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Sella22

Rigging type benefits

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I have some questions regarding rigging types and their advantages and disadvantages compared to square riggers or compared to others. So with the help of our historians and experts I hope to get my answers.

First two that come in mind are the lugger and the polacre. But I hope that this thread won't be confined to only those two. Feel free to expand :)

So the question is: what are the advantages of the lugger over a schooner and a square rigger. Or the advantages/disadvantages in general Same question for the polacre.

References from books would be really appreciated as a bonus!

Examples of the rigging types

monographie-du-coureur-lougre-1776.jpg

8644422961_7d5944dc6f.jpg

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One point that jumps out when looking at rigs like the lugger, polacre and xebec is that they often popular in certain areas depending on the prevailing weather conditions. They were also often derived from fishing or other working vessels. The same can be said for US schooner design. Here is a reply I posted on another thread concerning the advantages of US "sharp" schooners with references. 

I would think that luggers have similar advantages in that they are weatherly and probably good in light wind. I will look for more information on these rigs. 

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[...]France had a lot [...] visted american coast during revolution [...] copied somewhat modifed [...] bodyplan. Penzcace lugger Colleen Bawn one of the fastes luggers of her day build by J.R. Wills, and that most baltimore schooner, shows a strong family resemblance. More likely the french luggers were even more like clipper schooners than english lugger [...]

[...]

An other feature of the lugger was the absence of useless top hamper and gear that offered so much windage to retard a vessels speed. The lugger had no shrouds at all just 2 naked poles of masts with a single hailliard for hoisting the yard rove through a dumb sheave in the masthead and yet they were very fast sailing craft. During Australia gold rush a lugger sailed from england and beat a regular packet in spite of having to ride out a gale

[...]

Source: American Sailing Ships: Their Plans and History (Dover Maritime)

Edited by z4ys
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13 minutes ago, DeRuyter said:

One point that jumps out when looking at rigs like the lugger, polacre and xebec is that they often popular in certain areas depending on the prevailing weather conditions.

I guess it is also a matter of local tradition in building and skills. While France has a coast along the Mediterranean Sea, it had no tradition in building xebecs and had to ask help from shipbuilders from Majorca to build their warship xebecs (Le Requin...). Likewise, in the 17th century, France favoured galleys and then made a lot of their small ships with square-rigged 3 masts (barques longues such as La Belle (1680) then corvettes) .

5 hours ago, Sella22 said:

References from books would be really appreciated as a bonus!

Source for Feluccas, brigantines, oared galiots, half-galleys, tartans, lateen bark, polaccas, pinks, and finally xebecs : here.

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An other reason for the lugger. Distance between masts

Sailing-trawl-gear.jpg

Sailing-trawl-gear-2.jpg

Edited by z4ys
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8 minutes ago, LeBoiteux said:

Do you know this book about the Felucca ?

Hmm I've never seen it before. It might be a new release I suppose. Thanks!

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1 hour ago, z4ys said:

...]France had a lot [...] visted american coast during revolution [...] copied somewhat modifed [...] bodyplan. Penzcace lugger Colleen Bawn one of the fastes luggers of her day build by J.R. Wills, and that most baltimore schooner, shows a strong family resemblance. More likely the french luggers were even more like clipper schooners than english lugger [...]

That´s not true for the first french naval luggers, those were direct copies of british vessels (though later versions were slightly larger).
 

Quote

 

Likewise, in the 17th century, France favoured galleys and then made a lot of their small ships with square-rigged 3 masts (barques longues such as La Belle (1680) then corvettes) .

 

 

 

A barque longue usually had two masts, just like the early corvettes. La Belle may have been given a mizzen mast just for La Salle´s expedition (and was subsequently classed as a fluyt, IIRC).

Barque longue and corvette from Du Pas' book:

Edited by Malachi
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You are nitpicking a bit and I 'do lots of shortcuts' when I speak english (as I'm not good at it. My bad.) :

11 hours ago, Malachi said:

A barque longue usually had two masts, just like the early corvettes. La Belle may have been given a mizzen mast just for La Salle´s expedition (and was subsequently classed as a fluyt, IIRC).

