Her maintop-mast was come by the board about six foot above the cap

enkidu68

Senior Member
turkish
Hi folks, it is coming from Captain Singleton by Defoe.
They confront a ship coming to them on the sea.
And narrator describes it as below.


....Her maintop-mast was come by the board about six foot above the cap, and fell forward, the head of the
topgallant-mast hanging in the fore-shrouds by the stay; at the same
time the parrel of the mizzen-topsail-yard by some accident giving way,

my question: Maintop mast was broken and fell down to deck?
or maintop mast was standing higher 6 foot above the cap, and broken (as it stood there)
 
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    It's not at all easy! I think you have to decide whether the topgallant-mast is part of the mainmast or part of one of the other masts (e.g. mizzen topgallant or fore topgallant). Supposing that it's part of the mainmast, you have (starting at the bottom): the mainmast, a cap, the maintop mast, another cap, the main topgallant mast.

    The maintop mast had broken off about six feet above the cap, and had fallen forwards towards the sea (by the board = overboard). However, it was prevented from falling into the water by the topgallant (the upper part of it) whose foreshrouds (the rope ladders that run up the front of it) had caught in the stay. We don't know which stay this was -- it may be the main topmast stay, the main topmast backstay, or one of the other stays on the ship. I don't quite see how the shrouds would catch in the main stay since they're quite a distance apart, but these things happen.

    In short, about 40% of the mainmast had broken off and was hanging in midair, held by the rigging.
     

    enkidu68

    Senior Member
    turkish
    waov:)))
    I am reading very carefully:))
    I tried to find some sloops or ancient ships in the net, which might show all parts of a ship,
    but not enough. Would you advice me something for terms and drawings?
    thank you.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    The book I'm relying on is The visual dictionary of ships and sailing, Dorling Lindersley, London 1991. It has a 30x50 cm diagram of an 18th-century ship with all parts named.

    It was republished the same year in Paris by Gallimard as a French/English bilingual dictionary, under the title Marine d'hier et d'aujourd'hui, ISBN 2-07-057510-1.

    (Also I've made a model of a US 1815 cutter, so I have a vague idea of the practicalities.)
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    the head of the topgallant-mast hanging in the fore-shrouds by the stay
    Perhaps this means that the stay attached to the head of the topgallant-mast is what caught in the foreshrouds and stopped it falling further (it was hanging by the stay).
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    I tried to find some sloops or ancient ships in the net, which might show all parts of a ship,
    but not enough. Would you advice me recommend something for terms and drawings?



    Basics:

    The foremast is the forwardmost one, the mainmast is the one in the centre ("amidships"), and the mizzenmast is the one all the way aft.
    The shrouds are the lines that go from the mast to the sides of the ship, to keep it from falling sideways. The stays are the lines that go forward and aft from the mast, to keep it from falling in either direction.
    The bottom section of the mast is the Xmast (X = fore, main, or mizzen), the one above is the topmast, and the one above that is the topgallant mast.
    The sails, from bottom to top, are the X course (also called the Xsail), the lower and upper topsails, the topgallant sail, the royal (sail), and the skysail.
    So #8 is the fore course (or foresail), 9 the lower fore topsail, 10 the upper fore topsail, 11 the fore topgallant sail, 12 the fore royal (sail), and 13 the fore skysail.
     
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