HNSA Crest with photos of visitors at the ships.





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

TO BOX OFF. (Fig. 486.)

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

The Wind, still Drawing Aft, is now


Abeam. Brace in the after yards as much as the wind will allow, keeping the sails full. Then brace in the head yards, taking in the slack of the topgallant studding-sail tacks. Ease off the fore, main, spanker, and head sheets, and set the topmast studding-sail, if not already set.

A vessel is "going large" when the direction of the wind makes a greater angle than six points (67° 30') with the course; and when the wind is abeam or a little abaft, forming more than a right angle with the course, then all the sails feel the full force of the wind, and the velocity of the vessel ought to have gained its maximum.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


first; and when it hauls ahead, the head yards should be braced up first.

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


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

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

Dipping lee topgallant studding-sails is not recommended.

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

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

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


or if the jib had been hauled down, Man the jib halliards! Clear away the downhaul! HOIST AWAY! Haul taut the weather lifts and braces! Haul out the studding-sail tacks!

The Wind Hauls Abeam. Stand by to take in the lower studding-sail! When ready, Haul taut! CLEW UP! Lower away! HAUL IN! Get the lower boom alongside, brace up a little the yards, overhauling the lee lower lifts. Man the main tack! Ease down the weather clew-garnet, HAUL ABOARD! Trim aft the jib sheet, fore, main and spanker sheets.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Plate 115, Fig 494-501. Calm illustrations.

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



IN the previous chapter, we counter-braced the yards in a calm to prepare for a breeze, but yards are frequently braced in this manner, with a breeze, for the purpose of heaving to; in any case where you may wish to remain stationary.

The most common practice in vessels sailing alone, is after hauling up the mainsail, to brace square the main yard-that is, yards on the main mast-having the fore and cross-jack yards braced full, foresail, spanker, and jib, set. Though the sails on the main mast are aback, she will range ahead slowly.

To stop her way still more, brace the cross-jack yards square, haul up the foresail and put the helm a-lee; she will rarely range ahead under this arrangement of the sails, but will fall off and come to, which you may regulate by easing off, or hauling aft, the spanker and jib sheets.

Or you may brace abox the head yards, and keep the after ones full. The after sails will keep her by the wind, while the head sails will deaden her headway.

It must depend entirely upon circumstances which method is resorted to.

Two vessels communicating, the weather one braces aback her main yard, the lee one her head yards; then, on any sudden emergency, as a squall, the weather one throws all aback and drops astern, while the lee one shivers her after yards, fills her fore topsail, and falls off. Fig. 500, Plate 115.

If there are three vessels, the centre and weather ones back their main yards, and the lee one as before; then, in case of necessity, the weather one fills her after yards and shoots ahead, the centre one backs astern, and the lee one proceeds as before. Fig. 501.

Sailing in squadron in "order of sailing," those vessels which have the advantage in speed over others, are obliged frequently, besides reducing sail, to back the mizzen topsail, for the purpose of keeping in their stations. This is


frequently done in preference to furling royals and topgallant sails. A fast-sailing vessel will sometimes keep her station for hours, with her mizzen topsail aback.



After hauling up the courses, commence as in bringing to the wind, brace the mizzen topsail sharp up, put the helm down, and when the spanker will take the right way, haul it out. Keep the main topsail square, and meet her, as she comes to, with the helm, and by bracing up the head yards, and hauling aft the head sheets. Fig. 498, Plate 115.



After hauling up the courses, brace up the main and mizzen topsails, when you put the helm down; keeping the head yards square, and hauling flat aft the jib-sheet. It may be necessary to meet her with the helm, and ease the spanker sheet, before she loses her headway, to prevent her coming around or going about. Fig. 499, Plate 115.

If a vessel has a rapid headway when the necessity for heaving to occurs, settle down the topgallant sails and royals, or clew them up; for these sails, when thus thrown aback, receive the full impulse of the wind, increased by the headway of the vessel, and the mast thus pressed has not a sufficient support from its stay.

To Fill Away, after lying to with the main topsail to the mast: Right the helm! haul aft the head sheets! and board the fore tack. As she falls off, brace up the after yards, set the mainsail, and trim to the course. If from lying to with the fore topsail to the mast: Right the helm! shiver the after sails and haul aft the jib-sheet. As she falls off, brace around the head yards. Meet her with the helm, and trim to the course.

In the foregoing cases, vessels are said to be "Lying to with the main topsail to the mast;" "Fore topsail to the mast;" "After yards aback;" or, "Standing on with the mizzen topsail aback."

Ships running with the wind aft may decrease their speed by "bracing by," thus spilling the wind out of their sails.




When a modern vessel, close-hauled, is to be handled during a squall, the weight of evidence is in favor of her luffing and reducing sail with all possible dispatch.

The tendency of the vessel is to luff of herself, as the resistance under the lee bow. is greater than that under the opposite bow, in the ratio of the ship's inclination. Moreover, if the ship puts her helm up immediately, sail cannot be shortened till the wind is abaft the beam, to reach which she must pass a point where the whole force of the squall will be exerted upon her.

A long modern ship is slow in paying off, and would hang at this dangerous point even longer than a short old-fashioned vessel.

An argument against luffing is the danger of getting taken aback. But the luffing should be done with a steady helm, being quick to meet her when she trembles.

This recalls the point that, when close-hauled, the after yards should always be in sufficiently to have their sails touch, while, at the same time, the head yards stand full.

The vessel being under reduced canvas, and luffing to the squall, should it then come so heavy as to endanger her spars, she may go off by letting fly the lee topsail sheets, and clewing up the mizzen topsail.

A vessel running free when struck by a squall, should keep away, reducing sail as necessary.

Attention is called to the value of trysails in squally or heavy weather.

These fore-and-aft sails can be carried when courses have to be hauled up. When set, they assist in giving the ship that headway without which her rudder is of no use.



Take in the royals, flying-jib, mainsail, and spanker. Take in topgallant sails, clew down the topsails, haul out the reef-tackles, haul up the buntlines, and belay the topsail clewlines. Set fore topmast staysail and haul down the jib. Receive the squall under this sail. Have a hand by the fore sheet.

If the squall comes so heavy as to endanger your spars, let fly the lee topsail sheets; clew up mizzen topsail, up helm, ease off fore sheet to relieve the pressure under the lee bow, and run before the wind. Clew up fore and main topsails, and haul up foresail.


Haul by the wind and make sail after the squall has passed.

If by the wind under topsails and foresail you are struck by a squall, clew down the topsails, luffing to touch the leeches. The helm must be carefully attended.


Sailing with the wind on the starboard quarter, under royals, flying-jib, staysails, and all starboard studding-sails, you are struck by a heavy squall.

The first and most important thing to be done is, to get your vessel before the wind, which destroys greatly its force, and becalms many of the sails; and the next is, to reduce sail as expeditiously as possible.

Hard up! LET GO THE MAIN AND SPANKER SHEET, AND OUTHAUL! Clew up the royals and topgallant sails, and haul down the topgallant studding-sails and flying-jib, clew down the mizzen topsail, haul up the mainsail and spanker, then take in the lower and topmast studding-sails, and haul down the staysails, rig the booms in, and take the burtons off the yards. When before the wind, right the helm, clew down the topsails, haul out the reef-tackles, and up the buntlines, haul down the jib and hoist the fore topmast staysail. In the meantime, furl the topgallant sails and_ royals, and stow the light sails; and you may now run before the squall until it moderates, or bring by the wind and reef, before keeping on your course.

The lower and topmast studding-sails assist in paying her off, and should be kept on if possible, until she is before the wind, for a vessel in a squall is apt to fly up into the wind, unless means are taken promptly to prevent it by the helm and sails.

In taking in the spanker quickly, when going large, haul down the head before starting the foot outhaul. This makes the sail much easier to handle.


In most cases an officer who keeps a vigilant watch can see the approach of a squall and anticipate it by reducing sail and be ready to brace yards and meet it; for rarely do squalls occur without something to mark their approach-either the appearance of the clouds and horizon or the commotion on the water, the latter cannot be mistaken and invariably marks the advance of a sudden and violent squall.

No part of the horizon should escape his observation during the watch even in the finest weather with a steady


breeze. It will encourage a habit that must turn to good account, and never be a useless one; he may see by this, the approach of a squall from a point directly opposite to the breeze, which appears to be a steady one, and prepare himself by reducing sail in time.

Too much cannot be said in censure of an officer in charge of the deck, intrusted with the safety of a public vessel, and the lives of hundreds of persons, who, performing his duty negligently, allows a squall to strike him without seeing its approach, and consequently unprepared to meet its effects; by allowing other matters to occupy his thoughts and attention during his watch, he is thrown entirely off his balance at any unusual occurrence, creates, by his manner and conduct, confusion among the men, and losing their confidence, at the same time loses their respect, and proper deference to his orders.

Never trust a squall which cannot be seen through, for when a heavy squall strikes the ship, you can seldom reduce sail without losing it.


With the Wind Abeam or forward of the Beam.

The moment the cry of "man overboard" is heard, order:



As she comes to, issue the following orders distinctly and in a manner that will cause instant obedience:

Silence fore and aft!


Main clew garnets and buntlines!

Weather main and lee crossjack braces!

Clear away the after bowlines!


The moment the lee braces and bowlines are let go, the yards (from being already in the wind) will fly around of themselves; then keep the head yards full to steady her, while the after ones stop her headway.

While this is being done, the boat is ready for lowering, with a crew and officer in her. Lower away! and direct them which way to pull.

In smooth water, and when the boat has but a short distance to go, remain hove to and await the return of your cutter, making all preparations for hoisting. With a fresh breeze and heavy sea, bear up after the departure of the life boat, run down to leeward of her and heave to on the same tack as before, in readiness for hoisting.

In all cases of sudden heaving to, light well up the head sheets.


With the Wind Abaft the Beam.

