HNSA Crest with photos of visitors at the ships.



THE following articles from the "Revised International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea," are adopted for the naval service of the United States, in so far as the navigation of naval vessels outside of United States territorial waters is concerned:

ARTICLE I. Preliminary.-In the following rules every steamship which is under sail and not under steam is to be considered a sailing ship; and every steamship which is under steam, whether under sail or not, is to be considered a ship under steam.

ARTICLE II. Rules concerning Lights.-Lights mentioned in the following articles numbered 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11, and no others, shall be carried in all weathers from sunset to sunrise.

ARTICLE III. A sea-going steamship when under-way shall carry:

(a.) On or in front of the foremast, at a height above the hull of not less than 20 feet, and if the breadth of the ship exceeds 20 feet, then at a height above the hull not less than such breadth, a bright white light, so constructed as to show an uniform and unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of twenty points of the compass, so fixed as to throw the light ten points on each side of the ship, viz., from right ahead to two points abaft the beam on either side, and of such a character as to be visible on a dark night, with a clear atmosphere, at a distance of at least five miles.

(b.) On the starboard side, a green light so constructed as to show an uniform and unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of ten points of the compass, so fixed as to throw the light from right ahead to two points abaft the beam on the starboard side, and of such a character as to be visible on a dark night, with a clear atmosphere, at a distance of at least two miles.

(c.) On the port side, a red light so constructed as to show an uniform and unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of ten points of the compass, so fixed as to throw the light from right ahead to two points abaft the beam on the port side, and of such a character as to be visible on


a dark night, with a clear atmosphere, at a distance of at least two miles.*

(d.) The said green and red side lights shall be fitted with inboard screens projecting at least three feet forward from the light, so as to prevent these lights from being seen across the bow.

ARTICLE IV. A steamship, when towing another ship, shall, in addition to her side lights, carry two bright white lights in a vertical line one over the other, not less than three feet apart, so as to distinguish her from other steamships. Each of these lights shall be of the same construction and character, and shall be carried in the same position as the white light which other steamships are required to carry.

ARTICLE V. A ship, whether a steamship or sailing ship, when employed either in laying or picking up a telegraph cable, or which, from any accident, is not under command, shall at night carry, in the same position as the white light which steamships are required to carry; and if a steamship, in place of that light, three red lights in globular lanterns, each not less than ten inches in diameter, in a vertical line one over the other, not less than three feet apart; and shall by day carry in a vertical line one over the other, not less than three feet apart, in front of but not lower than her foremast-head, three black balls or shapes, each two feet in diameter.

These shapes and lights are to be taken by approaching ships as signals that the ship using them is not under command, and cannot therefore get out of the way.

The above ships, when not making any way through the water, shall not carry the side lights, but when making way shall carry them.

ARTICLE VI. A sailing ship under way, or being towed, shall carry the same lights as are provided by Article 3 for a steamship under way, with the exception of the white light, which she shall never carry.

ARTICLE VII. Whenever, as in the case of small vessels during bad weather, the green and red side lights cannot be fixed, these lights shall be kept on deck, on their respective sides of the vessel, ready for use, and shall, on the approach of or to other vessels, be exhibited on their respective sides in sufficient time to prevent collision, in such manner as to make them most visible, and so that the green light shall not be seen on the port side nor the red light on the starboard side.

To make the use of these portable lights more certain and easy, the lanterns containing them shall each be painted outside with the color of the light they respectively contain, and shall. be provided with proper screens.

*Knowing that port wine is red, the side lights may be easily remembered.


ARTICLE VIII. A ship, whether a steamship or a sailing ship, when at anchor, shall carry, where it can best be seen, but at a height not exceeding twenty feet above the hull, a white light in a globular lantern of not less than eight inches in diameter, and so constructed as to show clear, uniform, and unbroken light, visible all round the horizon at a distance of at least one mile.

ARTICLE IX. A pilot vessel, when engaged on her station on pilotage duty, shall not carry the lights required for other vessels, but shall carry a while light at the mast-head, visible all round the horizon, and shall also exhibit a flare-up light, or flare-up lights, at short intervals, which shall never exceed fifteen minutes.

A pilot vessel, when not engaged on her station on pilotage duty, shall carry lights similar to those of other ships.

ARTICLE X. (a.) Open fishing boats and other open boats, when under way, shall not be obliged to carry the side lights required for other vessels, but every such boat shall, in lieu thereof, have ready at hand a lantern with a green glass on the one side and a red glass on the other side, and on the approach of or to other vessels such lantern shall be exhibited, in sufficient time to prevent collision, so that the green light shall not be seen on the port side nor the red light on the starboard side.

(b.) A fishing vessel and an open boat, when at anchor, shall exhibit a bright white light.

(c.) A fishing vessel, when employed in drift-net fishing, shall carry on one of her masts two red lights in a vertical line one over the other, not less than three feet apart.

(d.) A trawler at work shall carry on one of her masts two lights in a vertical line one over the other, not less than three feet apart, the upper light red and the lower green, and shall also either carry the side lights required for other vessels, or, if the side lights cannot be carried, have ready at hand the colored lights, as provided in Article 7, or a lantern with a red and a green glass, as described in paragraph (a) of this article.

(e.) Fishing vessels and open boats shall not be prevented from using a flare-up in addition, if they desire to do so.

(f.) ..........

(g.) All lights required by this article, except side lights, shall be in globular lanterns so constructed as to show all round the horizon.

ARTICLE XI. A ship which is being overtaken by another shall show from her stern to such last-mentioned ship a white light or a flare-up light.

ARTICLE XII. Sound signals for a fog, &c.-A steamship shall be provided with a steam-whistle or other efficient steam-sound signal, so placed that the sound may not be intercepted by any obstructions, and with an efficient foghorn to be sounded by a bellows or other mechanical means,


and also with an efficient bell. A sailing ship shall be provided with a similar fog-horn and bell.

In fog, mist, or falling snow, whether by day or night, the signals described in this article shall be used as follows, that is to say:

(a.) A steamship under way shall make with her steam-whistle, or other steam-sound signal, at intervals of not more than two minutes, a prolonged blast.

(b.) A sailing ship under way shall make with her foghorn, at intervals of not more than two minutes, when on the starboard tack one blast, when on the port tack two blasts in succession, and when with the wind abaft the beam three blasts in succession.

(c.) A steamship and sailing ship, when not under way, shall, at intervals of not more than two minutes, ring the bell.

ARTICLE XIII. Speed of ships in a fog.-Every ship, whether sailing ship or steamship, shall, in a fog, mist, or falling snow, go at a moderate speed.

ARTICLE XIV. Steering and sailing rules.-When two sailing ships are approaching one another so as to involve risk of collision, one of them shall keep out of the way of the other, as follows, viz.:

(a.) A ship which is running free shall keep out of the way of a ship which is close-hauled.

(b.) A ship which is close-hauled on the port tack shall keep out of the way of a ship which is close-hauled on the starboard tack.

(c.) When both are running free with the wind on different sides, the ship which has the wind on the port side shall keep out of the way of the other.

(d.) When both are running free with the wind on the same side, the ship which is to windward shall keep out of the way of the ship which is to leeward.

(e.) A ship which has the wind aft shall keep out of the way of the other ship.

ARTICLE XV. If two ships under steam are meeting end on, or nearly end on, so as to involve risk of collision, each. shall alter her course to starboard, so that each may pass on the port side of the other.

This article only applies to cases where ships are meeting end on, or nearly end on, in such a manner as to involve risk of collision, and does not apply to two ships which must, if both keep on their respective courses, pass clear of each other.

The only cases to which it does apply are, when each of the two ships is end on, or nearly end on, to the other; other words, to cases in which, by day, each ship sees the masts of the other in a line, or nearly in a line, with her own; and, by night, to cases in which each ship is in such a position as to see both the side lights of the other.


It does not apply, by day, to cases in which a ship sees another ahead crossing her own course, or, by night, to cases where the red light of one ship is opposed to the red light of the other, or where the green light of one ship is opposed to the green light of the other, or where a red light without a green light, or a green light without a red light, is seen ahead, or where both green and red lights are seen any where but ahead.

ARTICLE XVI. If two ships under steam are crossing so as to involve risk of collision, the ship which has the other on her own starboard side shall keep out of the way of the other.

ARTICLE XVII. If two ships, one of which is a sailing ship and the other a steamship, are proceeding in such directions as to involve risk of collision, the steamship shall keep out of the way of the sailing ship.

ARTICLE XVIII. Every steamship, when approaching another ship so as to involve risk of collision, shall slacken her speed or stop and reverse if necessary.

ARTICLE XIX. In taking any course authorized or required by these regulations, a steamship under way may indicate that course to any other ship which she has in. sight by the following signals on her steam-whistle, viz.:

One short blast to mean "I am directing my course to starboard." Two short blasts to mean "I am directing my course to port." Three short blasts to mean "I am going full speed astern."

The use of these signals is optional; but if they are used the course of the ship must be in accordance with the signal made.

ARTICLE XX. Notwithstanding anything contained in any preceding article, every ship, whether a sailing ship or a steamship, overtaking another, shall keep out of the way of the overtaken ship.

ARTICLE XXI. In narrow channels every steamship shall, when it is safe and practicable, keep to that side of the fair-way or midchannel which lies on the starboard side of such ship.

ARTICLE XXII. Where, by the above rules, one of two ships is to. keep out of the way, the other shall keep her course.

ARTICLE XXIII. In obeying and construing these rules, due regard shall be had to all dangers of navigation, and to any special circumstances which may render a departure from the above rules necessary in order to avoid immediate danger.

ARTICLE XXIV. No ship to neglect proper precautions. -Nothing in these rules shall exonerate any ship, or the owner, or master, or crew thereof, from the consequences of any neglect to carry lights or signals; or of any neglect to keep a proper lookout, or of the neglect of any precaution

Plate 108, No.1-8. Diagrams of crossing situations.

which may be required by the ordinary practice of seamen, or by the special circumstances of the case.

ARTICLE XXV. Rules for Harbors and Inland Waters. -Nothing in these rules shall interfere with the operation of a special rule, duly made by local authority, relative to the navigation of any harbor, river, or inland navigation.

ARTICLE XXVI. Signal Lights for Squadrons and Convoys.-Nothing in these rules shall interfere with the operation of any special rules made by the government of any nation with respect to additional station and signal lights for two or more ships of war, or for ships sailing under convoy.

Diagrams Illustrating, the Rule of the Road at Sea. Plate 108, Figures 1 to 7, are suggestions for the handling of steamers, Figure 8 for vessels close-hauled under canvas alone.

In addition to the side-lights mentioned herein, an approaching steamer shows her white mast-head light, the mast-head light having a compass range equal to that of both side lights, and being visible at more than twice the distance.

In Figure 1, A and B are in such positions that each sees both side lights of the other, dead ahead, or nearly so. This is the case provided for in Article XV. Both A and B put their helms to port without hesitation.

In Figure 2, A sees on her starboard side the green light of B, and B sees on her starboard side the green light of A; they are therefore passing to starboard. The precaution of giving a good berth in passing should be taken by putting the helms of both vessels to starboard, if necessary, till out of danger of collision.

In Figure 3, A sees on her port side the red light of B, and B sees on her port side the red light of A; they are therefore passing to port. If in any doubt as to the distance at which they would pass by continuing on their course, both vessels should put their helms to port until out of danger of collision.

In Figure 4, A sees, a point or more on her starboard bow, the red light of B, and B sees on her port bow the green light of A. The vessels are converging, and A has the other vessel evidently on her own starboard side. It is A's duty to keep clear, which may be done by slowing, putting helm a-port, and stopping, if necessary, to pass astern of B. B stands on, minding her port helm in this case.

In Figure 5, A sees, a point or more on her port bow, the green light of B, and B sees on her starboard bow the red light of A. The vessels are converging, and A has the other vessel clearly on her own port side. A stands on; it is B's duty to keep clear, which may be done by slowing, porting and stopping, if necessary, to pass astern of A; in which case A minds her port helm.


In Figure 6, A sees ahead, or very nearly ahead, the red light of B, and B, whether he sees only A's green light, as at B, or both of A's lights, as at B2 B3, has A obviously on his port side. B is crossing the bows of A in some direction to port. A probably ports to pass astern of B, in which case B ports if necessary, to avoid collision.

In Figure 7, A sees ahead, or very nearly ahead, the green light of B, and B, whether he sees only A's green light, as at B, or both of A's lights, as at B2 B3, has A evidently on his starboard side. B is crossing the bows of A in some direction to starboard. B probably starboards to avoid collision, in which case A starboards if necessary.

Figure 8 represents a sail B1 B2 B3 close-hauled on the port tack, giving way to A1 A2 A3 close-hauled on the starboard tack by porting, A holding her own on her course close-hauled.


The general rule of the road for steamers is the same as the general rule of the pavement for foot passengers, that in all ordinary cases two steamships meeting face to face, or "end on or nearly end on," so as to involve risk of collision, shall port; that is to say, shall keep to the right. Nothing could be more simple than this.

But a man who crosses from the extreme left of a pavement to its right side because he sees another man approaching to his right, cannot justify his proceeding by this rule. He was obviously not "end on or nearly end on," and by his action he places himself in the way of the other.

The particular rule of the road for steamers is that if they are crossing, that steamer which has the other on her own right hand side shall keep out of the way.

There are eight cases in which it is your duty to alter course to avoid the risk of collision:

1. In a steamer meeting a steamer end on, or nearly end on.

2. In a steamer nearing a sailing vessel.

3. In a steamer approaching another on your own starboard side.

4. If under sail on the port tack, nearing a vessel under sail on the starboard tack.

5. If under sail going free, meeting a vessel under sail close-hauled.

6. If under sail going free, nearing another vessel under sail to leeward, also going free with the wind on the same side.

7. If under sail going free with the wind on the port side, meeting another vessel under sail going free with wind on the starboard side.


8. In a steamer or sailing vessel approaching another vessel whose lights show that she is at anchor, or not under control, and therefore unable to get out of your way.

In only one of these cases is it right to port the helm without further consideration, viz., in the first case.

In all other cases the course should not be altered until by bearings taken at an interval, or by bringing the ship on with some part of the rigging, and watching whether she draws aft or forward, it is ascertained that the vessels are converging, and which is the best way to alter the course to avoid collision.

A fruitful cause of collision is that the ship which has by the rules to alter her course does not do so promptly and sufficiently to show to the other ship that she knows her duty and is performing it. When this is not done the other ship is often led to adopt some wrong course to avoid collision, and thus bring it to pass. Decide upon your action and then act promptly. If under steam, a slight yaw will show the direction you intend to take; if under sail and about to tack, let fly the jib sheet; if about to bear up, shiver the mizzen topsail or brail up the spanker.


1. Two Steamships Meeting:

When both side lights you see ahead,
Port your helm and show your RED.

2. Two Vessels Passing:

Perfect safety-go ahead!

3. Two Steamships Crossing:

(NOTE-This is the position of greatest danger, requiring caution and judgment.)

If to your starboard RED appear,
It is your duty to keep clear;
To act as judgment says is proper:-
To port, or starboard, back, or stop her!

But, when upon your port is seen
A steamer's starboard light of GREEN,
There's not so much for you to do,
For GREEN to port keeps clear of you.

4. All Ships must keep a good Lookout, and Steam-vessels stop, &c.

Both in safety and in doubt,
Always keep a good lookout.
In danger with no room to turn,
Ease her! Stop her! Go astern.


And the following may be added as a
General Rule for Sailing Vessels:
If close-hauled on the starboard tack,
No other ship can cross your track;
If on the port tack you appear,
Ships going free must all keep clear;
While you must yield, when going free,
To sail close-hauled, or on your lee.
Both free, with wind on different sides,
Rule XIV, c, your case decides,
And if you have the wind right aft,
Keep clear of every sailing craft.


Rules and Regulations for the government of pilots navigating seas, gulfs, lakes, bays, sounds, or rivers, except rivers flowing into the Gulf of Mexico, and their tributaries. Revised and adopted by the Board of Supervising Inspectors, June 10, 1871. (Amended to February 28, 1882.)

RULE I.-When steamers are approaching each other "head and head," or nearly so, it shall be the duty of each steamer to pass to the right, or port side of the other; and the pilot of either steamer may be first in determining to pursue this course, and thereupon shall give, as a signal of his intention, one short and distinct blast of his steam-whistle, which the pilot of the other steamer shall answer promptly by a similar blast of his steam-whistle, and thereupon such steamers shall pass to the right, or port side of each other. But if the course of such steamers is so far on the starboard of each other as not to be considered by pilots as meeting "head and head," or nearly so, the pilot so first deciding shall immediately give two short and distinct blasts of his steam-whistle, which the pilot of the other steamer shall answer promptly by two similar blasts of his steam-whistle, and they shall pass to the left, or on the starboard side, of each other.

