process, immediately under command; as soon as she gathers headway, bring her to her course, or by the wind, using the spanker to bring her to, and setting the courses to suit circumstances.



If vessels should be very near each other, though it may be a perfectly dead calm, and the sea as smooth as glass, and even the vessels broadsides to each other; still, experience teaches us, that they will gradually approach until collision takes place. Though the sea may be as smooth as described, still it will always have more or less undulating motion; therefore, the sooner and the more the heads of the two vessels can be brought in opposite directions, the better they will keep clear, because whatever longitudinal motion a vessel receives, has the tendency of making her forge ahead. In the same way, a vessel becalmed near the shore

Plate 115, Fig 494-501. Calm illustrations.


will gradually approach it unless she can be headed to seaward, to do which it may be necessary to send the boats ahead to tow round. If a vessel is required to be towed round quickly, let all the force of boats be put on forward; we mention this, because we have several times seen them divided, one half towing aft, and the other forward, thereby losing the long lever of the jib-boom. It has been remarked, that when large vessels have been set on fire in calm weather, that it has occasioned light airs of wind to blow directly on the fire. This may perhaps be worthy of notice when shipping is on fire, as the change of light breezes directly out of port to the same breezes directly in, may be of consequence, unless steam is up, in working your own vessel clear of the danger.