Assume the ship to have the wind on the starboard quarter, with the starboard studding-sails set, the principle being the same, however, under any disposition of canvas with the wind abaft the beam.

Luff to with the head yards to the mast, using the following orders:




Lee main, weather crossjack braces!


Let fly the stunsail tacks and sheets!


Fore and main clew garnets and buntlines!


By this arrangement of canvas the ship is hove to with the head yards to the mast, and may be held steady till the return of the boat. Let the officer of the forecastle haul down the stunsails and get things to rights forward. The booms may be left out.

In this case the boat pulls off the weather beam.

Wind aft, and Studding-sails both sides.

Round to on either tack (the particular one determined in the mind of the officer when taking charge of the deck), brace up the after yards and luff to with the head yards square.

Give the following orders, if to come to on the starboard tack:




Man the port main, starboard crossjack braces, spanker outhaul!


Let fly the starboard studding sail tacks! CLEW UP THE STARBOARD LOWER STUDDING SAIL!

Take in the lee stunsails as fast as possible, then the weather ones. Up courses and reduce sail as necessary.

The boat pulls off the weather beam.


The best authorities agree that a smart working ship, which is sure in stays, should go about on losing a man overboard with the wind abeam or forward of the beam; leaving the main yard square on the other tack and lowering the boat in stays.


In such a ship, when on a wind, order: Ready about! LET GO THE LIFE BUOY! CLEAR AWAY THE WEATHER CUTTER!

Proceed as in tacking. At the order: RISE MAIN TACK AND SHEET! haul up the mainsail; keep fast the fore tack to pay her around. Make a late "maintopsail haul" or the main brace may carry away; leave the main-yard square. Shift the helm for sternboard, and when ready, RISE FORE TACK! and LET GO AND HAUL! Do your utmost to get the boat lowered before the ship gathers sternboard. If this proves impossible, you may save trouble by waiting till the stern-board ceases before lowering.

The great merit of this plan is that the ship when around drifts right toward the man and the boat.

If the boat is in distress, or her crew exhausted, the ship will be in position to afford prompt assistance.

Unfortunately this practice is limited to vessels that can be relied upon to tack, and therefore cannot be adopted by the average modern steamer cruising under sail.

Particular attention may now be directed to other matters connected with this important manoeuvre.

The life-buoy look-out should watch for the appearance of the man before dropping the buoy. A cool hand will drop the buoy within a few feet of the man-another will either not let it go at all or drop it before the man reaches the stern. The buoy dropped, the look-out should keep the man in sight until the persons specially detailed for this purpose reach their stations in the mizzen rigging, and can get the bearing from the look-out.

It is not entirely advisable for the life-buoy look-out to leave his station himself and go into the rigging-as he may be required to let go the other life-buoy-in case of an accident to the life boat when lowering.

In coming to the wind in a fresh breeze, clew up the royals and settle the topgallant halliards.

In bracing around, letting fly gear, &c., do not forget to warn men on the yards to look out for themselves.

Be smart in hauling up the mainsail; if you allow the main-yard to fly square before the mainsail (or at least one of its clews) is out of the way, it will defy the efforts of the whole watch to haul it up.

There is generally more mischief done in lowering the boat too soon than by waiting for the proper moment. Lower when the ship has slight headway, and at all events before she gathers sternboard.

If sailing in squadron, make the preconcerted "accident" signal as soon as possible, and at night run up your position lights without delay.

In giving your orders, substitute the words, STARBOARD and PORT, for lee and weather, whenever practicable, especially in manning the boat and gear. The cry of man overboard brings all hands on deck, and if greeted with


unmistakable orders they know what to do and where to go. This precaution is of special value on a dark night, or when the ship is nearly before the wind.

Every ship should have men told off for the following purposes:

To tend the life-boat falls.

To keep the man in sight.

To hoist and tend signals of "Pull to port;" Pull to starboard;" "You go well;" and to display lights or fire rockets showing ship's position.

A Very signal fired in the direction of the man will often reveal his position in the water, if not too distant.

Success in saving the man depends on the coolness of the officer of the deck and of the look-out at the life-buoy, and upon the normal condition of the boats.

The officer of the deck should-

First. Keep cool himself and preserve order.
Second. Let go the buoy and keep the man in sight.
Third. Put the helm down.
Fourth. Heave to.
Fifth. Lower the life-boat.
Sixth. Get matters to rights and prepare for hoisting the boat.

Life-Buoys. The service life-buoy consists of two oblong copper tanks, connected by cross-pieces through which passes a central spindle. At the upper end of the spindle is placed a port-fire. A flat piece of iron at the lower end supports the feet and keeps the buoy upright in the water. It is recommended to paint the buoys with phosphorescent paint.

The buoy is attached to the stern by a chain slip. A handle inboard disconnects the slip when pulled upon, and drops the buoy; another handle, close to the first, fires the port-fire. The handle to port is for the port-fire.

Many ships overcome the clumsiness of this arrangement by adapting the action of one handle to disconnect and set off the port fire simultaneously. The buoy is primed by the gunner every night at sunset, and the primer removed again by him the next morning. A personal duty.

To float on this buoy, place the feet on the weight, grasp the spindle abreast of the copper tanks with one hand, and above with the other hand; in this position you will float with your head out of water. By attempting to get as high out of the water as possible, the buoy will invariably be capsized.

Circular life-buoys should be distributed about the upper deck, for in the long modern ships a buoy thrown out from the gangway often falls closer to the man than one thrown from aft.

To use the circular buoy, the man slips it over his head and rests his arms upon it on either side.


A few exercises in picking up buoys and lowering lifeboats under various circumstances at sea will accustom both the officer of the deck and the watch to that kind of work.

It would be well, also, when the crew are sent in bathing, to drop the life-buoys and allow the men to form some idea of the manner in which they are to be used, and of their sustaining power.


In a light breeze, with the wind free and all sail set, soundings may be taken without reducing sail, thus Luff the ship up; if the lower stun'sail is set haul up the clewline, and keep the sails lifting, without allowing them to catch aback, which can readily be done by a proper management of the helm; she will lose her headway sufficiently for the purpose, and still be under control of the helm. The soundings being taken, keep her off to her course, and haul out the lower stun'sail.

The operation of obtaining soundings, particularly when going large, affords a fine opportunity for the display of skill and judgment in handling a ship. Celerity and certainty are generally aimed at, but very frequently is the latter needlessly sacrificed to the former. Full preparation should be made first with the lead and line. The sails and helm must then be managed so as to bring the ship as nearly stationary as possible without endangering the spars. As soon as the headway ceases, or nearly so, get a fair up and down cast, and fill away.

The common error is to get a cast with too much way on. Instead of saving, this only wastes time, for if the soundings are necessary at all, they should be determined correctly.

On a wind, haul up the mainsail and back the main topsail. In addition to this, the mizzen topsail may be thrown aback if found necessary to deaden the ship's way.




Reefing and Hoisting- When it becomes necessary to reduce sail by reefing topsails, if all hands are to be employed, direct the boatswain to call:

REEF TOPSAILS! The men being on deck:

Man the topsail clewlines and buntlines, weather topsail braces! Hands by the lee braces, bowlines, and halliards!

A few hands take through the slack of the reef-tackles.* When ready-

Clear away the bowlines, round in the weather braces! Settle away the topsail halliards! CLEW DOWN! Brace the topsail yards in so that the lee topmast rigging may not prevent them from being clewed down to the cap; haul up the buntlines, and the slack of the reef-tackles while the yard comes down; and when it is down on the cap, steady the yard by the lee braces, and haul taut the halliards. (The latter precaution is too commonly neglected.)



ALOFT TOPMEN! TRICE UP! LAY OUT! TAKE ONE REEF! Light out to windward. Pass the weather earing, rousing the reef-cringle well up; then haul out to leeward; hauling the reef-band well taut; pass the lee earing and tie the points or toggle the beckets.

While the men are reefing, luff the ship up and spill the sail, that they may gather it up readily.


Stand by the booms!

DOWN BOOMS! LAY DOWN FROM ALOFT! Man the topsail halliards! Let go and overhaul the rigging! Clear away the buntlines, clewlines, and reef-tackles, and have them lighted up. Tend the braces! Let go the lee ones, and stand by to slack the weather ones. Set taut! HOIST AWAY THE TOPSAILS! When up to a taut leech, Belay the topsail halliards! Trim the yards, Steady out the bowlines! and pipe down.

Frequently topgallant sails are set when about to reef

* If the reef-tackles reeve through a sheave in a treble quarter-block under the topsail yard, they act as downhaul tackles when hauled upon, and should be manned. But avoid endangering the yard-arms by putting undue strain upon such reef-tackles while clewing down.


topsails. If you intend to set them again after the topsail is reefed, clew the sail up, and after the topsail is reefed and hoisted, sheet home and hoist the topgallant sail over the single reef.

If the wind still increases, and it becomes necessary to reduce sail still further, clew up and furl the topgallant sails, then take a second and a third reef, proceeding as in the first, having each successive reef-band immediately below the preceding one.

And to reduce sail still further, by taking the last or close reef, pass the earings abaft and over the yard, bring the reef-band under the yard, and covering the other reefs. It will be necessary in this reef to haul the reef-tackles close up, to do which you will be obliged to start a little of the topsail sheets, or to brace in a little of the lower yards.

After taking the third reef in the topsails, it is advisable to get preventer braces on the weather topsail yard-arms, particularly if the braces are much worn.

After hoisting a close-reefed topsail, haul taut the reef-tackles, so that they may bear a strain to relieve the reef earing, and be particular that the yard is hoisted clear of the lower cap. Send the men down from aloft, haul home the sheets, trim the yards, and haul the bowlines.

The mizzen topsail is generally furled when the fore and main are close reefed.