NOTE.-In the night, steamers will be considered as meeting "head and head" so long as both the colored lights of each are in view of the other.

RULE II.-When steamers are approaching each other in an oblique direction (as shown in diagram of the fourth situation) they shall pass to the right of each other, as if meeting "head and head," or nearly so, and the signals by whistle shall be given and answered promptly, as in that case specified.

RULE III.-If, when steamers are approaching each other, the pilot of either vessel fails to understand the


course or intention of the other, whether from signals being given or answered erroneously, or from other causes, the pilot so in doubt shall immediately signify the same by giving several short and rapid blasts of the steam-whistle; and if the vessels shall have approached within half a mile of each other, both shall be immediately slowed to a speed barely sufficient for steerage-way until the proper signals are given, answered, and understood, or until the vessels shall have passed each other.

RULE IV.-When steamers are running in a fog or thick weather, it shall be the duty of the pilot to cause a long blast of the steam-whistle to be sounded at intervals not exceeding one minute.

Steamers, when DRIFTING or at ANCHOR in the fair-way of other vessels in a fog or thick weather, shall ring their bells at intervals of not more than two minutes.

RULE V.-Whenever a steamer is nearing a short bend or curve in the channel, where from the height of the banks or other cause, a steamer approaching from the opposite direction cannot be seen for a distance of half a mile, the pilot of such steamer, when he shall have arrived within half a mile of such curve or bend, shall give a signal by one long blast of the steam-whistle, which signal shall be answered by a similar blast, given by the pilot of any approaching steamer that may be within hearing. Should such signal be so answered by a steamer upon the farther side of such bend, then the usual signals for meeting and passing shall immediately be given and answered; but if the first alarm-signal of such pilot be not answered, he is to consider the channel clear and govern himself accordingly.

RULE VI.-The signals, by the blowing of the steam-whistle, shall be given and answered by pilots, in compliance with these rules, not only when meeting "head and head," or nearly so, but at all times when passing or meeting at a distance within half a mile of each other, and whether passing to the starboard or port.

RULE VII.-When two steamers are approaching the narrows known as "Hell Gate," on the East River, at New York, side by side, or nearly so, running in the same direction, the steamer on the right or starboard hand of the other (when approaching from the west), when they shall have arrived abreast of the north end of Blackwell's Island, shall have the right of way, and the steamer on the left or port side shall check her way and drop astern. In like case when two steamers are approaching from the east, and are abreast at Negro Point, the steamer on the right or starboard hand of the other shall have the right of way, and shall proceed on her course without interference, and the steamer on the port side of the other shall keep at a safe distance astern (not less than three lengths) until both steamers have passed through the difficult channel.


RULE VIII.-When steamers are running in the same direction, and the pilot of the steamer which is astern shall desire to pass on the right or starboard hand of the steamer ahead, he shall give one short blast of the steam-whistle as a signal of such desire and intention, and shall put his helm to port; and the pilot of the steamer ahead shall answer by the same signal, or, if he prefer to keep on his course, he shall give two short and distinct blasts of the steam-whistle, and the boat wishing to pass must govern herself accordingly, but the boat ahead shall in no case attempt to cross her bow or crowd upon her course.

N. B.-The foregoing rules are to be complied with in all cases except when steamers are navigating in a crowded channel, or in the vicinity of wharves; under such circumstances. steamers must be run and managed with great caution, sounding the whistle, as may be necessary, to guard against collision or other accidents.

SECTION 4,233, REVISED STATUTES.-Rule 24. In construing and obeying these rules, due regard must be had to all dangers of navigation, and to any special circumstances which may exist in any particular case rendering a departure from them necessary in order to avoid immediate danger.

RULE IX.-All double-ended ferry-boats on lakes and seaboard shall carry a central range of clear, bright, white lights, showing all around the horizon, placed at equal altitudes forward and aft, also such side-lights as specified in section 4,233, Revised Statutes, Rule 3, paragraphs B and C.*

Local inspectors in districts having ferry-boats, shall, whenever the safety of navigation may require, designate for each line of such boats a certain light, white or colored, which shall show all around the horizon, to designate and distinguish such lines from each other, which light shall be carried on a flag-staff amidship, fifteen feet above the white range-lights.

The line dividing jurisdiction between Pilot-Rules on Western Rivers, and Lakes and Seaboard, at New Orleans, shall be the lower limits of the city.


RULE VI. River steamers navigating waters flowing into the Gulf of Mexico, and their tributaries, shall carry the following lights, namely: One red light on the outboard side of the port smoke-pipe, and one green light on the outboard side of the starboard smoke-pipe. Such lights shall show both forward and abeam on their respective sides.

RULE VII. All coasting steam vessels, and steam vessels,

* Same as Article III. (b), International Regulations.


other than ferry-boats and vessels otherwise expressly provided for, navigating the bays, lakes, rivers, or other inland waters of the United States, except those mentioned in Rule VI., shall carry the red and green lights, as prescribed for ocean-going steamers; and, in addition thereto, a central range of two white lights; the after-light being carried at an elevation of at least fifteen feet above the light at the head of the vessel. The head-light shall be so constructed as to show a good light through twenty points of the compass, namely: from right ahead to two points abaft the beam on either side of the vessel; and the after-light so as to show all around the horizon. The lights for ferryboats shall be regulated by such rules as the Board of Supervising Inspectors of Steam vessels shall prescribe.


The following diagrams are intended to illustrate the working of the foregoing system of colored lights, and are to be used by pilots in connection with the rules, as sailing directions on meeting or nearing other steamers:


Here the two colored lights, visible to each, will indicate their direct approach (" head and head ") toward each

Head on head.

other. In this situation it is a standing rule that both shall put their helms to port and pass to the right, each having previously given one blast of the steam-whistle.


Here the green light only will be visible to each, the screens preventing the red light from being seen. They

Passing to starboard.

are therefore passing to starboard, which is rulable in this


situation, each pilot having previously signified his intention by two blasts of the steam-whistle.


A and B will see each other's red light only, the screens preventing the green lights from being seen. Both vessels are evidently passing to port, which is rulable in this situation, each pilot having previously signified his intention by one blast of the steam-whistle.

Passing to port.


This is a situation requiring great caution; the red light of B in view to A, and the green light of A. in view to B, will inform both that they are approaching each other in an oblique direction. A should put his helm to port, and pass

Crossing ship A yeilds to B.

astern of B, while B should continue on his course, or port his helm, if necessary to avoid collision, each having previously given one blast of the steam-whistle, as required by the rules, when passing to the right.


This is a situation requiring great caution; the red light of A in view to B, and the green light of B in view to A,


will inform both that they are approaching each other in an oblique direction. B should put his helm to port and pass astern of A, while A should continue on his course, or port his helm, if necessary to avoid collision, each having previously given one blast of the steam-whistle, as required by the rules when passing to the right.

Ship B yields to A.


In this situation the steamer A will only see the red light of the steamer B in whichever of the three positions the latter may happen to be, because the green light will be hid from view; A will be assured that the port side of B is toward him, and that the latter is therefore crossing the bows

Ship A yields to B.

of A in some direction to port; A will therefore (if so near as to fear collision) port his helm with confidence, and pass clear. On the other hand, the steamer B, in either of the three positions, will see both the red and green lights of A, by which the former will know that the steamer is approaching directly toward him; B will act accordingly, and keep away if necessary.




In this situation the steamer A will only see the green light of the steamer B, in whichever of the three positions the latter may happen to be, because the red light will be hid from view; A will be assured that the starboard side

Ship A goes to port.

of B is toward him, and that the latter is therefore crossing the bows of A in some direction to starboard; A will therefore (if so near as to fear collision) starboard his helm with confidence and pass clear. On the other hand, the steamer B, in either of the three positions, will see both the red and green lights of A, by which the former will know that a steamer is approaching directly toward him; B will act accordingly, and keep away if necessary.

The manner of fixing the colored lights should be particularly attended to. They will require to be fitted each with a screen of wood or canvas, on the inboard side, and close to the light, in order to prevent both being seen at the same moment from any direction but that of right ahead, each light being visible, singly, to two points abaft the beam.

This is important, for without the screens any plan of bow-lights would be ineffectual as a means of indicating the direction of steering. This will be readily understood by a reference to the preceding illustrations, where it will appear evident that in any situation in which two vessels may approach each other in the dark the colored lights will instantly indicate to both the relative course of each; that is, each will know whether the other is approaching directly or crossing the bows either to starboard or port.

This intimation, with the signals by whistle, as provided, is all that is required to enable vessels to pass each other in the darkest night with almost equal safety as in broad day. If at anchor, all vessels, without distinction, must exhibit a bright white light at least twenty feet above the surface of the water.





In approaching the channel, &c., from seaward, red buoys with even numbers will be found on the starboard side of the channel, and must be left on the starboard hand in passing in.

In approaching the channel, &c., from seaward, black buoys with odd numbers will be found on the port side of the channel, and must be left on the port hand in passing in.

Buoys painted with red and black horizontal stripes will be found on obstructions with channel ways on either side of them, and may be left on either hand in passing in.

Buoys painted with white and black perpendicular stripes will be found in mid-channel, and must be passed close-to to avoid danger.

All other distinguishing marks to buoys will be in addition to the foregoing, and may be employed to mark particular spots.

Buoys to mark abrupt turning points in channels, or obstructions requiring a specific and prominent mark, may be fitted with staves surmounted by balls, cages, triangles, and other distinctive marks. Yellow buoys, without numbers, are used to mark any danger at a quarantine station.

The largest description of buoys (" mammoth" or special buoys) are to mark the approaches to channels over seaward bars and isolated shoals, rocks, or other obstructions to navigation which lie at considerable distances from the coast.

First and second class buoys are to mark the approaches to, the obstructions in, and to point out and mark the limits of channels leading to the principal harbors along the coast, and also to mark the channels and obstructions adjacent to the coast and those in the large bays and sounds.

Second and third class buoys are to mark the approaches to and the channels and obstructions of the lesser harbors, bays, &c.

Nun or can buoys liable to be damaged or swept away by floating ice are removed on the approach of freezing weather, and spar buoys put in their places. In the spring the larger buoys are replaced.

Small spar-buoys are to mark channels and obstructions in shoal-water navigation.

Different channels in the same bay, sound, river, or harbor are marked, as far as practicable, by different descriptions of buoys. Principal channels are marked by nun-buoys, secondary channels by can-buoys, and minor channels by spar-buoys. When there is but one channel,


nun-buoys, properly colored and numbered, are placed on the starboard side, and can-buoys on the port side of it.

Buoys are placed in the best positions to mark obstructions or define channels, and are made to float as high and as nearly upright as possible during the strongest winds and tides. White numbers, as large as the class of the buoy will admit, are painted on four sides of red and black buoys, and the other distinguishing marks made to show as prominently and at as great a distance as possible.

Vessels approaching or passing light-vessels of the United States, in thick, foggy weather, will be warned of their proximity by the alternate ringing of a bell and sounding of a fog-horn on board of the light-vessel, at intervals not exceeding five minutes. Canada is buoyed on the same system.


The side of the channel to be considered starboard or port with reference to the entrance to any port from seaward.

The entrance of channels or turning points shall be marked by spiral buoys, with or without staff and globe, or triangle, cage, &c.

Single colored can buoys, either black or red, will mark the starboard side, and buoys of the same shape and color, either checkered or vertically striped with white, will mark the port side; further distinction will be given, when required, by the use of spiral buoys, with or without staff and globe or cage, globes being on the starboard hand and cages on the port hand.

Where a middle ground exists in a channel, each end of it will be marked by a buoy of the color in use in that channel, but with horizontal rings of white, and with or without staff and diamond or triangle, as may be desirable. In case of its being of such extent as to require intermediate buoys, they will be colored as if on the sides of a channel. When required, the outer buoy will be marked by a staff and diamond, and the inner one by a staff and triangle.

Wrecks will still continue to be marked by green nun-buoys.

All buoys have their names painted on them in conspicuous letters.


Harbors, rivers, and channels are marked by either black or red buoys on the starboard hand when entering from the sea, and on the port hand by buoys of the same color as those on the starboard hand, with the addition of a white belt; and middle dangers are marked by white buoys surmounted by a black beacon.




Entering port, &c., from seaward, red buoys must be left on the starboard hand in passing in.

Entering port, &c., from seaward, black buoys must be left on the port hand in passing in.

Buoys painted red and black are placed on detached dangers, and may be passed on either hand.

Fairway buoys are plainly marked. Wreck buoys are painted green.

All buoys have their names painted on them.

Liverpool is buoyed on the same system.


On entering a channel from seaward, all buoys and beacons painted red with a white band near the summit must be left to starboard; those painted black must be left to port; buoys that can be left on either side are colored red with black horizontal bands. That part of a beacon below the level of high water and all warping buoys are colored white. The small rocky heads in channels are colored in the same way as the beacons when they have a surface sufficiently conspicuous.

Each buoy has upon it the name of the danger it is meant to distinguish; likewise its number, commencing from seaward. The even numbers are on the red buoys, and the odd numbers on the black buoys. The letters and numbers are white, and from ten to twelve inches in length.

All jetty heads and turrets are colored above half-tide level, and on the former a scale of metres is marked from the same level.


On entering the channel, etc., from seaward, white buoys must be left on the starboard hand, and black buoys on the port hand.


Same system as Holland.


In the event of a collision, the commanding officer is to furnish the department with the following information:

1st. His own report, that of the pilot, of the officer of the deck and other officers who witnessed the occurrence. The statements are to be exemplified by a diagram, and must contain the courses steered, the point at which the vessel was first seen, the time when the engine was stopped, if in motion at what speed at the moment of collision.


In addition are required: the direction of the wind and condition of the weather; what lookouts were placed; what lights were exhibited by both vessels; whether either vessel deviated from the rules, and whether blame attaches to any one.

Written statements and estimate of damage from the officers of the other vessel must be procured if possible; also a survey of the injury to both vessels, made by United States officers.

If the vessel is in charge of a pilot, and the collision was due to his acting in violation of the rules, the fact must be established in the report, and no pilotage paid him.

Changes suggested in Existing Rules. Several of the rules have been regarded as open to discussion, and as some of them may be modified in the near future, attention may be briefly directed to those most frequently questioned.

International Rule IX. seems especially unfortunate. The nature of the duty performed by pilot boats may bring them very close aboard when furnishing pilots, and they have no lights displayed to show the direction in which they are standing, at a time when such lights would be of the greatest use. The recent sinking of the New York pilot boat Columbia, with all hands, by the steamer Alaska, was possibly due in part to the absence of side lights on board the former.

International Rule XII. could be so modified as to replace, in a sea-way, the present meaningless sound of the whistle by a series of blasts, showing, at least approximately, the course of the ship. The whistle would then do for steamers in a fog what their side lights accomplish at night. Evidently if lights were only needed to indicate position, one light might (like the present fog-whistle) suffice for the purpose. As it is, we have three lights, to show approximate course, as well as position. For the same reason, course signals should be made by vessels in a fog. Without going into details, it may be suggested that if a steamer were furnished with two whistles (one with whistle and one with horn sound), a code of four blasts as a maximum would be sufficient to indicate every alternate point of the compass. Such signals could be made automatically.

International Rule XIX. gives certain optional whistle signals for indicating intended course, in clear weather. It is regretted that such signals were not made obligatory, and that the successful experience of years in United States waters was not sufficient to prove the value of this peculiarly American idea.

International Rule XXI. might be modified to secure right of way for large vessels in very narrow channels where there is plenty of fairway on either side for smaller craft. At present, a very large ship of deep draft, while


moving through a narrow entrance, may be jeopardized by the stupidity or wilfulness of any coasting skipper whose craft might lay her course, and find plenty of water clear of the main channel.

A rule observed by pilots in the waters of New York harbor has the sanction of established custom. It consists in giving right of way to ferryboats about to enter their slips. This is probably because of the difficulty that such a craft would have in getting fairly pointed again for her slip, if obliged to reverse to clear a passing vessel, in the prevailing strong tides of the North and East Rivers. We are informed that this same practice is sanctioned by local custom at most United States ports where strong currents prevail.

Crossing Wheel Ropes. Officers accustomed to the usual action of wheel (and helm) in sea-going men-of-war may be reminded that the pilot laws require steam vessels navigating inland waters of the United States to arrange their steering apparatus so that the wheel goes in the same direction as the helm. This is precisely contrary to the practice in sea-going craft.




Remarks on Casting. When there is plenty of sea-room, and the wind is fair, it is best to cast under the head-sails and to make sail when before the wind.

In casting with the square sails set, ships invariably gather sternway the moment the anchor breaks ground. On this account, and under these circumstances, it is considered a good general rule (in the case of a foul wind) to cast with the head towards the nearest of the neighboring dangers, to make a stern board while the anchor is being catted, then to fill and make sail enough to insure going about in stays when requisite.

