Funnel rigging


Bob Godfrey

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This should answer your question. It's a model, of course, but an accurate one. The portside signal halyard is indicated by the white arrow. It would be secured to a cleat on the other side of the short bulwark. Same arrangement on the starboard side.

port wing 1.jpg

port wing 1.jpg
 

TitanicNerd

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Thanks! So the wires just went like this /\ ? Or did they go like this: One wire like this / and in front of it another wire like this \
 
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The precise location of the tie-off cleats is a curiosity. However, signal halyards imply signal flags which, in turn, imply there must have been a flag locker. For flags the size of a ship like Titanic this locker would not have been insignificant in size. Even so, I've never seen any indication of where the flags for the flag halyards were stowed. Not that it changes the outcome of anything...just a curiosity.

-- David G. Brown
 

Bob Godfrey

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The deck plan shows a 'flag locker' against the inner forward wall of the wheelhouse on the port side. In the corresponding location on the starboard side is a 'signal locker'.
 

TitanicNerd

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Wires at the very top of the funnel?

I know there were 6 wires on each side of the funnels, making 12 supporting wires in total. But I am looking at a rigging diagram and see 4 wires at the very top of the funnel. Apparently, these were used for painting the funnel. Were they temporary or permanent? They look kinda ugly to me.
 

Jim Currie

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Hello there.

There were two single sheave blocks fitted to each side/top, front and rear of each funnel. Through these was rove a 1" manila rope, the ends of which were brought together and made fast on each side of the boat deck when not in use. These were funnel painting/cleaning messengers. When in use, a bosun's chair would be attached to one end and a sailor with a bucket fool of soodgee (fresh water and washing soda mix) and soodgee rag would be hoisted to the top of the funnel. Once there, he would tie-off the chair with a special knot and lower himself down, in stages, cleaning as he went. Soot was a problem on coal burning ships, funnels and nearby structures were constantly needing a wash.
At other times, the fore and aft lines would be attached to each end of a stage (an 8' long plank with horns at each end and two sailors would haul themselves (sitting on the board) to the top of the funnel. Thereafter, they would clean or paint as necessary. At the aft and forward ends of the funnels, the messenger from each side would be used to support a thwartship stage.

Here they are in use:

Funnel cleaning015.jpg

Jim C.

Funnel cleaning015.jpg
 

Jim Currie

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Yes, that's why they were called 'messengers'...i.e. always available on call. Otherwise, there was no way of re-rigging them unless sending a man up inside ... not a pleasant task I can assure you. Besdies which, very often, the C/O would decide on the spur of the moment to have the funnels washed.

Jim C.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Because they were only one inch in diameter. If you're looking at a full-length photo of the ship it was taken from a distance at which even the funnel's supporting shrouds can be hard to see, and they were 4-inch steel cables. At that range, a one-inch rope is effectively invisible.
 
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Beware of mistaking “diameter” for “circumference” when discussing the size of cordage in ship's rigging.

Traditionally, nautical cordage (“rope”) has always been measured by circumference. I've read this is because rope makers quickly learned that the amount of material – hence cost – in making a rope is more easily calculated from circumference rather than diameter. Maybe so, maybe not. But, a “1-inch” manila line in traditional measurement is actually about 1/3-inch in diameter, probably 3/8-inch in reality. This is well suitable for the purpose of a messenger, but hardly big enough to carry a man aloft.

That 4-inch circumference cable works out to be about 1 1/4-inch in diameter, which matches what we see in photographs of the funnel stays.

The concept of measuring cordage by circumference may be steeped in tradition, but it's a bit confusing to the uninitiated. These days, American yacht shops sell rope of all sizes up to 1-inch by diameter. Ship chandlers sell larger cordage for commercial use. Everything over 1-inch diameter is still measured by circumference.

Now, it's time for a piece of pi.

– David G. Brown
 

Jim Currie

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Hello David.

Circumference is the essential argument in the formula for detemining the strength and working load of Manila and Hemp ropes.

For occassional lifts use circimference squared divided by 7. (C divided by 7.)
For continuous use it is 1 sixth of the circumference squared divided by 3. (C squared over 3 divided by 6)

The circumference..C... of 1 inch rope is Pi x D = 3.1426 x 1 =3.1416.
3.1416 x 3.1415 = 9.9.
9.9 divided by 7 = 1.14 Long tons. For occassional use. i.e. painting and cleaning work

However for continuous use the same rope would only be used with loads up to 0.56 Long tons
i.e. for use with a snatch block in running tackle used in cargo work.

The use of diameter is mainly for eye-ball purposes. The length of the top joint of an adult human thumb is about
1" It follows that using the thumb as a rough guide, a sailor can determine the diameter of the rope he's using or is sent to fetch.

Jim C.
 

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