To Reef Topsails before the Wind, you may, by putting the helm either way, and bringing the wind abeam, clew the yards down as the sails lift, and keep her in this position until they are reefed; or if you wish to, continue on your course, wind blowing very fresh, brace by, spilling the wind out of the sails.

To Reef a Course. Having the reef-pendants hooked to their cringles, on the leeches of the sail, hook the clew-jigger to the thimble in the upper end of the pendant; Man the clew-garnets, buntlines and leechlines! and haul the sail up as in a fresh breeze. Haul well taut both lifts. HAUL OUT THE REEF-TACKLES! slacking the clew-garnets, if necessary, to get them well up. LAY ALOFT LOWER YARDMEN! Man the boom tricing-lines! TRICE UP, LAY OUT AND REEF! Proceed in reefing as in taking the first reef in a topsail, being careful to secure every reef point to the jack stay. LAY IN! DOWN BOOMS! LAY DOWN FROM ALOFT! Let go and overhaul the reef-tackles, and set the sail.

Topgallant sails have sometimes reef-bands fitted with points, and may be reefed as you would reef a topsail, but this is rarely done. When it blows too fresh to carry a whole topgallant sail over a single-reefed topsail it is time to furl it.

A topmast studding-sail, when set with a reefed topsail before the wind, may also be reefed; this is done on deck before setting the sail.

Plate 116, Fig 502-505. Reef earings.

Reef Earings - Reef Points and Beckets. In reefing, as soon as the men are on the yard, the sail is picked up with both hands, the men facing to leeward and hauling out to windward. The weather earing being passed, Haul out to leeward! passing the lee earing in the same manner as the weather one. Haul the reef-band well taut, and turn the folds (dog's ears) of both leeches in between the sail and the yard.

To pass a bull earing for the first or second reef of a topsail, Fig. 502, Plate 116. The end passes from aft forward through the reef-cringle; haul the cringle well up on top of the yard, then take one round turn of the earing around the yard and outer parts without passing through the cringle, after which take three turns round the yard and through the cringle, hitching the ends to the lift close down to its eye-bolt.

The first turn is taken outside the cringle to jam the thwartship parts and keep the cringle from sagging down.

For description of a bull earing, see Earings, under SAILS, Chapter X.

To pass an ordinary earing for a topsail. For the first reef, if so fitted, as in Fig. 503, Plate 116, take the earing up from the sail and pass it on the forward side and over the yard around the inboard cleat, through the cringle, then take one turn around the yard outside the cringle, to jam the outer turns. Then reeve the bight of the earing through the cringle from aft forward, and pass the end from the cringle under the yard up over and through the bight, then back over the yard and through the cringle from underneath the yard. Slue the cringle well up, pass sufficient turns to secure, expend the end round the yard, finally taking a half-hitch around the lift close down.

The second and third reef earings are passed in the same way, using the outer cleats, and with additional outer turns if required.

First and second reef earings are now generally bull earings, as described above.

The fourth or close reef earing is passed similar to other (ordinary) earings, with the exception of taking the first turns on the after instead of the forward side of the yard. Fig. 504, Plate 116.

If the close reef were fitted with beckets, it would be taken like the others, and the first turns of the earing taken forward, as usual.

Reef earings of a course. The course being hauled up, the first reef earing is then passed from forward aft around the lift bolt, back over the top of the yard and through the cringle. Take the inner turns through the cringle and around the yard, the same as for a topsail, hitching the end around the brace-block bolt. Fig. 505, Plate 116.

The second reef earing is passed in the same way.


The use of outer turns of a reef earing is merely to keep the head of the sail on a stretch, the inner turns taking the whole strain of the leech when the sail is hoisted and bowline hauled.

Reef points of a topsail. The reef earings being secured, pass the after reef points up from under the yard and clear of the topgallant sheets (i.e., between the topgallant sheets and the yard), pull the sail well up forward, and join the forward and after parts of each point with a square knot on top of the yard. Be particular that the reef points are all tied.

Reef points of a course are taken with a round turn around the jackstay, and each pair square knotted forward of the jackstay.

Reef beckets have their tails passed through the reefing jackstay on the sail, and toggled to their own parts, as soon as both earings-are passed.

To Shake or Turn a Reef out of a Topsail. Settle a little of the topsail halliards! Haul taut the reef-tackles and buntlines! to take the strain off the leeches of the sail and reef-earing. Send aloft the sail loosers. Cast off the reef-points or beckets from the slings, as they lay out, and have the earings ready to ease away; when the reef-points are all clear, EASE AWAY! LAY IN! LAY DOWN FROM ALOFT! Let go and overhaul the rigging! Reef-tackles, buntlines, clewlines, topgallant studding-sail tacks, and topgallant sheets are overhauled. Man the topsail halliards! Tend the braces! HOIST AWAY THE TOPSAILS! Trim the yards, and if on a wind, haul the bowlines.

To Turn a Reef out of a Course, proceed as in a topsail, easing off the tack and sheet to relieve the strain on the leeches of the sail, while you are hauling taut the reef-tackles; when done, haul aboard the tack, and aft the sheet.



Sailing with the wind on the starboard quarter under royals, flying-jib, staysails, and all the starboard studdingsails,-a signal is made to come to on the port tack, with the main topsail to the mast, under single-reefed topsails.

In obeying this signal, it will be your object to reduce sail, and reef your topsail in wearing. Order the boatswain to call:

SHORTEN SAIL! When ready: Stand by to take in the stun'sails, staysails, royals and flying-jib! When everything is well manned, order, Haul taut! IN STUN'SAILS AND ROYALS, DOWN STAYSAILS AND FLYING-JIB! Rig in and get alongside the booms, take the burtons off the topsail yard,


and jiggers off the topgallant lifts. Furl the royals, haul down and stow the staysails and flying-jib, make up and stow away the studding-sails.


Man the topgallant clewlines, lee main clew-garnet, and buntlines! Spanker brails! When manned, IN TOPGALLANT SAILS! UP MAINSAIL AND SPANKER! Haul the mainsail up snug.

Stations for wearing! And proceed as directed in "Wearing," until the wind is right aft; when, the after yards being square, square also the head yards. Shift over the head sheets!

Man the topsail clewlines, buntlines, and reef-tackles! Lay aloft topmen! Settle away the topsail halliards! CLEW DOWN! HAUL OUT THE REEF-TACKLES! HAUL UP THE BUNTLINES! Steady the topsail yards by the braces. TRICE UP! LAY OUT! TAKE ONE REEF IN THE TOPSAILS! Shift over the spanker boom.

The vessel going around, brings the wind on the port quarter; brace up the cross-jack yard, and as she comes to, bringing the wind abeam, meet her with the helm, haul aft the jib-sheet, brace up the fore yard, and haul forward the port fore tack. LAY IN! DOWN BOOMS! LAY DOWN FROM ALOFT! Man the topsail halliards! Clear away and light up all the rigging. Tend the braces! HOIST AWAY THE TOPSAILS! Having mast-headed the topsails, brace up and trim the fore and mizzen topsail yards. Haul taut the lifts and braces, and pipe down.

Use the spanker, if necessary, to keep the topsails lifting while you are reefing; and when reefed, to bring her by the wind, and keep her from falling off.

After taking in the studding-sails, being in a hurry to perform the remainder of the evolution, merely remove them from out the way of the rigging, and make them up while the topmen are reefing, or after the evolution is completed.

Reefing Topsails and Courses. These evolutions are sometimes performed at the same time, but it is considered more ship-shape to defer reefing the courses until the topsails are reefed and reset. By so doing, the ship is kept more steady while the people are aloft, and under much better command.

Lower yards should be well placed before sending men on them for the purpose of reefing or furling courses. When it becomes necessary to perform either of these operations at sea, there is generally considerable motion; and an attempt to remedy neglect or want of judgment in this particular, by handling the braces while men are on the yards, is always attended with great danger to them, especially in the case of main yard men, who are mostly inexperienced hands.




In clewing down to reef, luff the ship to, with a steady helm, and meet her when she shakes. Clear away the bowlines, settle a little of the halliards, and then round in the weather braces. By adopting this precaution, the sails are more easily spilled, and by hauling on the weather braces, they serve not only to keep the yard in, but to bring it down also, which would not be the case were the halliards kept fast until afterwards. But have the topsail yard braced well in before settling the halliards away roundly, or else the lee topmast rigging will be endangered.

Much depends upon the manner in which the sails are laid for reefing; for this reason it is deemed best by experienced seamen to keep the courses, which should be set, full, and to brace the upper yards in, sufficient to make the topsails lay "alive;" or in other words, so that the weather leech will cut, as it were, the wind in two, leaving the canvas hanging loose.

If sailing with the squadron in moderate breezes, run the yards in nearly square, or the men will lose time in getting on the weather yard-arm.

Bracing in a topsail yard for reefing, in a fresh breeze, requires great force, and not unfrequently the brace, from being much worn, becomes stranded; as soon as you discover it, put on a good stopper above the strand, man the weather clewline and clew the sail up, bend the lee bowline to the extremity of the lee yard-arm, and get a preventer-brace on the weather one; then, by these, brace in the yard and clew it down; and while you are reeving new braces or splicing old ones, steady the yard by the bowlines and preventer-brace.

When short-handed or working with the watch, clew the yards down, and get all ready for reefing before starting the men up; but with all hands, the topmen may be sent aloft at once, and ordered out as soon as the yards are on the cap, the braces steadied taut, and gear hauled up.

In hoisting sails after reefing, be careful (particularly if it be blowing fresh) not to "swig" them up too taut, as the reef-bands are apt to be slewed under the yard in consequence, and the sail must be reefed afresh.

In a seaway, and the vessel pitching, do not haul the braces too taut; it endangers the yard and the rigging; the lee braces should be kept slack to allow the yard a little play, but be particular that though the brace is slack, it is securely belayed to its pin.

When double or treble reefing on a wind with courses set, bear in mind that the outer arms of the topsail yards are unsupported, and are unequal to the strain that may be brought to bear on them, by overmanning the reef-tackle.