When there is not room to admit of going much astern, set the main-sail before starting the anchor, if possible, or as soon after as it will take, and have a purchase all ready to clap on the cable the moment that the anchor promises to give a heavy heave; otherwise the ship may go tripping it astern into shoaler water, and certainly will be unmanageable until it is at the bows.

As a general rule, and one not to be neglected, when weighing one anchor have the other ready for letting go, and as soon as an anchor is weighed get it ready for letting go at once.

Before getting under way, shift the helm over two or three times, to insure the rendering of the wheel ropes, and that the tiller is clear in its sweep.

When you have room, and are pitching, it will be best to get the anchor up before making sail. By so doing you will ease the chain, capstan, &c.

When about to get under way (the ship being tide rode and the wind aft), the comparative strength of wind and tide must be well considered before coming to the decision to make sail and weigh, or to weigh first and to make sail afterwards. For it does not look seamanlike to see a ship under canvas forging ahead over her anchor, tearing the copper off her bottom, and sheering unmanageably about before breaking ground; and it is equally bad management when the anchor is hove up and the ship is drifted by the tide without steerage way.

If the wind were light, it would be necessary to make

Plate 109, Case 1-13. Getting under way with different winds and hazards.

nearly all sail before breaking ground; or if moderate, merely to loose them. If it were blowing strong, the ship might stem the tide without any sail; but in this latter case it would be well to have a head-sail set, so as to prevent the possibility of breaking the sheer while stowing the anchor.

(CASE 1, PLATE 109.)

Having the vessel in readiness for sea. and unmoored, prepare to get under way as under ordinary circumstances, with the wind fair for standing out of the harbor.

Rig the capstan and fish-boom, reeve the cat and fish purchases, ship the gratings, swifter the bars, call:


If there are two capstans, the one on the gun-deck is manned by the port watch.* The principal stations are:

Forecastlemen to clean off chain with hose, stand by with cat, fish, &c.

Mastmen see gear ready for making sail.

Quartermaster and men stationed at the wheel go to their stations; also, leadsmen in both chains or quarter boats.

Gunner's gang tend chain around capstan, fore and main topmen port watch be ready to bitt or unbitt, tend stoppers, or at controllers, &c. Master-at-arms and servants or berth-deck cooks tend berth-deck compressors; tierers in the chain locker. Man the bars, HEAVE AROUND! and heave in the cable to a short stay.

As soon as "brought to," the first lieutenant orders the navigator to inform him when the chain is in to a certain scope, say fifteen fathoms chain in five fathoms water, though it depends entirely upon the strength of the wind and sea.** When in to the required scope, the navigator orders, AVAST HEAVING! and reports to the first lieutenant, who then directs the men to be sent up (supposing it a frigate) to make sail.

The cable being in to a short stay, Heave and paul! stopper the cable well, and unship the bars, on the spar deck.

Stations for making sail! LAY ALOFT SAIL LOOSERS! and when the men are aloft and ready, LAY OUT AND LOOSE! Man the topsail sheets and halliards! In the meantime the forecastle men are loosing the head sails, and the afterguard the spanker; when ready, Stand by! LET FALL! SHEET

* The steam capstans adopted for use in the service will modify this arrangement of stations.

** The old rule for a short stay was, that the cable should be on a line with the foretopmast stay.


HOME! LAY IN! LAY DOWN FROM ALOFT! The men all lay down on deck, except a few hands in the tops to light up and overhaul the rigging; at the same time, ease away the topsail clewlines, and haul close home the topsail sheets.* As soon as the men are clear of the yards, Tend the braces! Haul taut! HOIST AWAY THE TOPSAILS! giving also the cautionary order, Light up the rigging aloft! Hoist the topsails to a taut leech, and BELAY THE TOPSAIL HALLIARDS! or High enough the fore! Well the mizzen! Belay the main! &c., &c. Sheet home and hoist the topgallant sails, and then the royals, if the wind is light. Brace up the after yards for the tack on which you wish to cast, and the head yards abox to pay her off. Top up the spanker boom, and bear it over on the side you wish to cast.

The following orders are commonly used, sail being made:

Man the port head braces! Starboard main, port cross-jack braces! -or, the reverse, as you wish to cast (after part generally to after, forward part to head braces).

Let go and overhaul the lifts! Clear away all the bowlines! Tend the lee braces!

Haul taut!



It will be observed that the booms are not triced up when loosing to get under way.

The sails being set, Man the bars! ship and swifter them; HEAVE AROUND! at the same time giving her a sheer with the helm. The officer of the forecastle reports when the cable is "up and down," and also when the anchor is aweigh! at the former report, Man the jib and flying jib halliards! The fore topsail pays her head off, and as soon as the head sails will take the right way, LET GO THE DOWN-HAULS, HOIST AWAY! Put the helm a-lee for sternboard, at the same time, heave the anchor up to the bows; and as soon as it is high enough, Avast heaving! Paul the capstan! stopper the cable; cat and fish the anchor. When she has fallen off sufficiently, RIGHT THE HELM! Brace around the head yards, and set the spanker. Trim the yards and stand out to sea, making sail as required.

As soon as the anchor is catted and fished, the navigator causes the cable to be bitted and cleared for running, and having nothing more to do in that station, repairs to his station to assist in conning the ship, or acting as pilot. Having passed the bar-buoy, and seeing that all the sails are properly set, the anchors and boats secured, and no further necessity for all hands to be on deck, the first

* With a full crew the topsail can be sheeted home and hoisted at the same time; otherwise start the halliards well up before getting the sheets close home. See page 340.


lieutenant reports the fact to the captain, who directs him to "pipe down." On the boatswain piping down, the officers

leave their stations and the lieutenant of the watch takes the trumpet, receiving the course from the pilot or navigator.

In some cases, though rarely, the captain gets the ship under way. When he does not, the first lieutenant does it, though the captain is still responsible for the manner in which it is done.

In getting under way in a spacious harbor, where you have sufficient room, if circumstances will admit of it, it is advisable, particularly if blowing fresh, to keep the foretop-sail to the mast until the anchor is catted and fished; to do which set the spanker as soon as, or before, she breaks ground, and keep the head sails down; or flow the jib-sheet.

Should it blow sufficiently fresh, and present appearances of heavy weather outside, it is advisable to reef the topsails while setting them.

When getting under way to stand off on a wind, the spanker may be set, and very often is, when sail is made; guying the boom on the lee quarter, or the side to which you cast, as this catches the vessel should she be inclined to fall off too much.


Making sail to royals should be done rapidly; the sheets got close home, or "home alike," and the sails hoisted up taut.

There are two ways of making sail: first, order the top-gallant and royal yardmen to "keep fast," and not let their sails fall till ordered; then, as soon as the topsail yards are mast-headed, LET FALL, SHEET HOME AND HOIST THE TOPGALLANT SAILS! and as soon as they are up, LET FALL, SHEET HOME, AND HOIST THE ROYALS! Second, as most commonly practised, let everything fall together, sheet home and hoist the topsails, and then the topgallant sails and royals in quick succession.

Before breaking ground, be sure the ship has the right sheer, or the jibs may take the wrong way and the ship fail to cast as desired.

If you cannot break ground and are apprehensive that the anchor has hooked under a rock or permanent moorings, clew up and furl, and let go the other anchor; then bring the buoy-rope in through the sheet hawse pipe, and endeavor to weigh it by that means, or get out the launch and let her weigh it. Should the buoy-rope prove unequal to the strain, send a hawser down over the buoy-rope by a


running bowline, catch it over the upper fluke, and weigh it by that.

A steamer can generally break her anchor out by stoppering well the cable and going ahead slowly.


Proceed as in the above, bracing the yards as you wish to cast, then slip the moorings and trim the yards to the course, or use a spring from the moorings if circumstances require, taking both ends of the spring inboard that you may let go one end, unreeve and haul it on board.

(CASE 2.)

In some cases, particularly with the wind directly out of the harbor, vessels are got under way under the jib and spanker alone, thus: having those sails loosed and ready for setting, Man the bars! and heave the anchor right up to the bows, giving her a sheer with the helm whichever way you wish to cast. It is always advisable, if possible, to cast from the anchor; that is, if heaving up the port anchor to cast to starboard; because it is easier thus hove up to the bows after it is atrip, and the cat more readily hooked. As soon as the anchor is aweigh, hoist the jib; and as she pays off, haul out the spanker. Keep her under this sail, until the anchor is catted and fished; then hard up, brail up the spanker, make sail and stand out.


Having everything in readiness, "bring to" on the cable, Man the bars! Heave taut! off stoppers, and HEAVE AROUND! When the cable is up and down, Clear away the jib! put the helm to port for sternboard, and continue heaving until the anchor is up to the bows; Paul the capstan! Cat and fish the anchor. As soon as the anchor is aweigh, hoist the jib.

She is now paying off under the jib. As soon as she gathers headway, SHIFT THE HELM! Stations for loosing sail! ALOFT SAIL LOOSERS! LAY OUT AND LOOSE! Man the topsail sheets and halliards! When before the wind, and ready for letting fall, RIGHT THE HELM! LET FALL,


SHEET HOME! LAY IN! LAY DOWN FROM ALOFT! and HOIST AWAY THE TOPSAILS! Man the topgallant and royal sheets and halliards! SHEET HOME AND HOIST AWAY! Set the foresail; sheet home in quick succession the topgallant sails and royals; remembering to tend the light braces. Haul taut the lower lifts! keeping the lower yards square by the lifts; hook the burtons on the topsail yards, and haul them well taut; haul taut the topgallant lifts, and Stand by to set all the studding-sails!


The object now is to get the vessel under way without losing anything, either in drift after the anchor is aweigh, or in falling off after casting.

Having hove in to a safe scope, run out a hawser ahead, with a kedge, from the starboard bow; and having let it go, haul the hawser well taut; masthead the topsail and topgallant yards, having the sails loosed, and only confined to the yards by the quarter gaskets; brace the yards sharp up by the port braces, fore and aft; loose the courses, jib and spanker, and have them ready for setting; the starboard jib-sheet aft, and the fore and main tacks and sheets stretched along the deck.

Man the bars and heave around briskly, until the anchor is up, taking in at the same time the slack of the hawser; cat and fish the anchor; and have it ready for letting go as soon as possible.

Man the hawser and warp the vessel ahead, sheering her with the starboard helm. Have the topsail sheets well manned, and as soon as the kedge is short apeak, or comes home, sheet home the topsails, run up the jib, haul out the spanker, with the boom on the port quarter; and as soon as the jib takes, with the wind on the starboard bow, run the kedge up to the bows.

As she falls off, and the moment the topsails take, draw the jib, set the courses and topgallant sails, and right the helm. Should the kedge come home before it is apeak, make sail immediately, hauling in the hawser at the same time.

If she is falling off rapidly when the topsails take, set the spanker and mainsail alone, easing off the jib-sheet; and as she comes to, board the fore tack, haul aft the jib-sheet, and meet her with the helm.

If, when the kedge is aweigh, she should fall off to starboard, and bring the wind on the port bow, let go the anchor and bring her up. By this process you have warped


considerably ahead of the anchorage, and by counter bracing the head yards you may get under way, as under ordinary circumstances, or you may run out the kedge again, and make a second trial.

If, while warping ahead, the kedge comes home, or the hawser parts, proceed at once to make sail or let go the anchor.


When close to a lee shore, with too much wind or sea to get the anchor easily, or when you cannot afford to go astern, the ship must be cast with a spring, and the anchor abandoned. Thus, supposing that the ship is riding by the starboard anchor, and that it is determined to cast to port, brace the yards up on the starboard tack, have the sails ready for setting, with the number of reefs in that may be necessary; hoist the topsail yards sufficiently high for setting the topsails, and cast as many gaskets off as can be spared. Pass one end of a buoy-rope in through the riding cable hawse-hole, and make it fast to that cable forward of the bitts, stopping it along to the cable at intervals to prevent fouling, put a buoy on the outer end, and hang it outside all to the bumpkin. If riding with nearly a whole cable out, prepare to disconnect its end from the slip in the locker, drive the shackle-pins out and see the cable clear for running. If riding with only part of a cable out, you may be able to disconnect further up, and thereby save so much chain; but it would not be prudent to unshackle until the ship is sure of going the right way, for a flaw of wind might bring her to, after having gone off to port a certain number of points. and it would then be necessary to hold on for another trial. In such case, unusual strain would be brought on the cable fastenings, and if they carried away or rendered, and the cable were unshackled, you would be adrift; but were it still connected, it would bring you up.

Pass the end of a hawser from the starboard quarter outside all, and make it fast for a spring to the riding cable at the hawse-hole; haul it taut, make fast and have an axe ready for cutting it. Haul the head sheets aft on the starboard side. Be all ready to loose and make sail and veer cable. Put the helm a starboard, and when the ship's head is sheering to port, hoist the head sails, veer away cable, and put the helm amidships; when the head sails have taken well and the ship is evidently swinging from her quarter by the spring, disconnect the cable, warning the people to stand clear of the end, and let go the buoy. Set the courses and then the topsails, if not able to set all at


once; and when the wind is well on the starboard beam (and not sooner, otherwise the ship will fly into the wind before she has steerage way enough to keep her out of it), cut the spring, trim the head sails, and when you have good way on, bring her gradually to the wind.


In the foregoing examples, we have had nothing to consider, in getting under way, but the effect of the sails and helm on the vessel; but in a tideway, we have also the force of the current to guard against, or profit by, during the operation.

Definition of Tides. A windward tide, is when the wind and tide are contrary.

A leeward tide, is when the wind and tide are together. A windward ebb, is when the tide is setting out, and the wind blowing in.

A windward flood, is when the tide is setting in, and the wind blowing out.

A leeward ebb, is when the tide and wind are both setting out.

A leeward flood, is when the wind and tide are both setting in.

A spring tide is the highest tide, and occurs just subsequent to the full and change of the moon.

A neap tide is the lowest tide, occurring when the moon is near the first and third quarters.

Lying at anchor in a tideway, a vessel will ride to the wind or tide whichever is the stronger; and whatever influence the rudder has upon her movements, caused by the resistance which either side of it presents to the force of the water against it (which will act upon the stern of the vessel until checked by the cable, in proportion to the velocity of the current), that effect will evidently be the same, whether she is forced through the water by the sails or by other means; or being stationary, if the water rushes past her.


Heave short, keeping the helm a-starboard, which (the tide acting on the port side of the rudder), will bring the wind a little on the starboard bow. Set the topsails; brace the after yards up by the port, and the head yards by the starboard braces; have the jib and spanker ready for setting; man the bars and heave the anchor up to the bows. The moment the anchor is aweigh, hoist the jib; and the moment she has paid off sufficiently (which she will) to


port, brace around the head yards. If she gathers stern-way before the head yards fill, shift the helm; and then proceed as in former evolutions.


If you have not room to cast, either to port or starboard, from your anchorage-suppose a vessel on each quarter-weigh the anchor, and drift down between the vessels before you cast, thus:

Heave short; set the topsails and spanker; brace all the yards about halfway up by the port braces; then heave in on the cable, and as soon as the anchor is aweigh, put the helm to port; the tide acting against the starboard side of the rudder, casts the stern to port; the sails being aback, she will soon gather sternboard, when the effect of the tide upon the rudder will be lost; but the resistance by stern-board on the port side of the rudder and the effect of the spanker will counteract the tendency of the fore topsail to pay her off. In this manner let her drift down with the tide, between the two vessels. Should she pay off too much you may bear the spanker boom well over to windward, and brace the mizzen topsail sharp up. Should she, in sternboard, be in danger of fouling the one vessel, she will increase the distance from the other, when you may brail up the spanker, shiver the after yards, hoist the jib, and let her go around before the wind, righting the helm as she gathers headway.

In like manner a vessel may be backed astern where there is no tide.

But this manoeuvre should not be attempted except with a smart working ship, as a sluggish vessel or one that takes a rank sheer, will be likely to foul one of the two dangers before any change in the disposition of canvas will affect her movements. Therefore, with an ordinary cruising vessel, getting under way under sail, proceed as follows:

Heave short; set the topsails, reefed if necessary, and keep the yards square; the helm amidships. Heave in again, and when she breaks ground and starts astern, paul the capstan and stopper the cable. You may thus club down, and when clear of danger heave up briskly, wear and make sail as requisite.

For instances of CLUBBING, see Appendix I.


Heave short; set the topsails and loose the jib; brace the head yards sharp up by the port braces; and leave the


after yards square; man the bars and heave around; the moment the anchor is away put the helm to starboard; as soon as the jib will take hoist it, heaving the anchor up at the same time; as soon as the after yards take, square the head yards; and, as she gathers headway, shift the helm; when before the wind, right the helm, cat and fish the anchor, and make sail on your course.

