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SIGNAL STATIONS & SEMAPHORES.
Signal Stations have been established at many conspicuous places along the coasts of Great Britain and Ireland, and similar stations, as well as Semaphores, have been erected on the coasts of many of the maritime nations of Europe; these stations have wherever practicable, means of inter-communication by telegraph wires with each other, and with the chief Telegrapbic Stations of the Continent and Great Britain. No other Signals than those of the International Code are recognised.
The Colonies and India also use the International Code to the exclusion of all others.
A homeward bound ship passing another ship should hoist BPW,“ do you wish to be reported"; and report the Distinguishivg Signals given in reply.
SIGNALS OF DISTRESS.
In the day-time, whether used or displayed together or separately. 1. A gun fired at intervals of about a minute. 2. The International Code signal of distress indicated by NO 3. The distance signal, consisting of a square flag, having either above or below it a ball, or anything resc.obling a ball.
At night, whether used or displayed together or separately. 1. A gun fired at intervals of about a minute. 2. Flames on the ship, (as from a burning tar-barrel, oil-barrel, &c.) 3. Rockets or shells, of any colour or description, fired one at a time at short
intervals. “Any Master of a vessel who uses or displays, or causes or permits any person under his authority to use or display any of the said signals, except in the case of a vessel being in distress, shall be liable to pay compensation for any labour undertaken, risk incurred, or loss sustained in consequence of such signal having been supposed to be a signal of distress, and such coinpensation may, without prejudice to any other remedy, be recovered in the same manner in which salvage is recoverable."-(Merchant Shipping Act, 1873.)
SIGNALS FOR PILOT.
In the day-time, whether used or displayed together or seprrately. 1. The Jack or other national flag usually worn by merchant ships, having round it
a wbite border one-fifth of the breadth of the flag, to be hoisted at the fore : or 2. The International Code pilotage signal indicated by PT
At night, whether used or displayed together or separately. 1. The Pyrotechnic light, commonly known as a blue light, every fifteen minutes ; or 2. A bright white light flashed or shown at short or frequent intervals just above
the bulwarks, for about a minute at a time. “Any Master of a vessel who uses or displays, or causes or permits any person under his authority to use or display, any of the said signals for any other purpose than that of summoning a pilot, or uses or causes or permits any person under bis authority to use any other signal for a pilot, shall incur a penalty not exceeding twenty pounds."--Merchant Shipping Act, 1873.)
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
FORE AND AFT SE A MANSHIP.
CUTTER OR YAWL RIG. What is a Cutter Rig? One mast, bowsprit fitted to run out and in, and jib set flying; the chief
sails are fore-and-aft mainsail, gaff-topsail, foresail, and jib. What is a Sloop Rig? One mast and fore-and-aft sails like a cutter, but a standing bowsprit ;
the foresail is set on a stay leading to the bowsprit, she sometimes sets
a flying jib on a small jibboom. What is a Yawl or Dandy Rig? A fore-and-aft mainsail, gaff topsail, foresail, and jib, are carried as in a
Cutter; in addition there is a small mizenmast stepped in the stern, upon which is set either a lug or spritsail called the mizen, the sheet of which is led to the end of a horizontal spar projecting over the stern; the foot of the mainsail is shorter to allow the boom to traverse clear of the mizenmast. The Dandy is a similar rig, but should strictly have a jib-headed mizen and no boom to the mainsail, that it may be easily
brailed up by a rope passing round it. How many shrouds on a side are usually fitted in these Rigs? Three or four in large craft, two in small vessels. Any other gear? Yes, a runner and tackle with pennant on each side abaft the rigging. What are they used for? They act as backstays for the lower mast, and are also used for hoisting a
boat or other heavy weight out or in. Q. To what portion of the hull is the fore stay secured?
To the stemhead in a Cutter. In a sloop the forestay generally leads
to the end of the bowsprit.