When the yard is laid, the duty of the reef-tackle is to give the earing men plenty of slack leech between itself and yard; and if it cannot effect this without much straining (and this can easily be judged of by observing the tautness of the leeches below the reef-tackles on each side), raise the clews at once with the clewlines, sufficiently for the purpose.

Particular attention should be given to the fore topsail in this respect. The fore yard being braced sharper up than the main, unless the lee topsail sheet is checked a little, the sail cannot be as well hauled up for reefing as the main topsail. Bracing in the fore yard is less advisable than checking the lee sheet, as the yards should be kept sharper up forward than aft.

Pull the buntlines well up so as to girt the sail in for the bunt points.

Nothing is gained by permitting the men to get out on the yard for reefing, in a strong breeze, until the yard is laid and the sail ready for them. Yard-arms have been wrung off in the endeavor to make the reef-tackle do all the duty of other gear, and the earing men's lives saved only by a seeming chance.

In reefing at night, in the line, observe if your next ahead and astern have more or less sail than topsails. If you have been sparing them courses, you will be run into; and if they have been sparing them to you, you will run into your leader, unless you are alert.

A few fathoms of the main brace, checked by one hand, will often just regulate the pace and keep the ship in station; and, if let go at the instant, arrest danger.*

After every evolution (especially at night), make the petty officers report their ropes, and also immediately after relieving the watch.

Preventer-brace pendants, made long enough to reach from the yard-arm to the slings, are not only quickly attached to the whips, but the risk sometimes incurred in sending men on the yards greatly diminished. Preventer topsail braces have more drift, and a more downward pull than the standing ones; and, therefore, should never be so taut, or be hauled upon, until the lifts are well up.

The general rule for topsail lift jiggers, is to put them on when the second reefs are taken. And it is good to make a habit of putting the spare parrels and preventer-braces on when the third reefs are taken.

When topgallant yards are sent down on account of weather, unreeve the topgallant sheets, and reeve them through the bowline bridle of the topsails, up before all, and hitch them to the lugs of the tie blocks. They will act like the leechlines of courses when taking in topsails.

* This refers to sailing in line. Hardly too much can be said of the many and great advantages of squadron sailing; the constant rivalry excited among the several ships, making it one of the very highest schools of seamanship.


Reefing a Spanker. Brail up as in blowing fresh, but do not haul up the clewrope. Lower the throat and peak halliards (or tackles clapped on to the pendants, if so fitted), steadying the gaff by the vangs. Pass a reef earing through the cringle in the leech and around the foot of the sail; if taken around the boom, the foot of the sail cannot be brailed up. Bring down the forward reef cringle and pass a tack-lashing through it. Reef the sail on the foot. The outhaul may be shifted to the reef cringle, but this is not always done. When ready, sway up the gaff till the luff is taut, easing the vangs and steadying aft the out-haul. Then haul out the head and get a final pull on the foot outhaul; easing off the spanker sheet as necessary.

To Reef a Trysail. Proceed as above, shifting the sheet block from the clew to the reef cringle.

The old balance reef in a spanker, from the close reef cringle diagonally toward the jaws, is rarely used.

A spanker or trysail is frequently set "reefed," by keeping fast the head downhaul, and hauling out the foot only. A few turns of the furling line at the head will assist in keeping it in.

The storm mizzen is a substitute for the spanker set in this way.





"Some persons attribute influence to the moon in respect of weather, and say a change may be expected within a few days of the moon's phases. But the interval between one and another phase of the moon is but seven days, and 'a few' of these days must be a time near one phase or another. Accidental coincidences are generally allowed to influence the wind, because, when they occur, they mark any event more particularly. Similar to these are the prejudices against sailing on Friday, which used to be so general."

Continued comparisons of changes of weather or wind during many consecutive years, in various parts of the world, have proved decidedly that there is no regular correspondence between the lunar phases and atmospherical changes.

The following are a few of the more marked signs of weather:-

"Weather, clear or cloudy, a rosy sky at sunset presages fine weather; a red sky in the morning, bad weather, or much wind (if not rain); a gray sky in the morning, fine weather; a high dawn, wind; a low dawn, fair weather."

[A high dawn is when the first streaks of morning light appear over a bank of cloud, instead of near the horizon, as is usual when there are no heavy clouds.]

"Soft-looking, or delicate clouds, foretell fine weather, with moderate or light breezes; hard edged, oily-looking clouds, wind. A dark, gloomy blue sky is windy; but a light, bright blue sky indicates fine weather. Generally, the softer clouds look, the less wind (but perhaps more rain) may be expected; and the harder, more 'greasy,' rolled, tufted, or ragged, the stronger the coming wind will prove. Also a bright yellow sky at sunset presages wind; a pale yellow, wet; and thus, by the prevalence of red, yellow, or gray tints, the coming weather may be foretold very nearly; indeed, if aided by instruments, almost exactly.

"Small inky clouds foretell rain; a light scud, driving across heavy clouds, wind and rain; but if alone, wind only.


"High upper clouds crossing the sun, moon, or stars, in a direction different from that of the lower clouds or wind then blowing, foretell a change of wind (beyond tropical latitudes).

"After fine, clear weather, the first signs (in the sky) of change, are usually small, curly, streaked, or spotty clouds, followed by an overcasting of vapor that grows into cloudiness. This murky appearance, more or less oily or watery, as wind or rain will prevail, is a sure sign. The higher and more distant the clouds seem to be, the more gradual, but extensive, the coming change of weather will prove.

"Generally speaking, natural, quiet, delicate tints or colors, with soft, undefined forms of clouds, foretell fine weather; but gaudy, or unusual hues, with hard, definite outlines, presage rain and wind."


In keeping the Journal, for the sake of brevity, the force of the wind and state of the weather are expressed thus:


0. Calm.
1. Light air; just perceptible.
2. Light breeze; ship going from one to two knots.
3. Gentle breeze, from two to four.
4. Moderate; from four to six.
5. Fresh; when royals can be carried.
6. Strong breeze; first reef and topgallant sails.
7. Moderate gale; double reefed topsails.
8. Fresh gales; treble reefed topsails and reefed courses.
9. Strong gale; close reefs.
10. Whole gale; close reefed main topsail.
11. Storm; storm staysails.
12. Hurricane; no canvas.


b. Blue sky.
c. Cloudy.
d. Drizzling rain.
f. Foggy.
g. Gloomy weather.
h. Hail.
l. Lightning.
m. Misty.
o. Overcast.
p. Passing showers.
q. Squalls.
r. Rainy.
s. Snow.
t. Thunder.
u. Ugly threatening weather.
v. Visibility of objects.
w. Wet dew.
z. Hazy.

A star (*) under any letter denotes a great degree.

"Cirrus" expresses a cloud, like a lock of hair, consisting of streaks, wisps, and fibres, vulgarly called "mares' tails." "Cumulus," a cloud in dense convex heaps in rounded forms definitely terminated above, indicating saturation in the region of air, and rising supply of vapor from below. "Stratus" is a continuous extended level sheet, but must not be confounded with the flat base of the Cumulus. "Cumulo-stratus," or anvil-shaped cloud, is said to forerun


heavy gales. "Nimbus," a dense cloud spreading out into a crown of "Cirrus" above, and passing beneath into a shower.

The amount of clear sky is expressed in all log-books, in tenths, zero denoting a sky completely overcast, and 10 a clear sky.



Pressure in
lbs. per
square foot
Vel'city in
miles per
Popular Descriptions,
and Corresponding
0.002 0.68 1. Gentle airs, unappr'ciable by gauge
0.004 1
0.005 1.06
0.019 2 2. Light airs, just appreciable by gauge; would fill the lightest sail of a yacht.
0.028 2.5
0.032 2.66
0.043 3
0.052 3.3 3. Light breezes, such as would fill the lightest sails of a large ship.
0.065 3.8
0.071 4
0.090 4.5
0.100 4.75
0.112 5
0.130 5.38
0.136 5.5
0.162 6
0.228 7
0.260 7.6
0.291 8 4. Moderate breezes, in which ships can carry all sail.
0.364 9
0.390 9.27
0.452 10
0.521 10.77
0.551 11
0.650 12
0.780 13 5. Stiff breezes ; topgallant sails and royals.
0.830 13.6
0.884 14
0.910 14.25
Pressure in
lbs. per
square foot
Vel'city in
miles per
Popular Descriptions,
and Corresponding
1.042 15 6. Fresh breezes; top-gallant sails.
1.170 16
1.250 16.5
1.302 17 7. Fresh winds; reefs.
1.430 17.8
1.470 18
1.563 18.67 8. Moderate gales; treble reefed topsails.
1.630 19
1.790 20
1.820 10.14 9. Strong gales; close r'fed topsails and reefed courses.
2.084 21.47
2.600 24
3.126 26.40 10. Gales; close-r-fed topsails, and staysails.
3.647 28.52
4.168 30.56
4.689 32.34
5.200 34 11. Heavy gales and storms.
7.800 41
10.400 48.2
13.000 53.91
15.600 59
20.800 68.18 12. Very heavy gales; great storms, tempests.
26.000 76.18
31.200 83.6
36.400 90.12 Tornadoes; cyclones; hurricanes.
41.600 90.34
52.000 107.7
62.400 120


" A rainbow in the morning,
Sailors, take warning;
A rainbow at night
Is the sailor's delight."

Morning rainbows are always seen in the west, and indicate the advance of a rain-cloud from that quarter when it is clear in the east. The fall of rain at a time of day when the temperature should be rising is indication of a change to wet, stormy weather.

On the contrary, an evening rainbow occurs when the rain-cloud passes to the east, and a clearing up ensues in the west at a time of day when the temperature has begun to fall, thus indicating a change from wet to dry weather.