By the above arrangement of sail, the ship will get a rank sternboard, particularly if blowing fresh, and cut a broad sheer before gathering headway. This may be avoided as follows: brace the after yards about halfway up by the starboard braces, taking care to have the port after braces manned, so that they may be squared in again as she pays off; when, proceed as before. It is necessary to the perfect success of this evolution that the main and mizzen topsail should be kept shivering until the yards are square.

The latter method is only necessary when getting under way from a close berth. If blowing very fresh and no room to spare, the yards may be mast-headed and the fore-topsail alone sheeted home; which, with the jibs, will pay her off with little sternboard; when before the wind, make sail.


Heave short, keeping the helm to port, which, from the effect of the tide upon the starboard side of the rudder, will bring her head to wind. Set the topsails, bracing up the after yards by the starboard and the head yards by the port braces; set the spanker and bear the boom well over on the starboard quarter; have the jib loosed and ready for setting, with the port sheet aft. In this position, the vessel will not remain steady, but will come up and fall off; man the bars, and heave up-and-down; and, as she comes head to wind, weigh the anchor and hoist the jib, still keeping the helm to port; the head sails, and the effect of the tide upon the rudder before she gathers sternboard, will pay her head off to starboard. The moment she gathers sternboard, shift the helm; as she falls off, having the wind on the port bow, shift over the head sheets, brail up the spanker, if necessary, and proceed as before directed in filling away and making sail.

Should she not pay off to starboard the moment the anchor is aweigh, owing to her not being head to wind; or should she, by the force of the tide on the port quarter, and wind on the after sails, be kept from falling off sufficiently to fill the head yards, it will be necessary to veer cable and


bring her up, when the evolution may be performed with a spring from the port quarter.

See also Club-hauling, Chapter XXIV.


Set the topsails when the anchor is at a short stay, leaving the head yards square, and bracing the after yards up by the starboard braces. The moment the anchor is aweigh, put the helm hard a-starboard. The fore topsail being full will give her headway, which may be increased by letting fall the foresail, and hauling it aboard; and the starboard helm will pay her head around to port, hauling out the spanker as it will take; which, with the after yards, will bring her to the wind, bracing up the head yards as she comes to, and meeting her with the helm.


Make every preparation for weighing, heave in, loose the jib, heave up the anchor, run up the jib; cat and fish the anchor and make all sail.

If in a crowded harbor, narrow channel, or where it would be necessary to have the ship under immediate command, proceed as follows: Suppose the ship to be riding by the port cable, heave short, loose and make sail, sheer her with the port helm and bring the wind on the starboard quarter; brace the yards up by the starboard braces and keep them shivering by the helm. Heave up, fill the after and square the head yards; haul aft the starboard jib sheet; cat and fish the anchor; up helm; fill the head and shiver the after yards, getting the ship before the wind, when make sail.


Make the usual preparations and commence heaving in; loose the jib and spanker; (riding by the port cable as before and wishing to cast on the starboard tack) top up


and bear the spanker boom on the port quarter and put the helm aport; heave up and haul out the spanker as soon as it will take. When the wind gets abeam, run up the jib and meet her with the helm; cat and fish the anchor; loose, sheet home and hoist the topsails, brace up, bring by, and make sail.


Heave short, loose sail, and set the topsails; fill the fore and mizzen and leave the main square. Then heave up; cat and fish the anchor, keeping the ship hove to, and either tack or wear. Tacking or wearing will, however, depend on circumstances, and the amount of room to windward or to leeward.

If to tack-hoist the jib, fill away the main topsail, haul out the spanker, and set topgallant sails, &c.

If to wear-hoist the jib, up helm, shiver the after sails, &c.

If she does not lie steady with the main yard square, brace it sharp aback, as in the figure.


A vessel has rode out a gale on a lee shore; it is desirable to weigh and stand off; but a strong current sets along the land, and the wind blows in on the off-shore bow, as indicated by the arrows in the cut. Under these circumstances there may be two methods of getting under way.

Case 14 a represents the position of the ship riding by the starboard cable. Make the accustomed preparations, and heave in to a short scope without tripping. Bend a spring from the port quarter to the cable; haul it taut and secure it well. Have a slip-rope around the spring from the port bow to insure its not being carried under the forefoot by the weight of the chain. Make sail to topsails, mainsail and spanker-bracing the after yards sharp up by the starboard braces, and the head yards abox, or rather pointed to the wind. Put the helm hard aport; stream the buoy; slip the cable; the spring will bring the chain on the other how, and cast the ship to starboard. When it will take, hoist the jib, right the helm, slip the spring, and trim the head yards, as necessary.

Case 14 b, in which the position of the ship is again illustrated. Here, in lieu of slipping and using the spring, the anchor is hove up, and the ship backed off, by putting the helm to starboard, instead of port, as in the previous case, while the head yards are braced sharp abox, and the after


ones kept nearly square. In this case, the mainsail is not used, and the foresail set to help the ship's head pay off to port. When sternway commences, the helm is shifted to port, the after yards trimmed sharp by the starboard braces, spanker and mainsail set, when they will take, &c., &c.


Heave short without tripping, loose sail, and set the fore-topsail and fore-topgallant sail; lead along the halliards of all the head sails, as also the fore tack and sheet, and brace the head yards sharp up by the port braces.

Mast-head the after yards, keeping them square, and stopping the sails up with rope-yarns. Put the helm hard aport, heave up briskly, trip the anchor, let fall the foresail, hoist the jib, with the sheets to windward, and wear short round on the ship's heel, shifting the helm when necessary. When before the wind, check the port head braces, make after-sail, and stand out with the wind on the quarter.

NOTE. Have an, anchor ready to let go in case the ship should cast the wrong way; and observe to give her a rank sheer with the port helm, before the anchor breaks ground, hoisting the head sails as soon as the vessel's head passes the direction of the wind.


If to get before the wind, square the after and brace abox the head yards. Heave up the anchor, and when the fore-topsail shivers, square the head yards.

If to make sail by the wind, brace sharp up the after yards, square the head ones-heave up the anchor, and when the ship comes to, brace up forward.


With regard to the manner of executing this manoeuvre, there seems to be a difference of opinion among seamen; it is, however, generally conceded, that the following method is the most certain and secure:

Heave in to a short scope, and make sail to single-reefed topsails; lead along the tacks and sheets, jib-halliards, and


spanker out-haul, and brace the yards up as sharp as possible by the port braces, and put the helm hard a-starboard. As soon as the anchor is aweigh, let fall the courses, set the spanker, meet the ship with the helm, and hoist the jib.

NOTE. This supposes the case of casting to port. If to starboard, reverse the yards, and put the helm the contrary way.


The usual preparations having been made, the topsail yards mast-headed and sails stopped up, heave in to a short stay and let go the stream anchor, the hawser coming in, through the after chain pipe or warping chock; heave up the bower and let the ship wind round and ride by the stream. Heave up the stream, sheet home the topsails, drop the foresail, &c., &c.

This may also be done in a narrow channel, when, by the usual method, there is risk of backing ashore; or a steamer may be thus winded and pointed fair for going out of a small harbor.


On one occasion, in 1831, in order to save a French merchant brig from being wrecked, Capt. Harding ventured to anchor the Jaseur in the narrow and dangerous pass of Tamatave (Madagascar), in very squally and unsettled weather. We* dropped anchor in the brig's hawse about a cable and a half to windward, and immediately veered about seventy or eighty fathoms of cable; at the same time, we ran the end of the stream cable out to her, and a lieutenant was sent with all the boats to her assistance.

On getting on board, he found, from the short and broken sea then running, that it would be impossible to heave the vessel ahead without great risk to both vessels; under these circumstances he took the following method: He made a spring of the Jaseur's stream cable on the port side, all the yards were braced up for the port tack, the pinnace was made fast to the stream cable, a sufficient number of men sent aloft to have the topsails and courses ready to let fall at a moment's notice; when everything was quite ready for cutting the cable and spring, and making sail at the same time, the spring was then tautened, so as to bring the wind well on the port bow; the moment she had sheered sufficiently

* Captain Liardet, R. N.


for the sails to stand well, all sail was set together, and as soon as she felt her canvas, the cable and spring were cut at the same instant. As she was cast to seaward, the press of canvas she was under appeared to bury her in the very surf, but she was lifted, gathered way, and just grazed clear of the reef.

For handling a vessel under sail in a tideway, see Appendix I.

Remarks on Weighing. It must be remembered, that a ship which has to wear in getting under way, will seldom readily pay off until the anchor is close up to the bow. Therefore, under such circumstances, heave up as briskly as possible.

If a ship has a leading wind and is anchored in a narrow channel. or in the midst of a number of vessels, she would be got under way before the weather tide is done, as it would be extremely difficult to cast her upon the lee tide.

Should it blow fresh upon the windward tide, so as to force her "end on" over her cable, it would be impossible to heave it in without sheering her over from side to side, and heaving in briskly as the ship slacks her cable; but as this would be attended with considerable danger by the sudden bringing up of the ship upon each sheer, it would be prudent to heave apeak upon the first setting of the windward tide, and before the ship swings, to bring the wind aft.

The Kedge and Toggle. When using a spring the weighing of the kedge may be much facilitated by bending the hawser to the crown of the anchor, and securing it to the ring by means of a squilgee toggle. If the anchor has been carried out by a boat let her hang on to the buoy, and at a signal from the ship pull out the toggle, when the kedge may be run up to the quarter, and when the ship finds room she will heave to and pick up the boat.




On getting clear of the harbor, the first lieutenant causes everything about the decks to be secured for sea; the boatswain, upon receiving the order, secures the anchors, and, if a long passage is anticipated, the chains are unbent and the hawse-bucklers put in. If the chains are not unbent the hawse-pipes are closed by means of jackasses (canvas bags stuffed with oakum). The chains after being cleaned are paid below. Dry and stow away everything used in getting under way.

If the vessel be under sail alone, the anchors and chains are kept ready for use until a good offing is made.

On piping down from getting under way the first lieutenant turns the deck over to the officer having the watch, who is at once to acquaint himself with the position of the ship, her condition, and all orders remaining to be executed.

Before losing sight of the land, the navigator takes the departure, puts over the patent log and sets the course, when the officer of the deck will commence heaving the log and marking the log-book. The chafing gear will now be put on, the boats topped up and secured, and the studding-sail gear will be rove, if not done before leaving port.

The Officer of the Deck. An outline of the daily routine at sea will be found in the internal rules and regulations of the ship, but a few minor details may be here mentioned. Let it be supposed that an officer is called at 3:50 A.M. to keep the morning watch. Ten minutes is the usual time allowed for him to reach the deck. Having received all the orders, information, &c., he will, on the watch being reported up, and the wheel and lookouts relieved, "relieve the watch," and have the watch on deck mustered. In the meanwhile he "passes the course" to the man at the wheel, looks at the compass if going free or under steam, or at the sails if "full and by," and this he should frequently repeat during the watch. After the mustering of the watch it is well to make a rapid survey of the deck, to see that the yards and sheets are properly trimmed, weather lifts and weather braces taut; lights burning brightly, lookouts properly stationed, and to give any cautionary orders to the officer of the forecastle he


may deem expedient, such as to have the topgallant clew-lines led along, and keep a bright lookout ahead.

Except when making such inspections, or when obliged to satisfy himself personally of any fact, the officer of the deck should make it a rule to stay at his proper station, on the bridge or horse-block. He should observe this rule, especially when giving orders, instead of rushing about, as is too often the case, to assist in carrying out his own commands.

The captain of each part of the ship should be supplied with a list of his men. Petty officers may generally be relied upon to muster their own parts and to report absentees, if there are no junior officers available for this duty.

The very great advantage of calling the watch ten or fifteen minutes before eight bells, giving the men time to prepare for their watch, and to be mustered before the time for relieving, may be here reiterated (see Organization, p. 305). It would add to the health and comfort of the crew, to the safety of the ship when under sail, and relieve the mind of the officer of the deck of the anxiety felt during that painful interregnum when neither watch feel it incumbent to "man the main clew-garnets and buntlines," let it look never so squally to windward.

The habit cannot be too earnestly recommended to the young watch officer of anticipating various emergencies and casualties, such as a man falling overboard, parting rigging, &c., &c., and determining what should be done in each event, when it does occur, the right order may burst involuntarily from the lips, and the mind be fully prepared for the necessary evolution.

The orders of the executive officer in reference to washing clothes or scrubbing decks, called "morning orders," and usually written in an order book, are put in execution immediately after mustering the watch, unless trimming yards, or other essential duties, or want of light prevent. If clothes are to be washed, the command is given to "lay up the rigging fore and aft" and "sweep down," and the boatswain's mate is ordered to call the "watch scrub and wash clothes." A certain time should be allowed for washing-not over an hour-and the clothes should be neatly stopped on the lines so as to lap, each piece, by an inch or two, the white and blue separate, the former always being above or on a different set of lines, that they may not be soiled by the dripping of the latter.

At sunrise the order is given, Lay in, deck lookouts! Lay aloft to the masthead! The lights are taken in, forward officers called, and the master-at-arms directed to turn out and report up the idlers.

The mates of the decks get their orders from the officer of the deck. If the main deck is to be washed, the second


part of the watch is sent below. But if under sail, an officer should be cautious not to allow the watch to become so much engaged, or the running rigging so encumbered, that the sails may not be readily handled, or the yards braced in any sudden emergency.

At six bells the boatswain will be directed to "call all hands and pipe the hammocks up," after which get all the sheets home and sails taut up.

If on a wind, proceed as follows:

Get a jigger on the main tack, slacking the weather lift and lee brace, and the sheet if necessary. Then haul taut the lift and brace, haul aft the sheet. Now get jiggers on the weather, then the lee topsail sheet, getting them home alike; overhauling well the clew-lines and reef-tackles, slacking the halliards and tending the topgallant sheets. Then clap on to the topsail halliards, heaving off the lee brace and tending the weather one and the topgallant sheets. Get the topsail up to a taut leech, then haul home the topgallant sheets, pull up on the halliards-always attending the braces and the sheets of the sail next above, and then get the royal sheets close home and the sail up taut. Proceed similarly on the fore and mizzen, haul the heads of the fore-and-aft sails chock out, and then the sheet or foot out-haul aft.

See the head-sails hoisted with a taut luff, and trim aft the sheets.

If free, with studding-sails set, get the lower studding-sail halliards up, then trim the out-haul. With the other studding-sails, get the tacks boom-ended, halliards chock up and sheets trimmed, in the order named.

In trimming studding-sails, if the tack of the sail will not reach the boom end when the halliards are up, the boom has probably been rigged too far out.

The sails being trimmed, put the tops to rights, hammock cloths and boom cover smoothed over and stopped down, bright-work cleaned, chains swept out, peajackets put in the bags and stowed away, and rain clothes hung on the jackstays between the launches.

An officer should never leave anything to be done by his relief which he should have performed himself.

At sunset the command is given, Station deck lookouts! and Lay down from the mast-head!-the side lights are lighted and placed in position, in the light-boxes. Send aloft the masthead light if under steam.

Half an hour before each meal the ship's cook makes his report at the mast; before breakfast and supper that "tea-water is ready for serving out," and at 11:30 brings the dinner for inspection. If nothing has occurred to interfere with the regular meal hours he is ordered to serve out.

Everything affecting the health and comfort of the crew should receive the earnest attention of the officers. There


are minor points of duty which no rules or regulations can. reach, and which must be left to the thoughtfulness and good sense of the officers themselves. Thus a considerate officer will anticipate a rain-squall, and get washed clothes or scrubbed hammocks down in good time. He will not commence an all-hands job fifteen minutes before twelve o'clock, and send the men down to dinner at one bell. Boats and working parties will be recalled in time for their meals; timely preparation will be made for rain that the men may not be exposed to it unnecessarily, and a dry place reserved for the watch below.


Young officers should make themselves familiar with the lead of the running rigging, and where it belays, and on first getting to sea, it is well to exercise the crew at manning the ropes, that they may learn their lead and be enabled to find them on the darkest night.

To Set a Foresail, give the order

Man the fore tack and sheet!

At this command the men jump to their stations, the fore-tack and sheet are manned, one hand being by each clew-garnet, and the buntlines and leechlines let go.

Lay down on the fore yard and overhaul the rigging!

At this order, one or two of the topmen lay down, and overhaul, through their blocks, the buntlines and leech-lines.

If the weather is moderate, as soon as the officer of the deck sees that the men are at the stations, he orders-

Clear away the rigging! HAUL ABOARD!

At this the clew-garnets are let go, the tack hauled forward, and the sheet aft.

The Mainsail is set in the same manner, substituting main for fore; and to get the tack close down, it is advisable, if the yard is braced sharp up, to ease off the lee main brace,* and overhaul the weather clew-garnet, weather main-topsail clewline and main lift. After the tack is down, brace up the yard, haul taut the lift; reeve and haul the bowline.

When the yards are square, and the wind directly aft, the mainsail is never set, but is hauled up snugly; with the wind quartering, the lee clew may be set to great advantage. To do so, Man the main sheet! Overhaul the main buntlines and leechlines! When ready:

Ease down the lee clew-garnet! HAUL AFT!