My point was about local tradition in building being another possible factor of production of a certain type of ships and the fact that France seemed to favour square-riggers (and galleys) when building small ships although it was a mediterranean power, a sea where one could find other types of ships. To be precise, I should have written : "Likewise, in the 17-18th century, France favoured galleys and made a lot of their small ships with as square-rigged 3 masts (barques longues such as maybe La Belle (1680) then corvettes) that were to have 3 masts thereafter." Mea maxima culpa.

11 hours ago, Malachi said:

La Belle was subsequently classed as a fluyt, IIRC.

Interesting.

Boudriot draws her plans as a barque. Delacroix calls her a 'barque longue'. 

Joutel who was part of Cavelier de la Salle's Expedition calls her once 'une petite Frégate de 6 canons' and several times 'barque' in his Journal (at least 14 times), using the word 'flute' for another ship of the expedition :

 

nlB9azw.jpg

Unfortunately, there no mention of her here.

Nothing is absolutely sure about La Belle. Of course. I should have written "She may have been a square-rigged barque". Mea culpa.

However, the big picture of the thread is still about the key factors when choosing rigging types...

Edited by LeBoiteux
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Ops, seems like I should have looked at my sources before I posted and not write stuff from memory.

You´re correct, at the time of the expedition La Belle would have been a 'barque' (i.e. just fore-and-aft rigged on the mizzen, a topsail on this mast would have probably made her a frégate légère, just as G. Grieco described her in his article in the Journal of Nautical Archaeology).

 

1 hour ago, LeBoiteux said:

You are nitpicking a bit [...]

He, I'm german, nitpicking is part of my DNA :P

 

1 hour ago, LeBoiteux said:

My point was about local tradition in building being another possible factor of production of a certain type of ships and the fact that France seemed to favour square-riggers (and galleys) when building small ships although it was a mediterranean power, a sea where one could find other types of ships.

Well, in the Med wind conditions and directions can change quite drastically over a short period of time, so people tried to adapt to get from point A to point B as fast and efficiently as possible. Some favoured lateens, some square, some a mix of both. If both points are in the Med, than lateen sails may be the better option, if one of the points is on an atlantic coast with it´s longer 'static' wind conditions, than a mix might be preferable.

And if you look at the med section of Du Pas' book I linked above, you´ll find quite a few french fore-and-aft rigged vessel :)

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Regarding lugger:

[...]She is 39 feet long on deck; 12 feet beam, and is 4 feet deep at the point of greates beam which is 12 feet from the bow. Her lugsail contains 755 square feet of canvas and is fitted with five rows of reef points. When a black norther sweeps down across the gulf, it blows, and while these boats are broad and have good bearings to stand up and take their medicine, especially when deeply loaded with cargo of oysters, there are times when it pays to reef, as they carry no ballast whatever. They are centerboard boats but are sweetly modeled and very fast sailers as many yachtman has found out who has had a scrub race with them. They have to steam the swift current  of the mississippi and twist and turn up many inlets and bayous. [...] This requires a minimum of draft  to pass over shoal places and to operate on the oyster reefs and yet they have to go off into deep water and negotiate all kind of waves.

 

regarding brig an schooner:

The famous schooner Enterprise, the pet of the early american navy [...] was a baltimore schooner carrying square topsails and a typical clipper build in 1799. [...] She was rebuild in 1809 and rigged as a brig [...] Under her orginal schooner rig she was a wonderfully fast craft  and the seamen who had to use the various vessel regretted the conversion of this boat to abrig rig.

 

Source: American Sailing Ships: Their Plans and History (Dover Maritime)

 

Edited by z4ys
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Another source for luggers is, of course, the book about the French lugger Le Coureur, 1776 (66 ft, 8 guns) with, as usual with this collection, sections about the history of the lugger, about the rigging, plates (...) :

coureur-01.jpg

Source : http://b.rimlinger.free.fr/images/coureur/coureur-01.jpg

History :

Together with the frigate La Belle-Poule (1765), Le Coureur was engaged in the first naval combat of the American Revolutionary War on 17 June 1778.

Plans and monograph :

http://ancre.fr/en/monographies-en/50-monographie-du-coureur-lougre-1776.html?search_query=coureur&results=4

Sources :

http://threedecks.org/index.php?display_type=show_ship&id=19238

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Coureur

Pics http://b.rimlinger.free.fr/coureur01.htm

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