Another form of the saying is:

Red sky in the morning,
Sailors, take warning, &c.,

being based upon the same phenomena.

"The evening red and morning gray
Are sure signs of a fine day;
But the evening gray and morning red
Make the sailor shake his head."

"With the rain before the wind,
Your topsail halliards you must mind;
But when the wind's before the rain,
You may hoist your topsails up again."

"When the sun sets in the clear,
An easterly wind you need not fear."

Relating to the Barometer:

Long foretold, long last,
Short coming, soon past.


First rise after very low,
Indicates a stronger blow.

Relating to the hurricane months in the West Indies:

June, too soon;
July, stand by;
August, look out you must;
September, remember.
October, all over!


The barometer, feeling the pressure of the air, shows at once when that pressure is changing. If the pressure at one place on the earth be greater than at another, the air has a tendency to move from the place where the pressure is greater towards that where it is less, and thus wind is caused.


A change of weather comes almost always with a change of wind, and the extent of this change of weather depends on the fact of the new wind being warmer or colder, damper or drier, than that which has been blowing. Any conclusions drawn from its movements must be checked by observations of temperature, moisture of the air, present direction and force of wind, and state of the sky, before any correct opinion can be formed as to what may be expected. In general, whenever the level of the mercury continues steady, settled weather may be expected; but when it is unsteady, a change must be looked for, and perhaps a gale.

A sudden rise of the barometer is very nearly as bad a sign as a sudden fall, because it shows that atmospherical equilibrium is unsteady. In an ordinary gale, the wind often blows hardest when the barometer is just beginning to rise, directly after having been very low.

Besides these rules for the instruments, there is a rule about the way in which the wind changes, which is very important. It is well known to every sailor, and is contained in the following couplet:

When the wind shifts against the sun,
Trust it not, for back it will run.

The wind usually shifts with the sun, i.e., from left to right, in the northern hemisphere. A change in this direction is called veering.

Thus, an east wind shifts to west through southeast, south, southwest; and a west wind shifts to east through northwest, north, and northeast.

If the wind shifts the opposite way, viz., from west to southwest, south, and southeast, the change is called backing, and it seldom occurs unless when the weather is unsettled.

However, slight changes of wind do not follow this rule exactly; for instance, the wind often shifts from southwest to south and back again.

In the southern hemisphere, the motion with the sun is, of course, from right to left, and therefore the above rules will necessarily be reversed.

Admiral Fitzroy proposed the following words for barometer scales:

N.W., N., E.
or less

from North.

S.E., S., W.
or more

from North.


No reading from a mercurial barometer that is not hanging vertically should ever be relied upon.


In this instrument the atmospheric pressure is measured by its effect in altering the shape of a small hermetically-sealed metallic box, from which nearly all the air has been withdrawn, and which is kept from collapsing by a spring.

When the pressure rises above the amount which was recorded when the instrument was made, the top is forced inwards, and vice versa; when the pressure falls below that amount, the top is forced outwards by the spring.

These motions are transferred by a system of levers and springs to a hand moving over a graduated dial.

The instrument is very sensitive, showing minute changes that are concealed by the "pumping" of the quicksilver, even in the best mercurial barometers, when the motion of the ship is violent. Nevertheless, the working of the aneroid should be used only for purposes of comparison and in conjunction with a good mercurial barometer.


"In all parts of the world, towards the higher latitudes, the quicksilver ranges, or rises and falls, nearly three inches, namely, between about thirty inches and eight-tenths (30.8), and less than twenty-eight inches (28.0) on extraordinary occasions; but the usual range is from about 30.5 inches, to about 29 inches. Near the line, or in equatorial places, the range is but a few tenths, except in storms, when it sometimes falls to 27 inches."

In the northern hemisphere, the effect of the veering of the wind on the barometer is according to the following law:

With east, S.E., south winds, barometer falls.
With S.W. winds, barometer ceases to fall and begins to rise.
With west, N.W., north winds, barometer rises.
With N.E. winds, barometer ceases to rise and begins to fall.

In the southern hemisphere the law is as follows:
With east, N.E. north winds, barometer falls.
With N.W. winds, barometer ceases to fall and begins to rise.
With west, S.W., south winds, barometer rises.
With S.E. wind, barometer ceases to rise and begins to fall.

To appreciate correctly the indications of the barometer, we must have, as above stated, at the time of observation, the temperature indicated by a dry and a wet bulb


thermometer, and the thermometer attached to the barometer should be read with every reading of the latter.

The wet bulb thermometer has a piece of linen tied around the bulb, wetted enough to keep it damp by a wick dipping into a cup of water. It will give a lower reading-than an ordinary thermometer, in proportion to the dryness of the air and quickness of drying. In very damp weather, with or before rain, &c., the dry and wet bulb thermometers will be nearly alike. The drier the weather, the more evaporation can take place, from the moisture surrounding the wet bulb, hence the lower the temperature shown by that bulb under such circumstances, and consequently the greater difference between the reading of such an instrument and that of a dry bulb thermometer. A comparison between the two affords, therefore, at all times, a means of ascertaining the relative dryness or moisture of the air. About six degrees difference between the wet and dry bulb readings is considered healthy in a temperate climate.

Pouring water over the wet bulb instead of merely moistening it imparts to the mercury the temperature of the water, which may be higher than that of the air.

If a barometer has been about its ordinary height, say near thirty inches at the sea level, and is steady or rising, while the thermometer falls and dampness becomes less, northwesterly, northerly, or northeasterly wind, or less. wind, may be expected.

On the contrary, if a fall takes place with a rising thermometer and increased dampness, wind with rain (or snow) may be expected from the southeastward, southward, or southwestward.

But a wet northeasterly wind may cause the barometer to rise, on account of the direction of the coming wind alone, thus deceiving persons who, from the rising of the barometer only, expect fine weather.

Indications of approaching changes are shown less by the height of the mercury than by its falling or rising. A rapid rise indicates unsettled weather.

A slow rise with dryness, fair weather.

A rapid and considerable fall is a sign of stormy weather and rain.

Alternate rising and sinking shows very unsettled weather.

The greatest depressions are with gales from the southeast to southwest; the greatest elevations with winds from northwest, northward, or northeast.

But the barometer may rise with a dry southerly and fall with a wet northerly wind.

Although the mercury falls lowest before high winds, it frequently sinks considerably before heavy rain. The barometer falls, but not always, on the approach of thunder


and lightning, or when the atmosphere is highly charged with electricity. Before and during the earlier or middle part of severe and settled weather, the mercury commonly stands high, and is stationary.

The tides are affected by atmospheric pressure, so much that a rise of one inch in the barometer will have a corresponding fall in the tides of nine to sixteen inches, or say one foot for each inch.

"Vessels sometimes enter docks, or even harbors, where they have scarcely a foot of water more than their draught; and as docking, as well as launching large ships, requires a close calculation of height of water, the state of the barometer becomes of additional importance on such occasions."

NOTE.-In south latitudes for north read south, and for south, north in these pages.



Hurricanes, cyclones or typhoons are progressive, revolving gales, which may be described as great whirlwinds turning around and moving forward at the same time. Their diameter varies from 50 to 1000 miles,* within which limits currents of air move with a velocity of from 80 to 130 miles an hour around a central calm space of low atmospheric pressure; at the same time the whole storm area moves forward on a track, either straight or curved, at the rate of from 1 to 40 miles an hour. This velocity of translation, however, not only varies in different localities, but in storms passing over the same locality and even in one and the same storm during different stages of its existence.

Revolving Motion of the Storm. In each hemisphere the gyration of these storms takes place invariably in one direction, and that direction contrary to the apparent course of the sun. Hence in north latitudes the storms revolve from right to left, in south latitudes from left to right.

Forward Motion of the Storm. Within the tropics these storms commence to the eastward, travel for some distance towards the westward, inclining a point or two toward the pole of that hemisphere which they are crossing, curving away from the equator. When they reach the 25th degree of latitude, they generally curve still more until they move to the northeast in the northern

* The storms in the North Atlantic are said to commence with a diameter of from 100 to 150 miles and then to increase to 600 or 1000 miles, a fair average is perhaps 500 miles. In the Arabian sea they probably do not exceed 240 miles. In the Bay of Bengal they are from 300 to 350 miles in diameter. In the South Indian Ocean, from 150 to 600 miles, and in the China Seas from 80 to 350 and possibly as high as 600 miles.


hemisphere and to the southeast in the southern hemisphere. Occasionally they cross the line of the shore and sweep over the land, as in the East Indies and China Sea; more frequently they seem to be repelled by the land.

The Atlantic and Japan storms, for instance, almost always wheel round to the northward and follow the seaboard of North America or Japan.

Another remarkable feature of these storms is their increasing violence in the neighborhood of their centre, and as this is approached (unless on the direct line of its own progressive motion) the more rapid become the changes of the wind.


The Barometer. The barometer, as an instrument of warning, and also as an approximate measure of the distance from the centre, is of vital importance to the seaman.

First. The barometer generally indicates the approach of the storm by a restless oscillating motion of the mercury, caused by a disturbed condition of the atmosphere in the vicinity of a storm. These oscillations have been observed to vary from a just perceptible motion to 0.02 inch.

Second. The barometer often rises suddenly on the border, just in front of a storm, by reason of the air banking up there, and therefore if the general appearance of the weather indicates the approach of a storm, a rise in the barometer, instead of being a guarantee that none will come, is rather a sign that a severe storm is coming. It would probably not rise much in front of a slowly moving storm.

Third. A very rapid fall of the barometer, after fairly entering the storm disk, may be regarded as evidence of a very violent storm of small diameter, and a gradual fall would indicate the contrary.