The weather clew is kept fast.

* Not applicable to the fore, as the brace has more of a horizontal lead.


To set the Foresail before the wind.

Man both fore sheets!

The rigging being let go and overhauled as before, order

DOWN FORESAIL! As the sail comes down, take through the slack of the tacks; haul taut both lifts, haul through the slack of the sheets.

To set the Courses (by the wind), order-

Man the fore and main tacks and sheets!

Lay down on the lower yards to overhaul the rigging!

When the gear is reported all manned-

Haul taut! Clear away the rigging! HAUL ABOARD!

To take in a Course in moderate weather. If a foresail, order, Man the fore clew-garnets and buntlines! The clew-garnets and buntlines being manned, men stationed at the tack, sheet, and bowline, order-

Haul taut! UP FORESAIL!

The tack, sheet, and bowline, are let go, the clews of the sail are run up by the clew-garnets, the body by the buntlines; man the leechlines and haul the leeches to the yard.

In a fresh breeze, or gale of wind, it is necessary, in order to avoid shaking or flapping the sail, which may split it, to proceed thus: If you wish to set a course, the yard being braced up, everything being manned, order-

Ease down the lee clew-garnet! HAUL AFT!

Then when the clew is sufficiently aft to fill the sail-

Ease down the weather clew-garnet! HAUL ABOARD!

To take it in, under similar circumstances, the men being stationed, order, Ease off the fore-tack and bowline! HAUL UP TO WINDWARD! Then, Ease off the sheet! HAUL UP TO LEEWARD! Having the buntlines well manned, run them up the moment the sheet is started; the lee clew being the first set, and the last taken in, steadies the sail during the operation.*

Setting the mainsail when bracing up, it is better to get the tack down before the lee brace is near the sharp-up mark.

On setting courses by the wind, before hauling aboard, check the lee braces, for the bunt of the sails may nip or be jammed between the yard and the stay, and at all events, the main tack will come down better.

Topsails are the first sail set in getting under way, when cruising under sail, and the last taken in, in coming to anchor, except the spanker. At sea they remain constantly set, are reduced by reefing, in fresh winds, but never taken in except in gales of wind, or for the purpose

* In taking in a course, blowing fresh, haul taut the lee lift before starting the tack.


of repairing or unbending. The mizzen topsail is an exception, inasmuch as it is often settled down on the cap or furled, when sailing with the wind directly aft, and often taken in in heavy weather, when the fore and main are close reefed.

To set a Topsail. The yard being square and on the cap, order

Stand by to lay aloft, sail-loosens of the fore (main or mizzen) top-sail! LAY ALOFT! When the men are aloft, LAY OUT AND LOOSE!

The top-gallant studding-sail booms need not be triced up. The men lay out on the yard, and loose the sail by casting off the gaskets. While doing which

Man the topsail sheets and halliards! Tend the braces!

The clew lines are tended and buntlines let go, and overhauled aloft, the gaskets cast off, the bunt-jigger unhooked, and the men on the yard holding up the sail by hand, it is reported ready. The sheets being well manned, the order is given, Stand by! LET FALL! SHEET HOME! LAY IN! LAY DOWN FROM ALOFT! The clews of the sail are hauled out to the lower yard-arms by the sheets, until the foot of the sail is taut, hands easing away the clewlines as the sheets go home.* Meanwhile:


The yard is hoisted by the halliards, until the leeches of the sail are taut, keeping the topsail reef tackles, topgallant sheets and studding sail tacks, and the topsail clewlines and topmast studding sail halliards well overhauled.

To take in a Topsail, as in coming to anchor. Man the topsail clew jiggers and buntlines! Weather braces! At this order, the clew-jiggers and buntlines are manned; hands stationed by the sheets, halliards, bowlines, and braces; the latter for the purpose of squaring the yards if braced up; have a hand on each lower yard-arm to render the sheets through their sheaves; order, Clear away the topsail sheets, CLEW UP! The clews are hauled up by the clew-jiggers, and the body by the buntlines; when the sail is up, and the weather braces manned, Settle away the topsail halliards! SQUARE AWAY! The yard is now lowered on the cap and squared in at the same time, the buntlines and clew-jiggers are kept some distance above the yard.

Clew Catchers are sometimes used. They consist of travelers, variously fitted, which go around the lower lift and secure to the clew of the topsail. Such an arrangement may be useful when the topsail sheets are known to be much worn and easily parted. But a sound topsail sheet will only carry away in bad weather; then, the

* In setting the light sails, the men are ordered in before sheeting home, to avoid accidents due to the motion of the yards, which have considerable play.
In heavy weather, or whenever there are men on the lower yards, it would be well to observe the same rule in sheeting home the topsails.


clew-catcher, if fitted, may travel up the lift a certain distance, and by making a span of it, bring a violent strain on the lower yard-arm. Many of our best officers object to the use of clew-catchers at any time, as tending only to save a sail at the risk of carrying away a lower yard.

To Set a Close-Reefed Topsail. Brace up the topsail yard sufficiently, and the lower yard more than the topsail yard. Haul taut the lee topsail brace, then having loosed and let fall, Man the topsail sheets! Attend the gear, let go and overhaul the buntlines, Ease down the lee clewline, HAUL HOME THE LEE SHEET! keeping the vessel off if necessary; then, Ease down the weather clewline! HAUL HOME THE WEATHER SHEET! Man the halliards and sway the yard clear of the cap. Trim the yards, haul taut the weather-brace and haul the bowline.*

To Take in a Topsail in a Gale. Say the fore: Man the fore-topsail clewlines and buntlines, weather fore-topsail brace! The weather clewline is manned best; hands by the lee brace, sheets, and halliards; when ready, keep the ship off a point, ease off a fathom of the lee sheet, Settle away the halliards! BRACE IN AND CLEW DOWN! Ease away the weather sheet! CLEW UP TO WINDWARD! The weather clewline and both buntlines are run up; Ease away the lee sheet! CLEW UP TO LEEWARD! The weather brace is hauled in when the yard is clewed down. Point the yard to the wind, steady it well, and furl the sail.

To take in a close-reefed topsail with the wind abaft the beam, haul up the lee clewline first; brace the yard in by the weather brace until it is pointed to the wind, if possible, before laying out to furl.

In taking it in before the wind, with the watch, haul up one clew at a time, hauling up both buntlines as before; brace the yard sharp up and shiver the sail; then lay out and furl it.

In furling a sail in a gale, secure the yard well before sending the men out; and when out, render them all the assistance possible with the helm.

To Take in and Furl the Mizzen Topsail in a Gale. Man the mizzen-topsail clewlines and buntlines, lee mizzen topsail brace! Hands by the sheets and halliards, weather brace and bowline. When ready, Settle away the halliards! CLEW DOWN! Hauling in on the lee brace; Ease away the sheets! CLEW UP! The yard is pointed to the wind, and the gear hauled close up; Lay aloft all the mizzen topmen!


To Set a Topgallant-sail. Order, Lay aloft and loose the fore (main or mizzen) topgallant sail! Man the

* In all cases of hoisting a square sail attend the sheets of the sail next above.


topgallant sheets and halliards! While the sail loosers are loosing the sail, the sheets and the halliards are manned, hands being by the clewlines and braces. Overhaul the royal sheets and topgallant studding sail halliards. When ready, Stand by! LET FALL! Lay in! LAY DOWN FROM ALOFT! SHEET HOME! While hauling home the sheets, if on the wind, brace up the yard sufficiently to shake the sail; take a turn with the weather brace, and let go the lee one. If before the wind, let go both braces; and if the wind is quartering, the lee one. Tend the braces! HOIST AWAY! Hoist the sail up to a taut leech. BELAY THE HALLIARDS! Trim the yard to the wind, set taut the weather brace, keeping the lee one a little slack.

To Take in a Topgallant-sail. Lay aloft to furl the fore (main or mizzen) topgallant sail! Man the: fore topgallant clewlines! Weather fore-topgallant brace, When the clewlines and weather brace are manned, hands by the sheets, halliards and lee brace; if in a moderate breeze, order, Haul taut! IN FORE-TOPGALLANT SAIL! The sail is clewed up, halliards let go, buntline hauled up, and the yard braced in at the same time. In a fresh breeze, order-

Round in the weather brace! Ease away the lee sheet and halliards! CLEW DOWN! Let go the weather sheet! CLEW UP! If the wind is aft, or on the quarter, order, Let go the halliards! CLEW DOWN! Let go the sheets! CLEW UP! Squaring the yard as it comes down by the braces, and starting the sheets when down. The sail being clewed up, steady the yard by the braces, and then order, LAY OUT AND FURL!

The three topgallant-sails are set and taken in, in the same manner, giving the order, Lay aloft and loose the topgallant sails! and Man the topgallant clewlines, &c., &c.

In taking in a topgallant-sail in a fresh breeze, ease the lee sheet, but do not let it go until the yard is well started in and down. This will keep the yard from cockbilling and. make it easier to clew down. But have the lee clew hauled up before the weather sheet is started.

To Set or Take in the Royals. Proceed as with the topgallant-sails, in moderate weather. The flying jib generally goes with the royals, and the following are the orders:

Aloft and loose the royals! Clear away the flying-jib!

When ready-


To take them in, Aloft to furl the royals! Man the royal clewlines, flying jib downhaul! Haul taut! IN ROYALS, DOWN FLYING-JIB! FURL THE ROYALS! STOW THE FLYING-JIB!

If the royals have been kept on too long, handle them in


taking in precisely as described for the topgallant-sail, keeping fast the weather sheet until the yard is down and the lee clew hauled up. As the royal has no buntline to control the body of the sail, lay the yard for furling so as to spill the sail, being careful not to let it get flat aback, otherwise it will be blown under the foot-rope and make it difficult to lay out on the yard.

When the flying-jib is taken in under similar circumstances, let go the halliards, but do not start the sheet till the sail is about half way down, then keep easing off till the sail is down, otherwise it is likely to be split. Do not haul over the weather sheet until the sail is nearly stowed and the men on the boom are ready to receive the clew.

To Set a Head Sail. The manner of setting and taking in all the head sails is the same. To set the jib give the order, Clear away the jib! Man the halliards! Have a hand by the downhaul to clear it away, and, in case of the fore-topmast staysail or jib, send a hand out to light up the hanks. When ready, Let go the downhaul! HOIST AWAY! When up taut, trim the sheet.

In setting a jib, the sheet should not be kept taut, but eased, to let the sail go up; and observe, at the conclusion, that both the stay and the guys are taut.

To Take it In. Man the jib downhaul! Have a hand at the halliards and sheets. When manned, Mind your weather helm! (if blowing fresh), Let go the halliards! HAUL DOWN! By easing off the sheet as the halliards are let go, the pressure of the hanks on the stay is relieved, and the sail comes down easily. LAY OUT AND STOW THE JIB! When stowed, take in the slack of the halliards and sheets.

The Spanker, being at one extremity of the lever, governs the vessel more or less in all the evolutions. It serves to bring her to the wind, or to prevent her from falling off; is always set at sea, except with the wind aft or well on the quarter; and in coming to anchor, is the last sail taken in, as it is used to bring the vessel up head to wind, after the topsails are clewed up.

In Setting the Spanker, top the boom up by both topping-lifts (if two are used), after which overhaul the lee one. Man the spanker outhauls! Have hands by the clew-rope, head-downhaul and brails, and hands aloft to overhaul them. Let go the brails! HAUL OUT! Slack the weather yang, and trim the sheet.

To Take it In. Man the spanker brails! Bead downhaul! Have the lee brails well manned, and hands to take in the slack of the weather ones; and hands by the outhauls. Let go the outhauls! BRAIL UP! At the same time, haul up the clew rope, haul the boom amidships and crotch it, or in wearing, haul it over on the weather


quarter, ready for the other tack; steady the gaff by the weather vang.

To Set a Spanker or Trysail Blowing Fresh. Clear away the spanker! When the furling line is cast off, Man the foot outhaul! Clear away the brails, HAUL OUT! easing away the clewrope and brails. Having steadied the foot of the sail, Man the head outhaul! Clear away the downhaul, HAUL OUT! easing off the weather yang. Then trim aft the foot outhaul.

To Take it In when blowing. Man the head downhaul and brails! Lee brails best. Clear away the head outhaul! BRAIL UP! checking the foot outhaul if necessary. When the head is down, ease away the foot outhaul and brail up snug. The wind being now out of the sail, the brails may be slacked enough to haul up the clew. Steady the gaff and boom amidships.

A trysail is handled in a similar way.

Staysails. Set between the fore and main masts, are the main topmast and topgallant staysails; the first is stowed, when not set, under the fore-top, and the other in or above the fore-top.

There may be also mizzen topmast and topgallant staysails.

They are set like the head-sails, the sheets leading down on deck, and belayed in the lee gangway.

These sails are only used in light weather, with the wind free. They are termed lifting sails.

Studding, or Steering Sails, in light or moderate weather, with the wind free or aft, are used with great advantage, to increase the speed of a vessel. The weather topmast and topgallant studding-sails may be set with the wind one point free, or forming an angle of seven points with the keel. The lower studding-sail can only be used to advantage with the wind abaft the beam. With the wind aft and yards square, studding sails are set on both sides. The topgallant studding sail is generally set first.

The Topgallant Studding-sail. At sea, this sail is kept in the top, stowed up and down in the topmast rigging. To set it, order

Stand by to set the - topgallant stun'-sail!

Haul taut the topgallant lift.* One of the quarter-watch repairs to the topsail yard, where he converts the boom tricing-line into an "in-and-out jigger," and toggles the heel of the boom to a bull's-eye, which traverses on the jack-stay fitted for the purpose, or there may be a quarter-strap. (See Rigging Ship, p. 138.)

* It is observed that the support thus obtained is trifling. If, through neglect, the lift is not overhauled again after the studding-sail has been taken in, the yard itself will be endangered if the topgallant sail has to come in quickly.


The sail is cast loose in the top, having only a squilgee strap around it. Fig. 474. The halliards manned on deck, and the tack in the top, a hand by the sheet, and one also on the yard to assist to rig out the boom.


When the boom is sufficiently out (which will be known by the mark on it), the heel is secured, keeping it on the right slue for the tack. As the sail goes up, the topmen take in the slack of the tack. When it is above the topsail yard, out squilgee, haul out the tack, run up the halliards and finally trim down the sheet.

To Take it In. Order, Stand by to take in the topgallant stun'sail! Man the sheet and downhaul, have a. hand by the halliards, by the tack, and on the topsail yard to rig in the boom; order, Lower away! HAUL DOWN! RIG IN! Let the topmen rouse the sail well abaft the topgallant sail, keep fast the tack while you lower the halliards, or the sail will fly forward of the topgallant sail, and render the operation more difficult. When the sail is in, take the jigger off the topgallant lift, if used.

The fore and main are generally set and taken in together.

A topgallant studding-sail is fitted with a downhaul bent to the inner end of the yard, and leading down into the top; by this it may be easily hauled down in taking in, and dipped forward when necessary.

The Topmast Studding-sail. To set it, order, Stand by to set the topmast stun'sail! Get a burton on the topsail yard and haul it well taut; the upper block of the burton being generally taken to the topmast cap to give a better angle of support; get the sail out, and make up ready for sending aloft; overhaul down and bend on the halliards and tack; have one squilgee strap around the sail, and another around the halliards and outer yard-arm, to keep it up and down in hoisting; hook the in-and-out jigger on the lower yard for rigging out the boom. Having the gear manned-


When the sail is high enough above the yard to clear the brace, out squilgee! As it is run up to the topsail yard-arm, take in the slack of the tack and light the downhaul over the brace-block. Haul the tack close out, hoist the sail up taut, in the top trim the short sheet and dip the downhaul and deck sheet. As soon as the boom is out, its heel is lashed to the fore yard, and the in-and-out jigger shifted for rigging in.

In-and-out Jigger. A gun-tackle purchase is used thus: To rig out, the outer tail-block is secured to the neck of the boom-iron, the inner one to the heel of the studding-sail boom; the fall is rove through a leading block, and then down on deck. In shifting it to rig in the


boom, shift the inner block to the slings of the yard, and the other to the heel of the boom, fall leading as before.

To take in the Topmast Studding-sail. Order, Man the topmast stun'-sail downhaul! or, Stand by to take in, &c. Man the downhaul, deck-sheet, in-and-out jigger; and have hands by the halliards, tack, and short sheet in the top.

Lower away! HAUL DOWN, RIG IN! Lower away the halliards, and haul the sail down to the boom by the down-haul; then let go the tack and haul down on the downhaul and sheet together, rigging in the boom at the same time. Take the burton off the topsail yard! Make up the sail, hitch the halliards to the clew of the topsail; stop the bights of the tack, boom-brace and lower studding-sail halliards to, the pacific iron; having the tack over the fore brace. Stop in the gear along the fore yard, thence down the swifter, bights at the slings of the yard triced up by a tricing line.

