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On Schooner Stay Nomenclature
(This Issue’s Question, Page 14)
The Know It All questions and correct answers are important design tips for students as well
as other marine professionals. We suggest that you file them away for future reference.
The Question Was:
To the right is a drawing of the fore-n-aft stays between the fore-
mast and mainmast of a schooner. Can you give the correct
names for each of the numbered stays, stays 1, 2 and 3?
The Winners are:
Westlawn Elements of Technical Boat Design graduates Cynthia
Cygan and Eric Speth have each proven they are too smart for
their own good by submitting the best answers to this question.
As such, they are now officially Know It Alls, and should hence-
forth be addressed as such. Naturally, Westlawn T-shirts, caps
and Know It All certificates are on their way to both winners.
And the Solution Is:
For a simple question, this was a tough challenge. How tough?
We weren't sure about the answer at Westlawn. What do we do
when we need answers to knotty historical questions? We con-
tact the wizards at Mystic Seaport. Museum vice president Dana
Hewson passed our query on to their expert riggers. It turns out,
there is more than one name for some of the stays and any of
them would have been acceptable.
There’s unanimity on (1) as the springstay, but plenty of variation on all the other stays. There’s also some
agreement on (3) being either the
freshwater
or the
tieback
or
pullback
stay. Another common term for (3) i
the
counter stay
.
Why are there so many possible names? There are a few reasons:
One is that different regions of the U.S. and different parts of the world use different
terms. Another is that the names used have changed over time. A third is that schooner
rigging is similar to square-riggers. A brig or a brigantine, would employ square-rigger ter-
minology. Using this, (1) would be the
triatic
, (2)
the main-topmast stay
, and (3) would be
the
fore-topmast backstay
. This was also the common terminology in Great Britain, at the
end of the 1800s, for these stays on schooners.
Somehow, I doubt this is the last word on the subject. If you have more thoughts or infor-
mation about the naming of these stays, we want to near about it. Email your comments
to:
nnudelman@westlawn.edu
Stay
R. Hambidge
D. Butler
D. Sedar
H. Moore
M. Otto
1
Springstay
Springstay
Springstay
Springstay or
Springstay
Freshwater
2
Main Topmast
Triatic
Main Topmast
Kingstay
Main Topmast
3
Freshwater
Freshwater
Freshwater or
Queen
Tieback
Pullback
Westlawn is affiliated w
Mystic Seaport
. Visit
Seaport to learn about
history of boats, boatbu
ing, and design