Fourth. If a vessel is caught in a cyclone in a dangerous position near the land, the knowledge of her distance from the centre might be all-important, even if that distance could only be determined within fifty miles. To aid navigators in determining the distance of the centre probably within that amount, the following table from Piddington's "Horn-Book" may prove of service:

Average fall of barometer per hour Distance in miles from centre.
From 0.02 inch to 0.06 From 250 to 150
From 0.06 inch to 0.08 From 150 to 100
From 0.08 inch to 0.12 From 100 to 80
From 0.12 inch to 0.15 From 80 to 50


The fall of the barometer has been compared in a great number of cases with the above, and the result has generally proved favorable to the accuracy of the table.

Other Indications. The signs of a cyclone's approach do not differ materially from those preceding an ordinary gale. A hard steel-gray or greenish sky, a blood-red or bright yellow sunset, a heavy swell or confused. agitation of the sea not accounted for in any other way, and a threatening appearance of the weather ought to be regarded as significant signs of a more than ordinary gale, particularly if accompanied by a restless state of the barometer.

When by any such indications the navigator has reason to suspect the neighborhood of a cyclone, his first care is to devise a plan for avoiding it. If with the cyclone chart found in standard works on storms he can determine the direction of the storm's course, he may succeed in keeping clear of it altogether. But if after failing to effect this he is still caught in the storm, he must then determine as quickly as possible:

1st. His position in the storm disk.
2d. The course of the storm.


This is readily determined on the basis of what are known as Redfield's "Laws of Storms." In accordance with these, the bearing of the centre of the storm is:

In the northern hemisphere eight points to the right,

In the southern hemisphere eight points to the left of the wind point, the observer facing the wind.

A second law is that:

In the right semi-circle of the storm the wind changes with the sun, viz., N., E., S., W.

In the left semi-circle of the storm the wind changes against the sun, viz., N. W., S., E.

In the first case this N., is contrary to the rotary motion of northerly storms; in the second case it is contrary to the rotary motion of southerly storms.

But the reason for the law will be seen, if we draw a circle N., W., S., E., to represent the body of a storm, with a ship anywhere within its influence, as at A. Assuming the ship to be in north latitude, the cyclone will be revolving in the direction shown by the curved arrows, and the wind in each quarter of the storm circle will blow in the direction shown by the straight arrows; for, though it sweeps round the storm's axis, it may, from the small segment occupied by a ship, be represented, as far as she is concerned, as a tangent to the circle.


Circular storm diagram.

At A. therefore, she will have the wind from the eastward, and the centre of the storm will be eight points to the right of the wind, or south of her. If it is traveling from east to west, the first shift of wind she will experience will be from the S. E.; for, while moving on its course in the direction C, C1, it will be changing the bearing of its centre from the ship, which, when at C1, will be S. W. of her, with the wind from the S.E. So that, though the storm is revolving, thus: Counter-clockwise winds. the wind is shifting in direction thus: Clockwise winds. But if the ship, on the contrary, be in the other semi-circle, say at B, she would have the wind at west, and when the centre reached C1, at S. W.; consequently, the change being from west to S.W., would coincide with the rotary motion of the storm.

Knowing, then, how to find the bearing of the storm's centre, and how to determine which semi-circle a ship is in, we have the elements for giving her position with reference to the storm disk.

In determining in which direction the wind is shifting, it is of the highest importance that the ship should be kept as stationary as possible.


If in the right semi-circle, where the wind changes to the right, N., E., S., W., heave to on the starboard tack.

If in the left semi-circle, where the wind changes to the left, N., W., S., K, heave to on the port tack.

This places the ship in a safe position north or south of the equator, until the course of the storm is determined.

Two bearings of the centre, with an interval of from two to three hours between, will in general be sufficient to determine the course of the storm, provided an accurate account is kept of the ship's way, but if the storm is moving slowly, a longer interval will be necessary. There are but two points in the storm disk of a cyclone where a vessel hove to will not experience a change of wind-one is in front of the centre on the line of its axis, and the other in rear of the centre on the same line. For these two cases the barometer must be the guide; in front of the centre it falls, and in rear of the centre it rises.


There are also five points in the storm disk of a cyclone, where a vessel may run along with the storm, parallel to its course and at equal speed without having any change of wind, and with a steady barometer.

Northern Hemisphere:

1st. In front of the centre on a line with its axis:
Wind on starboard beam.

2d. Anywhere in the right forward quadrant:
Wind on starboard side abaft the beam.

3d. Abreast and to the right of the centre:
Wind aft.

4th. Anywhere in the right rear quadrant.
Wind on port side abaft the beam.

5th. In rear of the centre in a line with its axis:
Wind on port beam.

Southern Hemisphere:

1st. In front of the centre in a line with its axis:
Wind on port beam.

2d. Anywhere in the left forward quadrant:
Wind on port side abaft the beam.

3d. Abreast and to the left of centre:
Wind aft.

4th. Anywhere in the left rear quadrant.
Wind on starboard side abaft the beam.

5th. In rear of centre in a line with its axis:
Wind on starboard beam.

The above manoeuvres are possible if sail can be carried, but only the last three in each hemisphere are advisable, viz., the position abreast of the centre, in the rear quadrant, or in rear of the centre. Running along with the storm in front of the centre, or in the forward quadrant, should never be resorted to; an accident temporarily disabling the vessel would at once place her in great danger of being overtaken by the centre.


Northern Hemisphere. (See Storm Card, Plate 117):

Right Semi-circle. Haul by the wind on starboard tack, and carry sail as long as possible; if obliged to heave to, do so on starboard tack.

Left Semi-circle. Bring the wind on starboard quarter. Note the direction of the ship's head, and steer that course. If obliged to heave to, do so on port tack.

On the storm track, in front of centre: Square away and run before it. Note the course and keep it, and trim the yards when the wind draws on the starboard quarter. If, however, obliged to heave to, do so on port tack.

On the storm-track, in rear of centre: Run out with wind on starboard quarter, or heave to on starboard tack.

Plate 117. Storm Card Northern Hemisphere. Remarks. The course here given are for the wind two points on the starboard quarter, but if sea and wind permit, bring the wind broad on the quarter. If in either of these positions there be danger of broaching-to, run before the wind until more moderate, and then bring wind on starboard quarter. A ship hove-to having the wind steady, is on the storm-track. Run before the wind, note the course, and keep it.

Plate 118. Storm Card Southern Hemisphere. Remarks. The course here given are for the wind two points on the port quarter, but if sea and wind permit, bring the wind broad on the quarter. If in either of these positions there be danger of broaching-to, run before the wind until more moderate, and then bring wind on starboard quarter. A ship hove-to having the wind steady, is on the storm-track. Run before the wind, note the course, and keep it.

Southern Hemisphere. (See Storm Card, Plate 118.)

Right semi-circle: Bring wind on port quarter. Note the course and keep it. If obliged to heave to, do so on starboard tack.

Left semi-circle: Haul by the wind on port tack. Carry sail as long as possible, and if obliged to heave to, do so on port tack.

On the storm-track, in front of centre: Run before it. Note the course and keep it, and trim the yards as the wind gradually hauls on the port quarter. If obliged to heave to, do so on starboard tack.

On the storm-track, in rear of centre: Run out with the wind on port quarter, or heave to on port tack.

A rise of the barometer, improvement of the weather, and a gradual abatement of the force of the wind, will result from the above manoeuvres; and the ship should in each case be kept on her course until, by these signs, it is made evident that she is out of danger.

All the above manoeuvres depend of course on sea-room, and the ability to carry sail. If sail cannot be carried, or land interferes, the ship must be hove to on the starboard tack in the Right semi-circle, and on the port tack in Left semi-circle, and never otherwise. The old popular idea of heaving to on the starboard tack in the northern hemisphere, and on the port tack in the southern hemisphere, under all circumstances, is dangerous practice, and may lead to serious consequences.

The results of the manoeuvres herein recommended should, as before stated, be a rising barometer and improvement in the weather. If, however, the barometer continues to fall, or remains stationary, and the weather becomes either worse or remains the same, it is evidence that the indraft is very great, and in either case the ship should be hauled up as near the wind as possible under the circumstances of wind and sea, and so kept until a decided rise of the mercury and improvement in the weather take place.

Thus the barometer is always a measure of safety, even when the rules laid down for avoiding the centre fail to carry a vessel out of the dangerous part of the storm.

In a very extreme case of indraft, where it is found impracticable to distance the centre by sailing, the vessel should be prepared for a heavy blow, and hove to on the proper tack, until either the centre has passed or an opportunity occurs (by a change in the wind) for avoiding it.

It sometimes occurs, although the cases are very rare, that a cyclone takes a sudden turn, and recurves on its track so much as to render a vessel liable to run into it a second time.

Storm Seasons. The period of the year during which cyclones are most frequent may, in a general way,


be considered. In north latitude, from June to November; August and September being the worst months. In south latitude, from September to May; February and March being the worst months. In other words, the cyclone season appears to correspond to the time when the sun is nearing the equator, on the return from the highest declination in either hemisphere.




LET the wind be supposed to be increasing gradually, the topsails to be single reefed, and the topgallant sails furled.

To Take In the Jib, and Set the Fore Topmast Staysail. Man the jib downhaul! Topmast staysail halliards! Clear away the downhaul! HOIST AWAY! Clear away the halliards! HAUL DOWN!

The jib sheet should be eased off as the sail comes down. In setting the staysail, first haul aft the sheet, and then ease it off as the sail goes up. To take in and stow a jib when blowing hard, it is always better to run the ship off if possible.

As the wind freshens, take a second reef in the topsails, and a single reef in the courses.

The wind increasing, to take a third reef in the topsails. proceed as with the second reef, observing not to brace the topsail or lower yards too sharp up. Get preventer-braces and parrels on. See Chapter XXIII.

To Haul up and Furl the Mainsail.

Man the main clew-garnets and buntlines! the weather clew-garnet, both buntlines and leechlines are manned. Before starting anything, haul taut the lee main lift, and ease off a fathom or two of the main sheet. Ease away the main tack and bowline! HAUL UP TO WINDWARD!