The downhaul and sheets are made up with the sail.

A fore topmast studding-sail is often carried when running before a fresh breeze, such as would reduce a ship to double-reefed topsails if close-hauled; in which case the boom should be well supported. In large vessels there is a brace to the boom, but, in addition, to take the upward strain, the lower studding-sail halliards are used as a jumper, thus: Toggle them above the boom, bring the standing part down, and set it up securely in line with the boom. This acts as a martingale.

A main topmast studding-sail is carried, in some vessels, with the wind abaft the beam, and has great effect in increasing the speed. It is set and taken in like the fore.

In some vessels the topmast studding-sail tack is brought in along the yard, and the boom brace fitted with a short pendant and whip purchase, which is thought to be a proper method for a large vessel, having only the brace to attend to in trimming the yard; but generally the brace and tack are rove through the sheaves of a double-block in the main rigging, and both belayed close together.

To set a Lower Studding-sail. Order, Stand by to set the starboard (or port) lower stun'-sail! Get it out and make it up for setting; overhaul down the outer and inner halliards, and bend them on, the former to the yard, and the latter to the inner head-earing of the sail; overhaul in and bend on the outhaul to the clew; pass a stop around the sail, and secure it by a double squilgee, the tripping-line from it leading in on deck.* Haul well taut the

* The tripping-line for the topmast stun'-sail squilgee also leads on deck, that for the topgallant stun'-sail in the top. These are single. See Fig. 475, Plate 110.

Plate 110, Fig 474-475. Tripping lines on stun'-sail.

Plate 111, Fig 476. Stun'-sails set.

fore lift and brace. Man the lower boom topping-lift, and forward guy, and have a hand by the after guy. Pull well up on the inner halliards. Top up the boom, and at the order, RIG OUT! haul forward on the forward guy, and at the same time have everything manned for setting the sail.

Haul taut! HOIST AWAY, HAUL OUT! taking in the slack of the outhaul and inner halliards. When halfway up between the deck and lower yard, haul out the squilgee, and as the sail falls, haul out on the outhaul, and hoist the sail up taut to the topmast studding-sail boom; then haul out the outhaul and pull up on the inner halliards. Reeve the sheet through a thimble or block on the goose-neck of the lower boom, and haul it well taut. The lower boom is trimmed by the fore yard, so that the sail may set, as nearly as possible, parallel with the foresail.

To take In, order, Stand by to take in the lower stun'-sail! Man the clewline, sheets, and inner halliards, have hands by the outer halliards and outhaul, Ease away the outhaul! CLEW UP! The outhaul being let go, the clew is hauled up to the yard; then, Lower away, HAUL IN! Ease off the outer halliards, and haul in on the inner halliards, sheet, and clewline. When the sail is inboard and over the forecastle, Lower away the inner halliards! The sail being down, make it up. To get the lower boom alongside: Man the after guy! Tend topping lift and forward guy! Set taut! HAUL AFT! get the boom in its place and trice up the gear.

To Set all the Studding-sails on One Side. Order-

Get the starboard (or port) stun'-sails ready for setting!

Preparations are made as described, with the addition of topping up the lower boom ready for rigging out. When the officer of the forecastle reports-

"All ready forward, sir!" order

Set taut!


At this order the booms are rigged out together; the topgallant studding-sails swayed aloft and just clear of the topsail brace-blocks, the topmast studding-sail above the fore brace-block, and the inner halliards of the lower studding-sail pulled well up. The men then shorten in on the halliards, when order

Haul taut! HOIST AWAY! Fig. 475. OUT SQUILGEES!

The tacks are hauled close out and the halliards taut up. Fig. 476.

To Take them In.

Stand by to take in all the starboard (or port) stun'-sails!

When all is reported ready

Haul taut! Ease away the out-haul! CLEW UP! LOWER AWAY!


At this, the lower studding-sail is clewed up, the topmast studding-sail boom-ended, and the topgallant studding-sail started, but their tacks kept fast.


The sails and booms all come in together.

If studding-sails are to be set on both sides, at the same. time, have all hands called to "make sail," and order, Starboard watch, starboard side; Port watch, port side! Then order, Stand by to set stun'-sails both sides! and proceed as in setting on one side, taking care that the yards are square, and the lifts, burtons, and braces, well taut.

Handling Studding-Sails. In setting studding-sails in a strong breeze, if you can keep the ship away until they are becalmed, you will get them up and well set when the gear would not otherwise stand.

In bracing forward, studding-sail tacks, boom braces, jumper and topping-lifts require careful attention.

In bracing in, unless the boom brace be manned, the chances will be in favor of the boom going anywhere but in a line with the yard.

Preparatory to setting studding-sails, let the topgallant clewline be hauled taut, that the man who goes out on the topsail-yard may have something to hold on to; and in hoisting the lower studding-sail, be careful that the yard is not brought up with a jerk against the topmast studding-sail boom, as by the neglect of this point, the boom is often sprung. After the sail is set, the topping-lift should be slacked sufficiently to bring the outer leech taut.

Topgallant Studding-Sails. In setting a lee topgallant studding-sail forward of the sails, in lieu of stopping the halliards to the upper yard-arm (which is the outer one), bring them down to the lower yard-arm, so that in hoisting, the sails will capsize over, as it were, and bring the extremity, to which the halliards are stopped, uppermost. Sway higher, out squilgee and let the men on the topsail-yard cant the yard forward, which under these circumstances, may be readily done without getting foul. If the sail should be already set, and it is desirable to "dip" it forward, lower it about halfway down, ease off the tack, and let the man on the topsail-yard get hold of the outer leech. In this way the inner yard-arm is immediately canted clear of the topgallant sail.

But unless all the gear of a topgallant studding-sail is dipped forward with it, it will be awkward to handle when required to come in quickly, and the dipping is therefore not recommended.

In taking in topgallant studding-sails, ease away on the halliards and haul down the downhaul, keeping fast the tack until the yard is well inside the leech of the topgallant sail, when you may ease off the tack, and by hauling down on the sheet and downhaul, the sail comes in without difficulty.


For should the tack be started first, the sail flies forward of the topgallant sail and causes much trouble.

Topmast Studding-sails. In hauling down, ease away the tack just before the outer arm of the yard touches the boom end; and if the tack jambs, which is not unfrequent, rig in the boom at once. The leverage is great, and boom-irons are frequently broken in this way.

In dipping the main-topmast studding-sail before the sail, the wind will be just enough on the opposite quarter to glance off the topsail and blow the inner leech aft. If the course can be altered, the sail may readily be handled, otherwise the short way is to haul down, stop the bowline in on the main yard, and set the studding-sail before all.

Lower Studding-sails. Whenever the lower studding-sail has been carried with the yards much forward, get a good pull of the after-guy before starting anything, else the lower boom will fly forward when the outhaul is let go.

Should the lower boom get under the bows, and the topmast studding-sail boom be in, put the lower halliards with a bowline knot round the lower boom, and haul them out with the lower outhaul; then, with these and the topping-lift from the fore yard, it may be got up. If not, secure the heel, disconnect the goose-neck, and whip the spar up heel foremost.

Of course, if the ship can be kept away, and the fore-yard braced in, all will be easier.

The operation of taking in a lower studding-sail may be greatly facilitated by giving the ship a sufficiency of weather helm to "touch" the inner leech. Luffing under such circumstances might be attended with loss of booms.

When the jib is drawing (excepting possibly in a ship with great drift from the head booms to the foremast), the lower studding-sail cannot be doing any good service.

Other Sails. There are a few other sails, such as a gaff-topsail, which sets over the spanker; a ring-tail, which sets abaft the spanker; a save-all, under the lower studding-sail boom, and a jib-topsail, which sets flying over the jib. These are never met with in the service now, except the gaff-topsail, which is occasionally set on board the schooner-rigged gunboats, or in vessels bark-rigged.

Square Sails, &c. In loosing a sail, whether it be blowing fresh or not, the yard-arm and outer gaskets should be cast off first, for otherwise the weight of the bunt would jamb them, and render cutting necessary to get them clear.

In taking in a topsail, the weather sheet is started first, to prevent the sail from flapping, of which there would be danger if it were taken in the opposite way. This rule applies equally to courses, as the belly of the sail thus blows up against the stays, and is prevented from splitting.


Remember that the lee lower lift should be hauled well taut before starting the tack, lest the sudden upward spring of the weather yard-arm should endanger the lee leech of the topsail, and instead of letting go, ease the bowline off handsomely with the tack.

In setting either courses or topsails, in blowing weather, the rule seems to be invariable in reference to sheeting home to leeward first-the reason for which is to prevent the sails from flapping; and if the wind is quartering, the yard should be well braced in before the sails are set.

In hoisting sails, from a royal to a close-reefed topsail, the lee brace ought invariably to be let go, and the weather one tended. As the latter is eased away, and the sail hoisted, the yard will cant of itself, till the leech is taut, which is the indication of the sail being up. If everything is clear, there will be no necessity for hauling in the lee brace while hoisting.

In taking in a royal or topgallant sail, the lee sheet is started first and clewed up to spill the sail; for when blowing fresh, if the contrary practice was adopted the yard would probably fly fore-and-aft, part the brace and risk the mast, which is of far more consequence than the sail. The weather sheet must be eased off after the yard is clewed down, which can be done better by hauling in on the weather brace at the same time. Lay the yard and keep the sail well spilled with the helm until the gaskets are passed.

If before the wind, keep both sheets fast until the yard is down; then clew up and brace by.

The parrels of these yards are generally slack, and the yards should be bound when possible, against the rigging, by bracing in.

A royal carried too long before, or a studding-sail carried too long near the wind, cannot do the least good. If the "trimmer" is consulted while carrying a press of lofty sail before the wind, the ship will be found to be excessively out of trim by the head. Near the wind, the topgallant studding-sail is fore-and-aft, bellying to leeward, and taking the wind out of the topgallant sail.

In conclusion, the following general principle of handling sails may be stated:

In taking in a sail of any kind, endeavor to spill it; the more wind it holds the harder it will be to manage.

Letting go a lee sheet spills any sail, but in resorting to this method, in a fresh breeze, the sail may be split, and the larger the sail the more dangerous it is to allow of its shaking.

To relieve a ship quickly in case of danger, the lee sheet must of course be let go, even at the expense of the sail; but where it is not a question of danger, and the object is to obtain prompt and complete control of a sail, there is a


powerful agent available for the purpose of becalming canvas, and thus securing its easy management. This agent is the helm, which is often more useful than any clewlines or buntlines, and more efficacious than any number of extra hands.

With the wind forward of the beam, for instance, taking in any square sail from a course to a royal is rendered much easier by a few spokes of lee helm. Similarly with the wind abaft the beam, a topmast or lower stun'-sail is handled with comparative ease if becalmed by a like amount of weather helm.

In all cases of making or taking in sail, remember the importance of looking out for the gear tended, as well as for that which is manned.






In general a ship, trimming by the head, carries a taut weather helm. If, on the contrary, she is too much by the stern, she will carry a lee or slack helm.

When by the wind, a tremulous motion in the cloths of the mainsail will always indicate that the ship is then at the desired point of "full and by"-for when sailing thus obliquely to the breeze, the dog-vane does not show the true direction of the wind.*

When steering a course, much will depend upon the helmsman anticipating, or checking the ship in her inclination to yaw to starboard or to port; nor must he trust too much to the compass-card, but alternately watch the card, and the motion of the vessel's head passing the clouds, the sea, or any other objects which may present themselves to view, more fixed than the compass itself. In blowing weather, the feel of the helm and the force of the wind are nice criterions to judge whether the vessel be falling off or coming to. As the vessel comes to against the helm, it will appear heavier, and the wind drawing forward will seem stronger. On the contrary, as she goes off, and gives way to the power of the helm, it eases in the hand, while at the same time the wind lessens in its force as it draws more abaft. To an attentive and nice observer, these circumstances, though seemingly trifling in themselves, indicate the motion of the vessel sooner than the compass. The stars or the breaking of the waves, at night, may also assist to prevent yawing the vessel about.

* The apparent direction of the wind, shown by the dog-vane, is a mean between the velocity of the ship and that of the wind, since that direction partakes more of the greater than of the less. If the ship runs east with the wind at south, having one-fourth the velocity of the wind, the vane will show about S. by E. 1/2 E. The angle between the real and apparent direction of the wind may sometimes amount to two points or more.


The leech of the mainsail* is always best to steer by when blowing fresh; and when the wind is very light, the main royal. It frequently occurs with an old sea on, in light airs, that the sails all flap to the masts with every roll, and render it extremely difficult to tell when the ship is near the wind. If, under these circumstances, the officer of the deck will occasionally walk to the lee side, and cast his eye up on the fore part, or front of the light sails, he can more easily tell when the ship is near the wind, as the difference sometimes amounts to more than a point in the course which the ship might make.

Conning** is the art of directing the helmsman to steer the ship on her proper course by compass or by the wind; the person who performs this duty is generally the quartermaster or pilot. The following are some of the terms used in conning ship: When steering by compass or landmarks, and it is desirable that the vessel's bows should go to the left, or to port, the order is given, Starboard! Whereupon the helmsman turns the spokes of the wheel over to port, or in the same direction the ship's head is to go, and this according to the usual method of arranging the steering gear, has the effect of sending the tiller to starboard, and consequently of presenting the port side of the rudder to the action of the water.***

Hard a-starboard! means to heave the wheel over, so that the tiller will go to the extreme limit. When the vessel's head points in the right direction, the order is given, Steady! if slightly to the right of her course, needing to go very little to the left, the order is given, Steady a-starboard-that is, steady as she goes, but a little to starboard with the helm, if anything. In the same way to send the ship's head to starboard, order: Port, Hard a-port, Steady a-port. The terms wheel and helm are used indiscriminately.

Meet her! When the ship's head flies to starboard or port in obedience to the helm, then, as she approaches her course the wheel is hove, spoke by spoke, the opposite way, to check her gradually that her head may not pass the desired point.

Should the ship be standing along on a bowline, and the quartermaster perceive a cloth or two of the main-topsail to be lifting, he cries out, No higher! by which he means that the ship is not only too high, or too near the wind, but that she should go off a little. Whereupon the helmsman gives her a spoke or so, of the weather wheel. On the contrary,

* As the leech of the mainsail reaches farthest to windward, it will be the first to lift in coming to the wind.

** By a contrivance of telegraphic wires, the officer of the deck, standing on the forward bridge, can communicate his orders to the man at the wheel, and receive a response with the utmost certainty.

*** But see closing paragraph of Chap. XXI.


should the quartermaster observe that the vessel was not quite near enough, he would say, Nothing of! meaning to let her come to the wind, when the helmsman must ease the wheel and permit her to come up. When the ship is a good full and by, he says, Very well thus! Again, he orders, Luff! Let her luff! when the helmsman eases the wheel and lets her come up into the wind; if she does not come up enough the order is given, Hard down! To prevent her from going around on the other tack, the quartermaster exclaims, No higher! and to stand on again, Keep her a good full and by! or simply Full and by! meaning close by the wind with the sails full.

To keep the ship away, the order is, Let her go off! which may be followed by, Hard up! when off nearly enough, Meet her! and when heading the right way, Steady so! To haul her up to the wind again, Let her come to! Bring her by the wind! Keep her full and by! When any of these orders are given when sailing by the wind, or steering a course, you may see a bad helmsman heave his wheel over inconsiderately, giving the ship a rank sheer. This should be corrected by ordering him to give her a small helm. There are other expressions, such as, Nothing to starboard or port. "Nothing to the N'd, &c., of your course." Mind your weather wheel! Keep her a clean full! right the helm! or put it amidships; Shift the helm, or change it from one side to the other, &c. When sailing with the wind aft, the terms starboard and port are used, and the same should be observed with the wind quartering to prevent mistakes.

As a general rule, in the service, when the helm is a-starboard, the turns of the starboard wheel rope will be found to have accumulated around the forward half of the barrel of the wheel-for a port helm the turns will, be found aft. A midship helm is indicated by the midship spoke of the wheel which is made differently from the rest that it may be detected at night by the touch.

In contriving any new steering gear it is quite an important item that the working of the wheel does not differ from that to which seamen are accustomed; that is, to heave the wheel in the direction the ship's head is to go- otherwise, at some critical juncture, confusion may ensue, and probably serious disaster.

The perfection of equipping a ship with spars, rigging and sails, consists in so disposing them that the efforts of the forward and after sails to turn the ship will be so exactly balanced as not to require any continued assistance from the helm in either direction. Of the two evils, however, seamen have more patience with a ship disposed to, approach the wind than with one needing the continued action of the helm to keep her from falling off.




