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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Caught the end of Moby Dick this morning. How in the he11 did they attach the masts for those ships? Only thing I could figure would be to build the ship around it. Then what about when the mast broke.

The force of the wind in one of those nasty storm would be tremendous.

Not really a modern day question, but how would you have liked to be a ship's carpenter back then?
 

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Caught the end of Moby Dick this morning. How in the he11 did they attach the masts for those ships? Only thing I could figure would be to build the ship around it. Then what about when the mast broke.

The force of the wind in one of those nasty storm would be tremendous.

Not really a modern day question, but how would you have liked to be a ship's carpenter back then?

I guess they could use some kind of rigging to put mast in place.
 

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I was under the impression that it was lowered through the deck and some how attached to the keel. What blew me away is all the stories of guys hiking into the amazon rain forest to get ironwood trees for a new mast....Once you have the damn thing, now you have to get it out, with just a bunch of guys there to carry it.
 

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Curmudgeon
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I believe the base of the mast is
braced and secured to the keel.
The largest part was then attached
after the ship was launched.
Lots of leverage and block and tackle work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I could see attaching it the keel with a piece of iron, both to displace the weight and you could use the bottom of the mast as a plug. Multiple trees? What kind of joint? mortise/tenon an elongated scarf of some type? Some of the old movies you can see the iron banding around them. Funny what makes you think sometimes:laughing:

I believe the toters of the mast would have come from the laborers union:laughing: Stuff like that being beneath a carpenter. I would imagine there weren't many, but the ones that were good would have been well compensated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
:laughing::laughing:

Festerized, what did you google to come up with that picture? The forces placed on that mast strap and the mast itself must have been incredible in the middle of a hurricane......Through bolts and tar for the mast straps to the keel connection?
 

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David Festa
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:shuriken:
Yup Google keyword search
Notice how main deck locks in the mast
Just can’t see the cables going from mast to mast and then to bow sprit, this makes a triangle, super strong
 

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The mast does go through the deck to the keel where it sits on a platform (mast step) built directly on the keel,its held in place with a mortise and tenon joint.the tenon was cut on the mast and the mortise in the step.
The way a mast is held into position and displaces the stresses put upon it is not a complected affair just a bit involved.To name just a few parts IE,mast collar and bands, lipped wedges,hounds cheeks,Tabernacle,shrouds,stays.chain plates
mast partners,hanging and lodging knees,strikers
turn buckles(bottle screws),bulls eyes.
Lowering sail in a storm would just seem like common sense but later ships than we are talking about here would actually pile more canvas on,they were not called Windjammers for nothing.Wooden ships and iron men.
billy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Even without sails there would occasionally be a lot of extra stress put on them. I see oak trees blown over all the time during the winter when there are no leaves on them. Thanks for the info and insight, just something a little out of the norm to think about on a Sunday afternoon.
 

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Dave from Macatawa
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In heavy wind the boat heels over (rolls). So the stress on the mast is not anchored like roots of a tree. The rolling also spills air out of the sails. Of course the rolling lays the ship over and if the keel weight is not enough to right the ship, then that is where she stays.

Great thread PA. :thumbsup: It is interesting to think of how life and death a ship's carpenter's work was.
 

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The mast does go through the deck to the keel where it sits on a platform (mast step) built directly on the keel,its held in place with a mortise and tenon joint.the tenon was cut on the mast and the mortise in the step.
The way a mast is held into position and displaces the stresses put upon it is not a complected affair just a bit involved.To name just a few parts IE,mast collar and bands, lipped wedges,hounds cheeks,Tabernacle,shrouds,stays.chain plates
mast partners,hanging and lodging knees,strikers
turn buckles(bottle screws),bulls eyes.
Lowering sail in a storm would just seem like common sense but later ships than we are talking about here would actually pile more canvas on,they were not called Windjammers for nothing.Wooden ships and iron men.
billy.

Without doing a search or anything (so I may be wrong) I thought the windjammer term was about how close to the wind some boats (the schooner?) pictured could sail and the speed.
The old "square" rigged boats used to have a saying...One hand for the ship(company)....One hand for yourself.....
more trivia...One of the harder jobs was to splice the main brace. the hand that did it got an extra ration of grog.Nowadays the term "splice the main brace" is an invitation to enjoy some libations.
God save the Queen
 
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Curmudgeon
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We are all the sons of the ship's carpenter.
They were the first real builders here.
That's why we still build bulkheads, decks,
put in a ship's ladder for temporary stair......
 
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