The lee buntline is hauled up as far as it will go.

When the weather clew is up, Ease away the main sheet! HAUL UP TO LEEWARD! Run up all the gear, send the men aloft and furl the sail, keeping the ship as near the wind as possible, and not sending the men on the yard until it is secured and sail hauled close up.*

To Send Down Royal Yards. The officer of the deck commands, Get the royal yards ready for coming down! At this order, the royal yardmen lay aloft and unbend royal gear, stop the yard rope out to leeward, bend the tripping-line to the snorter to windward, and send it down to windward and abaft everything; the topmen on deck

* If the main yard is weak, get a jumper on the weather yard-arm, before starting the main tack.


take off the royal halliards and lead along the yard rope. Man the yard ropes and tripping-lines! Tend the braces! when manned, Stand by-SWAY! The yard is swayed up and down, and yard-arms unrigged as it comes down; the men in the top pulling up on the lee lift and letting go the weather one when the order is given to sway.

The yards being on deck, are secured in the gangways or on the booms.

Sending Down Topgallant Yards. Get the topgallant, yards ready for coming down!

The topgallant yardmen lay aloft, unreeve topgallant studding-sail halliards, unbend topgallant gear, &c., &c., as with the royal yards. Send down the yards to windward and abaft.

Leave the short yard ropes aloft, and send down the yards with the long ones.

Next close reef the topsails, as described in the previous chapter. When reefed, sway the yards clear of the cap and trim them.

NOTE. In hauling out the reef-tackles, preparatory to close-reefing, haul up on the clewlines when easing off the sheets, particularly in cold weather, when they may not render readily; otherwise, the leech may be torn out of the sail.

When it becomes necessary to take the second reef in the foresail, haul it up as described in taking in the mainsail, and reef as before. The sail being reefed, set it as already explained.

To set fore-storm staysail, and haul down fore topmast staysail, proceed as in taking in jib and setting fore topmast staysail.

The mizzen topsail will be taken in probably when the close reef is taken in the fore and main.

The main trysail may be set next, reefed if necessary. If additional after-sail is required, the spanker may be reefed and set before taking in the mizzen topsail.

To take in the close-reefed fore topsail, proceed as described in Chapter XXIII.

Finally, haul up and furl the fore sail.

The ship is now "lying to" under close-reefed main topsail, fore storm staysail, and probably single reefed trysail.

For gear manned and precautions observed in taking in sail, blowy weather, see Chapter XXIII.


Get up and hook pendant-tackles, and preventer braces (if not already on); yards pointed to the wind, and secured and hoisted clear of the caps; anchors, boats, and guns, well secured; life-lines fore-and-aft all the decks; spare spars


and yards on deck well lashed, as also everything movable on deck and below. Have hatches ready for battening down; spare axes at hand; pumps clear; storm staysails and gear overhauled and ready; relieving tackles ready for hooking; spare tiller at hand; also compasses.

If expecting a hurricane, get the flying-jib boom in; send down top-gallant masts; studding sails out of tops; all shot below out of racks; pass a hawser round the laniards of lower rigging; cook provisions in advance; furl all square sails; set the fore storm-staysail and have the others ready; marl the sails down to the yards with the studding-sail gear, in addition to the gaskets.

NOTE.-It is recommended to send down top-gallant masts in a heavy gale, when the vessel has much top-hamper, as it eases her considerably. When sending them down at sea, under whole topsails, it is better to lower the topsail yards at once, and send the masts down forward, than to attempt sending them down abaft. In the case of sending them down with the close-reefed main topsail set, fore and mizzen furled, send the main down abaft the topsail yard.


In a preceding paragraph, an arrangement of sail has been given for lying to in a gale, but should the wind be favorable, and the sea not running too high, as it will not unless the gale has been of long continuance, a vessel may scud before it, under such sail as the force of the wind will allow. In sailing with the wind aft, it is greatly disarmed of its force, and a vessel may carry safely some sail, when, if on the wind, she would be reduced to bare poles.

The best sails for scudding (or running) under, are, a close-reefed main topsail, and single or double-reefed foresail; and a gale is rarely of such violence that this sail cannot be carried safely. The former, by its height, will not be becalmed by the waves, while the latter may be necessary, in case of being brought by the lee, to pay her off to her course. The fore topmast staysail should always be set in scudding, or the fore storm staysail sheets hauled flat aft.

Vessels sometimes steer wildly in scudding, in consequence of being out of trim, of their bad qualities, or the force of the sea on either quarter, in which cases, or by the negligence of the helmsman, she may, in yawing, bring her sails aback. She is then "brought by the lee," or "has broached to." The proper manner of recovering her is as follows:

Brought by the Lee. Suppose, in scudding, with the wind a little on the port quarter, under the sail as above, you are brought by the lee, and have everything aback.


The wind is now on the starboard beam, Put the helm hard to starboard! until headway ceases, when shift it. Man the port braces fore and aft. RISE FORE TACK AND SHEET! Clear away the head bo'lines! BRACE FULL THE HEAD YARDS! and shiver the after ones. Attend the lifts, as in former evolutions. She will pay off under this arrangement, the helm itself partly effecting it before she loses headway.

When before the wind, right the helm and trim the yards for the course. Haul taut the lifts, &c.

Broaching to. In case of having broached to, and brought the wind on, or forward of, the port beam, meet her with the helm and lee braces, by putting the helm hard a-port, and hauling in the starboard head braces.


In scudding, the tiller ropes are constantly doing double duty; and though the relieving tackles are hooked, you cannot steer the ship with that nicety that you can with the wheel. Should the tiller ropes unfortunately be carried away, the risk of broaching the ship to is then considerably augmented.

Sometimes, unavoidably, in scudding, you are obliged to carry your fore topsail and foresail; when that happens, it may arise from some accident received to the spars or rigging on the main mast, in which case it is generally considered advisable by good seamen to make the fore topsail and foresail rather rising sails by easing off the sheets until they have that tendency. Of course, when all things are right on the mainmast, the main topsail and foresail are the best sails for scudding under, while the ship will carry them. It is generally considered best that the foresail should rather raise the bow than have the contrary effect, more particularly in sharp vessels.

There is a point beyond which no vessel can scud without the greatest possible danger. Of course much will depend on the size and height of the vessel out of the water, but there is scarcely ever heard a dissenting voice as to flush vessels being by far the most dangerous while scudding in heavy weather. You should bring your ship to the wind while it can be effected without the greatest risk to ship and lives. If night is coming on, and the weather has every appearance of an increasing gale, with a falling barometer, and circumstances will admit, it would be advisable to lay the ship by the wind; and as every gale may be supposed to partake of the nature of a cyclone, taking care to select, if optional, that tack which is indicated by the conclusions of the previous chapter.




We will, for example, bring to on the port tack.

Have the storm staysails ready, sheets hooked and moused, secure everything about the decks and below. Send everybody on deck. Put on and bat ten down the hatches. Man the fore clew-garnets and, buntlines, starboard fore and main and port cross-jack braces. Watch for a smooth time. Haul up the foresail, put the helm to starboard, brace up the after yards, and haul out the storm mizzen and hoist the mizzen staysail or set the main trysail. As she comes to set the fore trysail and meet her by the helm, the head braces, and by hoisting the fore storm staysail. Then haul taut the lifts. It may be necessary to furl the main topsail, and she may lie to better without the fore storm staysail. After she has recovered from the first shock of the sea, and has lost her headway, she will, with the helm a-lee, and under a proper arrangement of the sails, lie to, coming up and falling off two or three points, and drifting bodily to leeward.

When a vessel labors much in a seaway, either lying to or standing on her course, the sails should never be hoisted up, or the braces hauled, as taut as in a smooth sea; for the play of the masts will either carry away the braces and sheets or spring the yards. And if the pitching is hard and quick, you should see that the helm is eased, allowing it to go to leeward, so that she may obey freely the sea, the shock of which will be less violent against the rudder.

After the gale abates, sail should not be made upon the vessel too rapidly, particularly if her course will bring the sea ahead or forward of the beam. You should be content with giving her headway Until the sea also abates; for, by forcing her through a head sea, you strain every mast and yard, and injure the rigging.

Preventer braces, shrouds, and backstays, used in heavy weather, as a relief to the standing ones, are of great importance to the mizzen topmast. The standing part of the main topsail brace leads from the mizzen topmast nearly at right angles, while the angle formed by the backstay is too small to afford a sufficient support.


The rudder, wheel-ropes, and relieving-tackles, should occupy the particular attention of the first lieutenant and navigator. The former, with its tiller, are permanent fixtures, so arranged, and of such durable materials, that they should withstand the severest shocks. Wheel-ropes are liable to chafes, and should be occasionally examined by


the navigator. Those of raw hide, now in common use, are found to be fairly serviceable and durable. They should be occasionally oiled and be protected from injury.

Relieving-tackles should be kept fitted, and constantly at hand, and, in a gale of wind, with a heavy sea, when the parting of a wheel-rope might endanger the vessel, should be kept hooked, and hands stationed by them under the direction of an officer.


If the rudder head only has been carried away, the rudder remaining shipped, it can be used for steering by means of the rudder chains. In view of this possibility, the rudder chains should be stopped up so that their ends are accessible in case of need.

The possibility of having to use rudder chains for steering purposes has sometimes been overlooked; the chains themselves are difficult to get at, the fastenings on the rudder have not been sufficiently far down, and only common bolts have been inserted instead of a stout metal strap, which should clasp the after part of the rudder.

The rudder chains should have pendants spliced into them, leading up over the taffrail where they can be got at.

In using them to steer the ship, the rudder head being wrenched off, lower the cross-jack yard on the rail, lash it there, and lead pendants from the rudder chains through blocks at the yard-arms, hooking tackles into the pendants.

Cases have occurred, in which rudders have been unshipped or otherwise injured, so as to be of no further use, when it has been necessary to resort to some expedient to manage the vessel.