When a vessel is headed off from her course, the yards are braced up sharp, sheets trimmed aft, and by keeping her as near as possible to the wind, with the sails all full or drawing, she is then "close-hauled;" and the tack she is on is designated by the side of the vessel on which the wind blows; for instance-if the yards are braced up by the port braces, having the wind forward of the starboard beam, she is then "close-hauled on the starboard tack," or "has her starboard tacks aboard."

Your port of destination, or the point for which you wish to steer, being in the direction from which the wind blows, the nearest you can steer to that course, is when the vessel is close-hauled. In this case she will, if a square-rigged vessel, lie within from five and a half to six points of the wind (some vessels working nearer to the wind than others). And if, after standing on one tack a certain length of time, you "go about," and stand on the other, and so on, you are approaching the object continually, in the proportion of about one-third of the distance sailed. This is termed "working," "beating," or "turning to windward."

Tacking is the most usual method of going from one tack to the other, in moderate weather and with a good working breeze. It has this advantage over all others, that you lose nothing to leeward when it is properly performed; for vessels will frequently, if well managed, luff up head to wind, and go about, without for a moment losing their headway, but, on the contrary, gain several times their length directly to windward, while in stays.

In working to windward, the wind frequently "veers and hauls" three or four points, heading the vessel off or allowing. her to come up; this is particularly the case in the vicinity of land. The proper moment to tack in such cases, is when the wind is heading her off, for on the other tack you will evidently gain more to windward. By watching attentively, and taking advantage of such slants of wind, keeping the vessel a good full, and by the wind, you will gain much more on your course, than if you stood a certain number of miles or hours on each tack.

We will now proceed to "tack ship" under courses, topsails, topgallant sails, jib, and spanker; giving as nearly as possible the treatment for different vessels, and the necessary orders.

Ready about!

Keep her a good full for stays, see the men at their stations, viz.: a hand by the jib-sheet, hands by all the bowlines, lifts, tacks, and sheets; hands in the chains to overhaul the lee main sheet; the clew-garnets manned; topmen


at the breast back-stays, if any, and a few aloft to overhaul the lifts, and to attend to the out-riggers; a good helmsman at the wheel; a quarter-master at the conn; a few hands at the spanker sheet and lee topping-lift, and all the rest of the force at the weather main and lee cross-jack braces, lee main tack and weather main sheet. The men being at their stations, proceed as follows:

Ready! Ready! and to the man at the wheel, Ease down the helm! Fig. 477, No. 1.

Haul the spanker boom amidships. The helm being down, order

HELM'S A-LEE! Ease off the fore and jib-sheets.

Overhaul the weather lifts! She is now coming up rapidly to the wind, and as soon as the sails shake, the wind being out of the lee clew of the mainsail-


The fore and main tacks and sheets are let go and the clews of the sails hauled up by the clew-garnets, high enough to clear the hammock rails; at the same time, Shorten in the main lee tack! and weather sheet. Haul taut the lee spanker boom topping-lift, and overhaul the weather one;* and as soon as the wind is directly ahead, or a little on the weather bow

Haul taut! MAINSAIL HAUL! Fig. 477, No. 2.

The lee braces and the bowlines are let go, and the yards swung around briskly by the weather braces; hauling aboard the main tack, and hauling aft the sheet. To hasten the operation, the order is sometimes given, Haul forward the lee main tack and main to' bo'line! Brace the yards sharp up, trim them by the wind, and haul taut the weather braces and lifts; has now the sails on the foremast aback, which, with the jib, are paying her off rapidly.

Man the head braces!

Man also the fore tack, sheet and head bowlines; and as soon as the after sails take, or are full

Haul well taut! LET GO AND HAUL! To the man at the wheel, Right the helm! Brace around the head yards briskly; boarding the fore tack and hauling aft the sheet, as the yards are swung. And, as with the main, the order is frequently given, Haul forward the fore tack and head bo'lines! Brace up sharp, trim the yards. Fig. 477, No. 3.

Haul taut the lifts and weather braces! Steady out the bo'lines! The lower lifts and the braces are hauled taut, and the weather leeches of the sails hauled out by the bowlines. Keep her by the wind.

When you swing the after yards, the wind being ahead, shift over the jib sheet, when it will take the right way, and trim aft.

In vessels which are dull in stays and go off slowly after

* Not applicable to ships having but one topping-lift.

Plate 112, Fig 477-481. Tacking.

coming up head to wind, and particularly in a light breeze, it is advisable to keep the fore tack fast, to pay her off, when you rise the main tack; in which case the order will be, RISE MAIN TACK AND SHEET!

When the mainsail is not set, to haul the after yards, order-


In determining the moment to swing the after yards, you must be governed by the strength of the wind, and the qualities of the vessel. The general rule, and a safe one, is to do so when the wind is directly ahead. But with a good working breeze, and the vessel coming up briskly, it is best to haul them when the wind is about one point on the bow, before coming head to wind; for then the wind on the weather leeches of the sails forces them around smartly, and affords you time to brace up, trim the yards, and get the main tack down, before it becomes necessary to swing the head yards.

When the after yards take, and while bracing around the head yards, vessels frequently are falling off so rapidly, that before they can gather headway, they bring the wind abeam, and sometimes abaft the beam. In which case, as soon as the head yards take

Avast bracing! FLOW THE HEAD SHEETS! putting the helm a-lee, if she has headway.

As she comes up to the wind, BRACE UP! GATHER AFT! Brace up sharp, trim aft the head sheets, and meet her with the helm.

Some vessels, particularly those that carry a weather helm, requiring very little after sail when close-hauled with a stiff breeze, will not fall off after the after-yards take, and frequently will fly up into the wind while you are bracing around the head-yards; in which case, be careful not to brace round the head-yards, until she is well around; and if she flies up into the wind, let go the main sheet, and, if necessary, brail up the spanker, and haul in the lee cross-jack braces.

Should you haul the head-yards too soon, the ship may come to again, in which case, if the above method fails, Rise fore tack, and sheet, clear away the head bo'lines! BRACE ABOX THE HEAD YARDS! and box her off again.

When the helm is put a-lee for stays, it should be kept so until she looses entirely her headway; then, Right the helm! and if she gathers sternboard, Shift the helm! Fig. 478, No. 2.

If you perceive that the vessel comes up to the wind slowly, and you have any doubt of her staying, haul down the jib, haul the spanker boom well over to windward, overhaul well the foresheet, and as you rise tacks and sheets, check the lee fore-topsail brace, observing to brace it up again as soon as it is aback, and to hoist the jib or haul aft


the sheet, as soon as it will take the right way. This will, in most cases, insure the evolution, though it tends to deaden the "head reach," and should not be otherwise resorted to, except in working to windward in a narrow channel; when, having stood boldly on to either shore, particularly the weather one, you are fearful of head reaching too much in stays.


When close hauled. First, brace the lower yard up sharp, belay the lee brace, and haul taut the weather one; then trim the top-sail yard, if for a stiff breeze, with the weather yard arm about a half point abaft the lower yard, and the top-gallant trimmed by the topsail yard in the same way, and so on.*

In a light breeze with a smooth sea, when it is desirable to gain as much to windward as possible, the upper yards may be braced over the lower, and all got as nearly fore and aft as they will go, and always, except in very heavy weather, the sails should be taut up, and sheets close home or flat aft.

When the wind is abeam, if the yards be so, braced that the angles between them and the wind may be a point and three quarters greater than the angles formed by the yards and the line of the keel, that trim will produce the greatest headway.

The angle between the wind and yard should always be greater than between yard and keel, till the wind gets aft. when they are equal.

As the dog-vane is deceptive, the practical way to ascertain if the yards are laid well, is to luff the ship to by the compass a point, a point and a half, or two points, as the case may be, when if the yards are properly braced the sails will shake, thus giving the number of points free. The same may be ascertained by bracing to the mizzen topsail.

It is necessary that all sails should be trimmed to stand as flat as possible. The more a sail is made to approach to a flat surface, either by or before the wind, the better. (See SAILS.)

Fincham gives 19 ° as the angle the main yard should form with the keel, when close-hauled. This agrees with

* The upper yards should be braced in more than the lower, first, because the larger sail having greater curvature than the smaller must have its yard braced up to a sharper angle, that the plane of both may have the same angle with the keel; second, because the upper portion of the sail being attached to the yard approaches nearer to a plane than the lower part which bellies out, hence the upper part need not be so sharp, and thirdly, the lighter yards and braces require a greater angle for their support. Further, the upper yards being in, when the main royal is just lifting all the other sails are a "clean full and by," which makes it a good sail to steer by.


the general practice; for many ships work within ten points.

We find theorists saying that the wind in passing from the sails on the foremast becomes more fore and aft, when it strikes the mainsail, and that therefore the after yards should be braced sharper than those forward. But in practice it is much better to keep the fore yard sharper, so that in "luffing to," a cloth or two of the main topsail will be lifting when the weather leach of the fore-topsail is just trembling. By this means a ship is more readily kept away again. Were the suggestions of theory adopted in this case the fore-topsail might catch aback, while shivering the main, and pay the ship off on the other tack.

Rules for bracing yards are at best but general guides to practice, and the ready skill of the seaman will have to be constantly relied on in the minor details of trimming yards and sheets, in order to get all the speed out of a ship. Probably the best school for this, as well as for many other points in practical seamanship, is in squadron sailing.


The evolution of tacking may be performed in a smart working vessel, and a light breeze, by swinging all the yards together. The crew must be properly divided at all the braces, weather head and main, and lee crossjack. Then let her come up head to wind, and fall off on the other tack, shifting the helm if she gathers sternboard, until she brings the wind about five points on the other bow. Then give the order, Haul well taut! HAUL OF ALL! swinging around all the yards briskly. Right the helm! Board the fore and main tacks, and haul aft the sheets. Trim the yards and haul the bowlines. This is not a necessary operation, and only done to try the activity or force of a crew, and the qualities of the vessel.


A vessel in tacking may come to a stand before the after-yards are swung.

Assume the ship. to be on the port tack dead in the water after the order "rise tacks and sheets," to return to the same tack:

FLATTEN IN THE HEAD-SHEETS! by hauling them in amidships.

EASE OFF THE SPANKER SHEET! Should this be insufficient:

Port head braces! Clear away the head bowlines! BRACE ABOX THE HEAD YARDS! leaving the helm hard a-starboard for sternboard.


As she goes off with sternboard to starboard, DRAW JIB! and BRACE AROUND THE HEAD YARDS! As she comes to the wind again board the fore and main tacks, haul aft the sheets, steady out the bowlines, and as she gathers headway right the helm, and stand on till with enough way on. for another trial.

In Irons. But it is more common for a vessel to come up properly, and then, when the after yards have been swung, to lie dead in the water, or "in irons" as it is termed.

You must now do one of two things: either box the ship off to the old tack or wear around on the new.

Suppose the vessel to have been on the port tack, her helm is a-starboard; her after-yards braced around by the port braces; her head-yards sharp up by the starboard braces:

Leave the helm a-starboard for sternboard, haul up the mainsail, brail up the spanker, Man the port head, starboard, main and port crossjack braces! Clear away the head bowlines! Haul taut! SQUARE AWAY THE AFTER-YARDS, BRACE ABOX THE HEAD YARDS! Then,

1st. To bring her back to the old (port) tack. Fig. 479.

As she falls off to starboard, brace up the after-yards by the starboard braces. When they take, man the starboard head braces, and let go and haul as in tacking. Set the mainsail and spanker when she has fallen off enough, right the helm and stand on for another trial. Fig. 479, No. 3.

2d. To bring her around on the new tack (by box hauling), Fig. 483. As she falls off to starboard man the port after-braces and keep the after-sails lifting; when she gathers headway shift the helm (No. 3), squaring the head-yards to give her headway, and allow her to come to the wind. When the wind gets on the starboard quarter, the after-yards being sharp up on the starboard tack, set the spanker and haul aboard the main tack; as she comes to meet her with the helm and head yards. (No. 4.) Fig. 483.

From the above it will be noticed that when a ship in irons has squared her main yard and braced abox she will be either restored to the old tack or box-hauled to the new tack according to the after-braces manned. The helm in both cases remains the same as her head must go in the same direction. To go back to the former tack man the former lee braces (in this instance the starboard after-braces), to box-haul to the new tack man the former weather braces (in this case port after-braces).*

* If you could be quick enough in squaring the after yards and the ship did not tend to fall off from the wind when in irons, squaring the after yards briskly and shifting the helm for sternboard might force her around on the new track as in Fig. 480, without having to lose as much ground as in Fig. 483. But the tendency to fall off to leeward is generally too pronounced to allow of this manoeuvre in steamers under sail.

Plate 113, Fig 482-485. Missing stays.



Call all hands about ship, watch for a smooth time and ease down the helm; haul down the jib, and aft the spanker sheet as she comes to. HELM'S A-LEE! Ease off the fore sheet, keeping fast the tack to assist her around against the sea. When the wind is out of the mainsail, RISE MAIN TACK AND SHEET! Let go and overhaul the weather lifts! When the wind is nearly ahead, Haul taut! MAINSAIL HAUL! brace sharp up the after yards; get the main tack down and the sheet aft, hauling the bowlines; shift over the jib sheet and hoist away the jib as soon as it will take, and bear over the spanker boom. When she gets sternboard, shift the helm; RISE FORE TACK AND SHEET! and when the after sails fill, Haul well taut! LET GO AND HAUL! Haul forward the fore tack and head-bowlines. Should she fall off rapidly, Avast bracing! As she comes to, meet her with the helm. BRACE UP! GATHER AFT! Trim the yards; haul well taut the weather-braces and lifts, and steady out the bowlines, clear up the decks and pipe down.

The head yards should not be braced in, that the ship's headway may be preserved, that method answering only for a light breeze and smooth sea.


When near the land in a light breeze. Secure a single block of suitable size to the jib-boom end and reeve a small towline through it, bringing one end aft to the weather quarter, outside of everything, and bend it to the drag, which may be triced up to the weather main brace bumpkin. Have a hundred fathoms or so of the line ready for running out, and when all is prepared, Ease down the helm! Let go the drag! Luff around as in tacking, and having the towline well manned, when nearly head to wind, Haul taut! MAIN-SAIL HAUL! WALK AWAY WITH THE SPRING! The drag being now well on the weather quarter, the spring will easily carry the ship's head past the direction of the wind. When the after sails fill, LET GO AND HAUL! Walk the drag up to the jib-boom end, get it in board and ready for use again.

For experiments on board the practice ships, halliard-racks, lined with canvas, have been found to answer. On a lee shore, in very deep water, a sea-anchor might be used in the same way, which would be less expensive than club-hauling, by letting go a bower. Or an old boat, with a hole stove in its bottom, might answer, in which case the hawser would have to be cut as soon as the ship got around.




In clawing off a lee shore, all the sail possible must be carried. If blowing hard in squalls, the ship must be luffed through them. If blowing very hard, the topsails should be furled, and whole or reefed courses kept on her as long as possible, as she will hold a better wind.


Fig. 481, Plate 112. In working off a lee shore, against a fresh breeze and head sea, when you cannot risk missing stays, and have not room to wear, you must then resort to this evolution.

Get the lee anchor off the bows, and ready for letting go; the cable ranged, bitted, and well stoppered; bend a hawser to the ring of the anchor, lead it in at the lee quarter, and secure it well; have hands stationed at the anchor ready for letting go; a carpenter, with an axe, ready to cut away the hawser, and the armorer ready to unshackle the chain.

Station the men for stays, and proceed as in tacking, until she will come up to the wind no further; and the moment she loses her headway, let go the anchor, and brace around the after yards. As the anchor fetches her up, she will swing head to wind, bringing the head sails aback. Man the head braces! Veer away the chain! the hawser from the lee quarter springing her around to the wind on the new tack. As soon as the after sails take, Cut away the hawser! LET GO AND HAUL! swinging around the head yards. Fig. 481 (3). Bring her by the wind and right the helm; trim the yards and haul the bowlines.

You have expended, by this evolution, an anchor, part of a cable, and hawser; but if resorted to with judgment, in an extreme case, you may have saved your vessel.

The advantage of letting go the lee anchor, in preference to the weather one, is, that when it fetches her up, it will bring the wind a little on the bow from which the cable leads, and in casting, as you unshackle, the cable will run out clear of the stem.

A ship may perhaps be placed in the same situation as to the land, with the wind moderate, and the swell sufficient to make it doubtful whether she will tack or not; in such a situation a kedge might be sufficient to insure the tacking of the ship.

Club-hauling Steamers. Club-hauling, on many occasions, might be made most useful to steamers, when required to turn in a narrow channel, or in blowing weather on a lee shore, where, owing to their great length,


they cannot otherwise be brought round. In such a case, when the steamer comes head to wind, her anchor might be saved, with care and attention, as she would then have her full propelling power in the right direction, namely, head to wind and right off from danger.

