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"Running Rigging doesn't Sag" Topic

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Murvihill02 Jan 2017 5:55 a.m. PST

I'm building a larger scale whip as a decoration and my running rigging curls every which way instead of sagging gently. Anyone got any idea how to fix it?

Paint it Pink02 Jan 2017 6:31 a.m. PST

Use guitar wire.

The G Dog Fezian02 Jan 2017 7:54 a.m. PST

You are discussing the running rigging (sail and spar lines) and not the standing rigging that supports the masts, right? That is a poser. I assume you are using some form of porous thread?

How about installing it and then coating it with diluted PVA glue (or maybe even CA glue)? Gravity might pull it into a more realistic sagging form and it should dry that way.

Texas Jack02 Jan 2017 8:36 a.m. PST

I second G Dog´s recommendation of diluted PVA, that should do the trick.

Murvihill02 Jan 2017 8:43 a.m. PST

Thanks guys, after the glue on the knots dries I'll give it a try.

Phil Hall02 Jan 2017 1:42 p.m. PST

You can also use beeswax. just run the thread through it a couple times and voila.

attilathepun4702 Jan 2017 9:26 p.m. PST

Most of the running rigging should not be sagging in the first place because it is generally under tension. The function of running rigging is to hold sails or spars at the correct angle. It is standing rigging which is apt to sag, although only certain parts of it, depending on the point of sail and wind conditions. In a dead calm most all the rigging will be sagging. Unless a ship is dead before the wind, the lee shrouds would sag, while the windward shrouds would be taut. When before the wind the back stays will be taut and the fore stays slack, but the reverse would be the case when beating to windward. Rigging is too complex to list every possible case, but a bit of logical analysis should give most of the answers once you decide how you are going to depict your ship.

Ssendam03 Jan 2017 2:50 a.m. PST

Hmmm and then you end up with a flappy sail, and as any seaman(person) knows, "A flappy sail is not a happy sail".


DeRuyter03 Jan 2017 9:51 a.m. PST

@attilathepun47: Coming from experience on square rigged ships I would not have the standing rigging sagging at all on a model. The sag on the de-tensioned side of the shrouds would not be noticeable for example (it is not like they are running backstays on a modern racing boat). On the other hand your running rigging does have noticeable sag or slack on the windward side.

attilathepun4703 Jan 2017 10:10 p.m. PST


What you have to remember is that the standing rigging in the days of warfare under sail was not made of the same material as modern sailing vessels. Instead of wire or synthetic standing rigging, it was made of hemp, which was both weaker, and much more prone to stretching. In point of fact, what I said is born out by period paintings and drawings, if made by a really knowledgeable and conscientious artist. I do admit that some parts of the running rigging may be slack part of the time, such as the braces on the windward side or the tacks when running before the wind, but it is hardly possible here to give a complete catalog.

JSchutt04 Jan 2017 7:33 a.m. PST

If you do an internet search for "elastic rigging thread" you may find a solution… the economics of which I am unqualified to elaborate on.

4th Cuirassier10 Jan 2017 6:03 a.m. PST

How should one depict Jack Aubrey's double preventer backstays?

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