Vessels can always be better managed when by the wind, than in any other situation. They will sometimes steer themselves for hours, having their yards so trimmed and their sails so regulated as to keep by the wind. Care must be taken that the vessel holds a good wind, and at the same time does not gripe. By slacking. on the one hand, a few feet of the head sheets, and on the other of the spanker and main sheet, an equilibrium will be established between the head and after sails.

The moment you lose your rudder, bring her up by the after sails, bracing the yards, and meet her, as she comes to, with the head sails. Then, by reducing the sails forward or aft, and bracing the yards, you may steer her, until you can resort to better means, as follows:


Rouse up from below the heaviest hawser and a towline; middle and clove-hitch the towline, and veer the end of the


hawser over the taffrail, through this hitch; after veering out about fifty fathoms of hawser, jamb the hitch and rack it well, securing it so that it cannot slip. Then veer out the hawser until the hitch takes the water. Lash the hawser on the centre of the taffrail, and a spare spar under it and across the stern, with a block well secured at each end, through which reeve the ends of the towline, one on each quarter. Reeve them again through blocks at the ports, abreast of the capstan, by which you may steer your ship until you can construct a temporary rudder.

By rousing in the towline on either quarter, the force of the sea on the hawser, drawn over on that quarter, moves her stern the opposite way.


If the hawser and towline do not answer the purpose, the following temporary steering gear has been tried, with success:

Make two cone-shaped canvas bags, with the seams well roped. Fit each with a tripping-line from the pointed end, and a good towline secured to a crowsfoot on the large end. The tripping-lines are secured inboard, so as to tow the drags, pointed end first, when the wheel is amidships; the towlines lead through blocks on the ends of the cross-jack yard (which is lowered across the rail), and thence through suitable leads to the wheel. When the wheel is turned, say to starboard, it brings a strain on the starboard towline, canting the starboard drag so that it tows mouth foremost, and bringing a strain on the starboard quarter, which turns the ship's head to starboard. When the wheel is righted, the starboard towline being slacked off, the tripping-line takes the strain of the drag and cants it, pointed end foremost again, throwing it out of action.

Similarly turning the wheel to port, brings the port quarter drag mouth foremost, and throws the ship's head to port.

The drags should tow with a long drift.


Men-of-war are generally supplied with spare pieces to construct a temporary rudder.

In the absence of these, a piece of a spare topmast may be used for the main piece, building out from its heel in proper form, and adding enough pig-iron ballast (also at the heel) to sink it. An eye-bolt is screwed into the upper end of this temporary rudder, and it is got into place in the same manner as an ordinary one, except that the hawser guys at the heel remain permanent.


To supply the place of pintles and gudgeons, the head of the temporary rudder passes through the round hole of the spare lower cap, the wood around the square hole is cut away so that it will fit the stern-post, where it is secured after the rudder has been gotten over and placed.

The vessel is steered by guys attached to the rudder outside, leading through blocks on the cross-jack yard lowered to the rail as before.

In arranging the gear of a temporary rudder in a screw ship, it may be necessary to take the guys through the screw aperture under the after bearing, as at G, Fig. 506, and thence up on the opposite side. Or the guys may require leaders in line with the keel, as in Fig. 507.

In case it should be impossible to ship the head of the temporary rudder through the rudder hole, the plan shown in Fig. 506 might be adopted.

Use a spare topmast for the rudder stock, heel down, and weighted if need be. The rudder frame formed by a stout spar (capstan bar) secured in the fid-hole, so as to project aft, and other suitable pieces of timber securely lashed together. Take out the halliard sheave, and through the sheave hole thrust two iron mast-fishes, or a suitable iron bar, lashing to this a thwartship spar to serve as a yoke. Fig. 506 a.

A pair of sheers are rigged over the taffrail to hoist out, the rudder and maintain it in position, guys led as shown in the figure, or as in the dotted line g.

A back lashing B through the stern hawse-pipes counteracts the tendency to rise, and a tackle T from the upper part of the rudder head to the mizzen-mast is used to keep the lower part of the rudder clear of the stern-post when the vessel is making but little headway. A spare gaff, with the jaws pointed over the taffrail and securely lashed, is used to counteract the inboard thrust of the rudder.

With jury-rudders of this description, vessels have been handled in all kinds of weather, though difficulty is experienced in heaving to with them, unless canted well clear of the stern by some such arrangement as the tackle I.

Owing to its disadvantages when the ship has but little headway, the effect of lee helm in lying to might be obtained by keeping the screw (two-bladed) athwartships, but this use of the screw would depend on its form, and also the tack the ship was on.

A very good form of temporary rudder, adapted for vessels with small rudder ports, is shown in Fig. 507.

The rudder proper is a rectangle, which may be formed of a gangway grating covered with canvas, or which can be built up to suitable size with plank. It is fitted with two yard-bands, Y Y, as travellers, to hold it to the temporary rudder-post P.


The rudder has four spans, one at the top, one at the bottom, and one on each of the after sides.

Having cut a suitable spar (topmast studding-sail boom) to a proper length, fit a block and heel guys at the lower end. The heel guys lead through bull's eyes on each side of a length of stream chain, the chain passing under the keel. On the same chain may be leaders, K, for the wheel-ropes. In the figure the lizards for the heel guys are shown, fitted. separately and crossing under the keel.

To get the bight of a chain at the required place, drop it, overboard from forward, under the bowsprit, with the bull's eyes lashed on and marrying lines rove through them, then bring the ends of the chain aft outside of all.

Through the block at the heel of the rudder-post is rove the downhaul for the rudder, which secures to the lower span and comes inboard through the rudder port. The head of the rudder-post is securely lashed inboard. A line from over the taffrail secures to the span on the top of the rudder, and the wheel-ropes lead through the fair leaders K to the sheaves in the cross-jack yard, that spar being lowered on the rail.

In a light breeze the rudder must be hauled up nearly to the level of the water to have its greatest effect; the greater the speed of the ship the more the rudder should be immersed.

With a jury-rudder of this kind, the Austrian barque Norma was handled with ease during a thirty-day passage from Candia to Trieste, beating up to her anchorage in the latter port.


The method of steering by a hawser or cable may be resorted to in other emergencies besides that of losing a rudder. It is related by an officer of great experience, that having being caught in a hurricane, in the Florida channel, in one of our small vessels, it was found that she steered so wildly as to be in constant danger of broaching to. It soon became evident if something was not done the brig would certainly be lost. The largest hawser on board was there fore got up and paid out over the stern for a considerable distance in her wake. Its effect exceeded the most sanguine expectations. It acted as a drag, seeming to break the force of the sea, and steadying the little vessel so as to render broaching to impossible. The severity of the gale may be understood when it is known that a Spanish frigate foundered at her anchors in the Havana, and three merchantmen. went down in sight of the brig.





Hard up! LET GO MAIN TRYSAIL SHEET AND PEAK OUT-HAUL! Main topsail clewlines! Let go the sheets! CLEW UP! If you have time to clear away the fore topmast staysail, or foresail, hoist away the first and haul aboard the fore tack, but if not, and the ship does not go off, Man the weather fore rigging! Send as many men aloft as can stand there, and she will probably fall off.


If thrown on your beam ends at any time, under any circumstances, let fly everything. If she does not right, cut away the masts (which in this case will be accomplished by cutting the laniards of the weather rigging). Cut the lashings of the spare spars and boats if possible, as well as of everything else on deck which will float.

If on soundings, cutting away an anchor (chain bent) will bring her head to wind, and perhaps right her.



Liardet says: "It is astonishing that so few attempts have yet been made by seamen generally to save their vessels by riding out gales under the lee of spars. We continually hear of boats being saved by these means; and if a ship get on her beam ends, stop-waters are advised to be veered from her quarter to get her before the wind by the best professional writers, and seamen generally. But let a vessel have her sails blown away, be partially dismasted, or even wholly so, rolling about in the trough of the sea; still you seldom hear of the same resources being tried to ride the ship by. The stream cable, or one of the strongest hawsers, bent on to the wreck of the masts, &c., previous to cutting it away, would make a capital sea-anchor; however, should you not be able to make a hawser fast to the wreck, it takes very little to keep a ship head to wind; a few spars from the booms, a quarter, or stern boat, might be so slung, as when sunk to ride the ship well; even a small anchor and cable veered to about fifty or sixty fathoms, would be found most useful; whatever you put over the

Plate 119, Fig 506-507. Jurry rigged rudders.

bows will tend to make the sea strike the ship in a better position for her safety. We are strongly of opinion that if more attention were paid to having a stop-water of some kind from the head of the ship to make her ride head to wind, when from the loss of masts, rudder, sail, or derangement of engine, you cannot keep the ship out of the trough of the sea, it would tend to lessen the number of shipwrecks."

For description of a sea anchor, see ANCHORS.


First pass a hawser outside the laniards of the rigging on the side you intend the masts to fall over. If the port side, cut away the mast on the starboard side, as high up as you can, for the stumps will be of service in securing your jury-masts; and, when you have weakened it sufficiently, cut away all but a pair of laniards on each side, guided by circumstances; then get out of the way, and cut away the remaining starboard laniards, keeping fast the stays till the mast has fallen, when you free them immediately. And finally, cut the port laniards adrift, which you will be able to get at by their being kept up by the hawser.

If all three masts are to go, commence with the mizzen mast and work forward; although, when at anchor, it is generally not advisable to cut the mizzen mast away, as it is of great service in keeping the ship steady, head to wind. This supposes that you intend to try to ride out a gale. If you are cutting away expecting to go on shore, the foremast may be spared if there is any chance of saving the crew by running for any particular spot, otherwise cut it away, and hold on to the last. Never slip your cables and run for the shore in the hope of making a lee by laying the ship in a slanting direction; if the anchors drag she may as well go ashore stern foremost as in any other way.

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