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Hello Game Labs!

Glad to see this masterpiece moving along this quickly!

Although I have one small question regarding the basic cutter in the current Naval Action.

The cutter is a ship that has a square rigged sail plan, with a big mainsail and one smaller on top. Though the in game cutter is lacking the main sail, only having the topsail.

Why is this?

Thank you.

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So, to get this straight. A cutter is a vessel, a bit longer and larger than a sloop, with a square rigged sail plan, in which there is a square course and a top sail? Being the ship still classified as a cutter if it only has the top sail deployed?

Wouldn't the ship lack thrust power without the square course?

Thank you.

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The cutter has the cutter rig. The difference between the cutter and the sloop* is that a cutter typically has more head sails; at least more than one, typically three. All topsail from the 18th century were still almost invariably square (the gaff top was only introduced very late in the 18th century) In addition to the main sail (which is a gaff sail on a cutter rigged vessel), cutters of old typically also had a yard to fly a square course from.

 

As Maturin already observed: it would be unlikely that a cutter would fly both square course and the gaff mainsail at the same time.

 

~Brigand

 

*As with most sailing related 'definitions' you could have a discussion about this. Sailing terminology is not helped by the fact that the terms are used interchangeably by different countries, for a great many years, etc.

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So, to get this straight. A cutter is a vessel, a bit longer and larger than a sloop, with a square rigged sail plan, in which there is a square course and a top sail? Being the ship still classified as a cutter if it only has the top sail deployed?

Wouldn't the ship lack thrust power without the square course?

Thank you.

Actually, the only real difference between a cutter and a sloop is the location of the fore stay that supports the mast.

 

In a sloop, the fore stay leads to the bowsprit, just like any other vessel. A cutter's fore stay leads directly to the hull on one side of the bowsprit. This means that the bowsprit can be run in onto the deck, protecting it in rough weather.

 

Sloops can be quite a bit larger than cutters, and either can have square sails.

 

 

 

If the NA cutter set a square mainsail at the same time as the gaff, the result would probably be less thrust, not more. When sailing close to the wind, the square mainsail could prevent wind from getting to the gaff mainsail. Basically you have a less efficient sail stealing power from the the more efficient one. With the wind astern, the situation is reversed. The inefficient gaff prevents the efficient mainsail from drawing correctly.

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Thank you for your in depth replies, it explained a lot to me.

Even though using both sails at the same time could be cripling to the cutter's sailing performance, most european designs did use both sails at the same time.

Is the NA model an european design? Or did the devs choose not to incude the mainsail because of performance reasons?

Cheers

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Is the NA model an european design? Or did the devs choose not to incude the mainsail because of performance reasons?

Aesthetic reasons, I should think. Many cutters had very odd-looking sailplans, while Alert's is quite elegant.

 

You either have a cutter that looks silly and inaccurate, or you have to add special coding so that the square mainsail furls automatically on the wind.

 

Edit: Assuming models like this are correct, Alert actually set a square course without full drop: http://mmzone.co.kr/media/files/10900/mmzimg12753722977050.jpg

 

This sort of sail also looks a little odd, but probably wouldn't interfere with the gaff mainsail too much.

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