Period Pieces No.18 - Masts
KEITH JULIER in the third of four parts, continues on the subject of masts
The shape and complexity of construction varied according to the period. On vessels up to around 1700, tops were circular and had angled sides, Photo 48, which were often planked with a capping rail around the top edge, the supports for the sides usually being an integral part of the battens radially spaced around the floor of the top. A good kit will provide these parts pre-cut, but care is still needed to get the spacing correct. The fixing of the top rail is particularly important, since it is through these that the deadeye strops for the topmast shrouds will pass, the angular sides of the top providing clearance for attaching the futtock shrouds below.
Later vessels had tops with straight backs and sides, although the basic principles of design remained.
Another variation arises in the case of some merchant vessels where the top may be a framed grating. These are constructed in a similar fashion to deck gratings but without the battens described above, Photo 50.
The top assembly may then be glued in place on top of the hounds, again checking that it sits parallel to the waterline when the mast is stepped. Do not glue the mast cap on to the spigot on the masthead at this stage, but the masthead iron hoops may now be put in place. The futtock shrouds may be left hanging down until later.
(Extracts and photographs from the Period Ship Kit Builder’s Manual are reproduced with the kind permission of Special Interest Model Books Ltd.)
Want the latest issue of Model Boats? Use our magazine locator link to find your nearest stockist!
Make sure you never miss out on the latest news, product reviews and competitions with our free RSS feed
We welcome well written contributions from Website members on almost any aspect of Model Boating with a particular emphasis on practical hints, tips, experience and builds.
In order to maintain a consistent standard and format, all suggestions should first be sent to me by Personal Message for approval in principle. Only a very limited amount of time is available for editing contributions into a suitable format for placing on the website so it is important that the material is well presented, lucid and free from obvious spelling errors. I think it goes without saying that contributions should be illustrated by appropriate photos. I shall be happy to give advice on this.
The Member Contribution area offers space for short informative mini articles which would not normally find a place in Model Boats magazine. It is an opportunity for Website Members to freely share their expertise and experience but I am afraid that virtue is its own reward as there is no budget to offer more material recompense!
I look forward to receiving your suggestions.
Colin Bishop - Website Editor