To Work to Windward with another Ship in Tow. The towing hawser is secured to the bitts or mainmast and lashed amidships on the taffrail, having plenty of parcelling in the wake of all chafes. When ready for stays, direct the tow to put her helm up and veer under your lee; at the same time put your helm down, which being assisted by the towline of the lee quarter, will bring the ship's head to the wind; as soon as you have gathered headway on the other tack, the towrope will, in time, bring the tow around; if her masts are standing, let her swing the yards at the proper time, and she will be directly in your wake.


Fig. 482, Plate 113. Wearing or veering is another method of going about from one tack to the other. This is only resorted to in a good working ship in heavy weather, with a sea on the weather bow; or under easy sail, in light airs; when, in either case, the vessel has not sufficient headway for tacking. It is exactly the reverse of tacking, for you run the vessel off from her course, or the wind, until she comes around again on the other tack, having performed a sweep of some twenty points; in doing which, she must lose considerably to leeward; therefore the loss should be made as little as possible.

To Wear Ship in a Light Breeze, under courses, topsails, topgallant sails, jib, and spanker, give the order-

Stations for wearing ship!

Station the men as in tacking.

Main clew-garnets and buntlines! Spanker brails! Weather main and lee crossjack braces!

The men being at their stations as directed, order, Haul taut! UP MAINSAIL AND SPANKER! Put the helm up! Clear away the bo'lines! and as she falls off, BRACE IN THE AFTER YARDS! Keep the mizzen-topsail lifting, and the main-topsail full, the former to present no opposition to her falling off briskly, and the latter to keep up her headway, without which wearing is, in a very light breeze, a tedious operation-Overhaul the weather lifts! Fig. 482 (2).

She falls off, bringing the wind abaft the beam, and you have braced in the main yard until it is square; continue bracing the crossjack yard to keep the sail lifting, until it is braced up sharp on the other tack.


She continues falling off, and you have now the wind directly aft. Man the weather head braces! RISE FORE TACK AND SHEET! Clear away the head bo'lines! LAY THE HEAD YARDS SQUARE! Shift over the head sheets! Fig. 482 (3).

She has now the wind on the other quarter. Haul out the spanker, and brace up sharp the after yards. Man the main tack and sheet! and when manned, Clear away the rigging, HAUL ABOARD! Fig. 482 (4).

The after yards being braced sharp up, with the mainsail and spanker, bring her to the wind. The head yards being square, and the jib-sheet flowing, present no opposition to her coming to. As she comes up, brace up the head yards, Fig. 482 (5), keeping the sails full, board the fore tack, haul aft the sheet, and meet her, as she comes to, with the jib and helm. When by the wind, right the helm, trim the yards, Haul taut the lifts and weather braces! Steady out the bowlines!

To Wear Ship in a Fresh Breeze. The only difference in the evolution is, that you may, with a good breeze, having headway on that keeps her under the complete management of the helm, keep the main-topsail, as well as the mizzen, lifting as she goes off, which hastens the movement; and bracing the after yards sharp up on the other tack, before you touch the head yards. When before the wind, brace the head yards square, and brace them up as she comes to. As soon as the wind gets on the new weather quarter, haul out the spanker and board the main tack smartly, or the watch will be tardy in reaching the head braces to brace up, and will have a heavier haul in consequence.



Stations for wearing ship! Clap a stout lashing around the bunt of the foresail and yard, and have a hand in the slings in readiness to overhaul the rigging. Hook the weather storm staysail sheets, stretch along the fore tack-Man the main and mizzen staysail downhauls! and have hands by the halliards and sheets. Man the weather main, and lee crossjack braces!

In a gale, with a heavy sea, vessels lying to will come up and fall off four or five points. Watch for a smooth time, and when she is falling, off put the helm up-HAUL DOWN THE MIZZEN STAYSAIL! bracing in the after yards as she falls off, keeping the main-topsail full, and the crossjack yard pointed to the wind. Attend the lifts, as in wearing


under all sail. As the wind draws aft, ease off the main staysail sheet; and when of no further use in forcing her around, haul it down, shift over the sail, and gather aft the sheet.

If the vessel in this situation will go off no further, as is sometimes the case, man the weather fore tack, overhaul the gear, ease down the clew-garnet, and haul aboard the weather clew of the foresail; which will increase her headway, and with her helm still a-weather, will serve to pay her off. A foresail in this state is "goose-winged."

When before the wind, haul up the foresail, Right the helm! and square the yards fore and aft. Take in the slack of the fore staysail sheet. Man the main and mizzen staysail halliards and the main braces!

Watch for a smooth time, then ease down the helm, bracing up the after yards; HOIST THE MAIN AND MIZZEN STAYSAILS! and brace up the head yards as she comes to; haul taut the lifts, weather braces, and main top-bowline.

As soon as the staysails are hauled down, shift them over to the other side of the deck, and take in the slack of the sheets to be in readiness for hoisting.

To Wear under Bare Poles. Man the weather fore rigging, or place tarpaulins outside the weather fore shrouds, put the helm a-weather and work the yards as usual. Should there be any doubt of the ship wearing under the circumstances, take the precaution to send down the yards on the mizzen, also the mizzen topmast and topgallant masts; get a span on the mizzen mast, bend a hawser to it and securely belay the end inboard. Now, if she does not pay off, cut away the mizzen mast as a last resort, veer away the hawser and use it as a drag.


Fig. 483, Plate 113. This evolution may be performed in working out of a narrow passage; when, having approached the weather shore so near as to have no room for head-reaching, you are not willing to lose ground by the ordinary method of wearing.

Ready about! Station the men as for stays. Man the main clew-garnets and buntlines, and spanker brails! Put the helm down! Light up the head sheets and check the lee head braces! to deaden her headway. As the sails lift, RISE TACKS AND SHEETS! UP MAINSAIL AND SPANKER! Man the weather head, and main and lee crossjack braces.

She comes head to wind, and as soon as she loses her headway, Clear away all the bo'lines! Haul taut! SQUARE AWAY THE AFTER YARDS! BRACE ABOX THE HEAD YARDS! HAUL FLAT AFT THE HEAD SHEETS! Fig. 483 (2). The helm is right for sternboard, she is going rapidly astern, and at


the same time falling off, forming with her keel the segment of a circle, or "wearing short round on her heel."

As the after sails lift, brace them in to keep them lifting, until they are braced up sharp on the other tack; and brace square the head yards. As soon as the sails on the foremast give her headway, Shift the helm! Fig. 483 (3). The spanker boom having been shifted over on the other quarter, Spanker outhaul! Main tack and sheet! When the wind is aft, shift over the head sheets, and as soon as the spanker will take, Clear away the brails! HAUL OUT! Clear away the rigging! HAUL ABOARD! Board the main tack and haul aft the sheet.

The after yards, being braced sharp up with the spanker, head yards square, jib sheet flowing, and helm alee, she will come to the wind rapidly. Brace up the head yards as she comes to, and meet her with the helm and jib; trim the yards and haul the bowlines.

If to gain to windward in this evolution, use the helm and head sheets as in tacking; but if to avoid danger, jamb the helm hard down at once, flow the head and fore sheets and then proceed to back her around.


Some officers make a distinction between box-hauling and wearing short round, as follows:

In any sudden emergency, haul up the mainsail and spanker, man the braces as above, and, without going into the preliminary of luffing up into the wind, as in box-hauling, put the helm hard up, square the after yards, and brace abox the head yards. Fig. 484 (1). The moment she loses her headway, shift the helm for sternboard (2). After which, proceed as in box-hauling (3) and (4).

There is a decided difference in the commencement of the evolutions. Either of them may be termed box-hauling -a term derived from the circumstance of bracing the head yards abox-and both have the effect of wearing the vessel short round. By the former, you lose less ground than by the latter, for a vessel, with good headway on, will range ahead some distance after the sails are all thrown flat aback.


Beating up a river with a strong windward tide, fore-and-aft vessels may be luffed up into the wind with everything shaking, and then, as they begin to lose their way, permitted to fall off on the same tack, the tide in the meantime sweeping them up the stream very considerably. They may be thus enabled to weather a point of land, a vessel at


anchor, or other obstacle, when otherwise they would have been compelled to make a board or two to clear it.

In a tideway the half-board is of great use, but it may also be practised by ships at sea, sometimes, with great advantage, Thus, READY ABOUT! Stations for stays! Put the helm down! Flow the head sheets! The ship now flies to (for it can only be practised in a good working breeze), with everything shaking; when she has shot up into the wind a good distance, and commences to lose her way-No higher! Flatten in forward! and let her go off to a good full and by again.

When a ship is box-hauled, she may be said to make two half-boards; first, when she is luffed up into the wind, and again, when she is backed up into the wind stern foremost, by which she rather gains to windward.

To Back a Ship Around off a Lee Shore, Fig. 485, Plate 113. This evolution can be practised to very great advantage in moderate weather, and is particularly applicable when, beating in a river or channel, the ship misses stays and you have no room to wear. It may be remarked here, that this, as well as all other evolutions requiring the ship to be backed astern, should be adopted in moderate weather only, as there is danger, in a very fresh breeze and a rough sea, of injuring the pintles and gudgeons of the rudder, and straining the rudder-head. Having stood well over on one shore (position No. 2, Fig. 485), Ready about! Luff to, rise tacks and sheets, and when you judge proper, MAINSAIL HAUL! If she continues to go around, proceed as in tacking of course; but should she come to a stand-still, and refuse stays, BRAIL UP THE SPANKER! Man the head braces! and LET GO AND HAUL! as usual. You have now the wind about a point on the weather bow, everything hard aback and the helm a-lee (No. 3). With this arrangement of canvas she will soon gather sternboard and pay off rapidly at the same time, bringing the wind abeam, with everything aback, thus sailing astern. But the helm and the head sails cause her stern to luff into the wind, and the after leeches of the topsails will soon commence lifting.* The wind now gets aft, and the sternway, which has been decreasing, will cease, when the helm must be shifted. She now commences to forge ahead, the after leeches of the mainsail, main and mizzen topsails being full. As soon as it will take the right way, haul out the spanker and bring the ship by the wind on the new tack.

With a slow-working ship, or in a light breeze, you cannot back around stern to wind so easily, but, bringing the

* The sails, being hard aback, have the effect of heeling the ship and burying the lee quarter, thus causing her stern to luff more rapidly to the wind, than if the after yards were square, as in box-hauling.


wind on the quarter, a vessel will stand so and commence coming to the wrong way. This the judgment of the officer will anticipate and prevent by laying the head yards square (No. 4), which will give her headway; and the helm being shifted, will bring her around, assisted by the after leeches of the after sails and spanker, when it will take (No. 5). In light weather the mainsail may be left down. This is good exercise for the class in charge of the deck during the practice cruise.*


This evolution, though the most common in the whole practice of seamanship, nevertheless involves points of the nicest judgment and skill to effect its proper performance. In the first place, care must be taken that the ship be by the wind, not rap full; nor jambed up to such a pitch as to have no headway at all; but simply, so that all the sails may draw without trembling, and when the least touch of lee helm will cause them to shake. Again, do not put the helm down suddenly, but gradually, spoke by spoke, which gives the vessel all her velocity in coming to the wind, increasing her distance to windward, and keeping her under command after the after yards are swung. If, on the contrary, the vessel be suddenly brought to the wind by the helm being put down all at once, the ship will most certainly lose her way, and consequently have sternboard before the head yards are touched. This often leads to missing stays. And here arises another point, viz., the order, "helm's a-lee," should not be given until the jib lifts, for so long as the sail is full, it is manifestly of service to the ship in staying; and when it shakes it is of no use, and then the sheet may be let go. If, on the contrary, the sheet be eased off beforehand, the sail begins immediately to "flap," and so it will continue until it fills on the other tack, or has altogether prevented the vessel from coming head to wind. The same may be said of the fore-sheet; and hence it is that officers often run the lee clew of the fore-sail well up at the order, "Rise main tack and sheet," which should be given when the lee leech of the mainsail lifts. The fore tack, however, should not be eased until after "mainsail haul," for otherwise the entire strain and pressure of the foresail (and that aback to), is thus brought upon the bowline.

With the spanker, the sheet must be hauled aft gradually, as the luff of the sail lifts, until the boom is amidships.

* When beating through the narrow entrance of Narraganset bay, on the night of. the 25th of September, 1863, in a fresh whole topsail breeze, the U. S. practice ship Macedonian missed stays twice, and was saved from going on the rocks by the performance of this evolution.


It is a common error to haul the sheet flat aft at once, thus making a back sail of it.

If the mainsail be hauled before the wind comes ahead, the main yard will fly around of itself; but if it be not hauled until the wind comes ahead, or on the other bow, it will occasion a very heavy and tedious haul. Instead, therefore, of watching the lifting of the spanker or the movements of the dog-vane, observe, rather, when the weather leech of the main topsail is well aback, as the indication when to haul the after yards; and right the helm when the wind fills the leech on the other tack. The head yards are then hauled as soon after as possible, observing, first, however, to brace and trim all sharp up aft.

In doubtful cases the windward flap of the spanker will admonish you to haul the main yard; and the pennant at the main will more truly indicate the direction of the wind than the vanes.

In tacking under double-reefed topsails, the practice of bracing to the head yards, while the ship has headway, should never be resorted to, as tending to destroy not only the effect of the rudder, which is of most consequence, but to check the velocity altogether. Under these circumstances, as soon as the vessel comes up head to sea, and loses her way, put the helm amidships, and as she gathers sternboard shift it gradually.

In their zeal to shift over the head sheets, forecastle-men sometimes make a back-sail of the jibs, causing the ship to refuse stays.

When about to make a good haul of the yards, a few hands should run away with the slack of the brace, the greater number standing by to clap on as soon as the slack is through.

Should a lee top-gallant or royal brace jamb in stays, start the sheets at once.

When there is much sea on the bow, or when there is a swell with little wind, the ship will require coaxing. Take opportunities when she is inclining to come to, to haul the head sails down; ease the-,helm down, haul over the boom, and check the head bowlines and lee head braces. The main yard should not be hauled, nor head sails reset, nor fore tack started until the wind is decidedly on what was the lee bow. The later the haul of the main yard, the heavier will be the work; and as allowing it to bring up square for even a short time would probably cause the ship to miss stays, care should be taken to insure a good haul.

Should a squall strike the ship in stays, up mainsail and spanker, in royals and top-gallant sails, and slack the weather-head braces. If the squall is very heavy, get the vessel before the wind, and clew down; otherwise let go and haul.




In ordinary cases, let the weather braces be started in before putting the helm up, and keep the main topsail leeches lifting;* this will bring the ship around (provided she had good headway at the offset) in a very short space. Observe, however, to put the helm up gradually, and to a brace the after yards entirely round, by the time the ship gets before the wind, letting go the lee head braces when the wind gets well abaft, as the forward yards will thus fly nearly square, and save some little pulling and hauling. When the wind draws on the other beam, meet her with the helm, jib, and lee head braces as she comes to.

If a vessel will wear readily, in place of taking in, or. lowering a fore-and-aft mainsail altogether, it is better to drop the peak only.

In regard to keeping full the main topsail, while wearing, much depends upon the situation of the mainmast, which, owing to the position of the engine, may step unusually far aft, and the main topsail, by that means, become a luffing sail.

As boats may be made to steer by trimming, so a ship can be made to pay off by bringing the crew aft.


When performing any evolution in the line, if sail will insure it, do not hesitate to make a sufficiency, even if it. should be taken in immediately afterwards. Missing stays, or taking up much time and space in wearing, throws other ships into danger and disorder.

You may have been carrying enough sail to keep your station, but it does not follow that you have enough to carry you round when the signal for an evolution is made. If your leader is dull, but doing his best and in his station, of course you must not encroach on him; but you must be handy with your canvas, and sharp in freshening your way with it, just before your own turn comes to go about.

When about to leave the main yard square in stays, make a late haul, else the brace will go.

The rule for going about in succession in close order in the line is, to put the helm down when your next ahead is four points on the weather bow; in open order, five points.

In wearing, shiver your after-yards, when your leader is dead to leeward.

As ships when sailing in line are not at liberty to disturb

* An exception to this occurs in very light weather, when it is essential that. the vessel should have headway to help her go off.


the order of sailing, it should be borne in mind that those emergencies requiring a vessel to be hove to, veered or luffed around on the other tack, must be provided for in some other manner.

This applies to steaming as well as sailing.


Having notified the ship of your intention, she will run a little free under easy sail; run along the weather side of the vessel, and when abreast of her, throw overboard a buoy with a light line attached. The ship to be towed grapples the buoy and hauls a hawser aboard.

The vessel to be towed may send her boats with a light line, to haul in the hawser.

Previous Part
Previous Part
Seamanship Home Page
Seamanship Home Page
Next Part
Next Part


Copyright © 1997-2013, Historic Naval Ships Association.
All Rights Reserved.
Legal Notices and Privacy Policy
Version 3.01