Do fore and aft vessels often house and send up their topmasts? A. Yes; and for this purpose a mast or heel rope is kept rove in readiness. Q. What precautions are generally taken to prevent the mast from falling
when housed, in addition to keeping the mast-rope rove? A. The bight of a rope (about two or three fathoms long, with an eye spliced
in each end) is seized on to an eye bolt, on the heel of the topmast; the ends of the rope are seized on to the foremast shroud of the rigging, one on each side, so that when the mast is housed, the legs form an angle of about 45° with the heel of the topmast. This is generally a fixture, sufficient drift being allowed for the mast to be housed or sent aloft, without taking the scizings off, a lashing round the heel of topmast and lower mast dues just as well.
Q. How is a Cutter's topmast rigging fitted ?
putting a sheepshank in it. Q. Describe it.
It is led from the topmast head through a score in the outer arm of the
cross trees, below which, and in the end, a thimble is spliced. From this to the channels of the rigging it is set up with a tackle. Short lengths, called legs, fitted with clip-hooks, or shackles are used to give
the required length when the topmast is sent aloft. How is the bowsprit supported ? By means of a bobstay and shrouds. How are they fitted ? With two single blocks, or a runner and tackle (the latter in a large vessel).
Shrouds have the tackle on the inner end; bobstay, the tackle on the outer end, with a line on the bight to trice it up with when required. The standing part of a bobstay is generally chain, that of the shrouds
wire rope. How would you reef a Cutter's bowsprit ? Slack up all the gear. Reeve a heel rope and heave taut upon it, and take
out the fid. Slack the bowsprit in to the second or third fid hole, as required, ship the fid, and then set up the gear. Some vessels are fitted with a rack and pinion wheel, with a handle similar to that of a winch
for reefing the bowsprit. Q. What are whiskers ?
Two iron rods placed on each side of the stem to extend the spread of
the bowsprit shrouds in sharp bowed vessels. How are the topping lifts fitted? Single or double from the masthead to the boom end (in small vessels). Describe them. The standing part is hooked on to the boom and led through a block on
the cap at the masthead, from thence on deck, and there set up with a runner and tackle. Double ones are fitted with the standing part on the cap, and led thence through a single block at the boom end and back to a block at the cap, thence to the deck. In large Cutters a single one is fitted on each side of the boom, and rove through a block under the eyes of the rigging. The lee one is overhauled slack, or unhooked, to
keep the chafe off the sail when set. How are the peak halliards rove? Through two blocks on the gaff, and three at the masthead. The standing
part has a tackle on it with about 3 to 4 fathoms drift between the blocks when overhauled, which tackle is hooked on to an eye bolt abaft the rigging and called the peak purchase. The hauling part is led from
the lower block at the masthead to the deck. Q. How is the peak line rove, and what is it used for?
As a single whip through a small block at the gaff end. Used for hoisting
the ensign or signals, and for hauling the gaff down. How is the luff of the mainsail bent? Bent on to hoops round the mast, or with hanks from the throat down to
the third reef, from thence there is sometimes a lacing. Q. Why?
A. To trice the tack up, or take the reefs in with greater facility, by slacking
up the lacing or unreeving it. Q. How is the tack tricing line fitted ?
A single block on the tack of the sail, a single block and the standing part
under the jaws of the gaff; from thence it leads on deck. Q. How are the reef pennants of the mainsail fitted ?
With a wall knot or Matthew Walker on one end. Q. How are they rove?
From down up, through the cleat on one side of the boom, through the
corresponding reef cringle on the after part of the sail, and down through
the sheave on the other side of the boom. How is the foresail fitted ? With hanks on (or by a lacing to the fore stay. The halliards have two
single blocks with clip hooks for hooking into the thimble in the head of the sail. The sheet sometimes travels on an iron rod or horse across the deck. A bowline bridle on the after leach or leech, with a line to the foremost shroud is used to keep the sail to windward when
necessary. How are the jib halliards or halyards rove? Through two single blocks with a purchase on the standing part same as
the peak halliards.
How would you set a jib? A. Hook on the halliards to the head of the sail, the tack to the traveller,
shackle on and belay the sheets slack, then haul the tack chock out, hoist away on the halliards, and haul aft the sheet. (Set on the lee side
of the foresail.) Q. How is the gaff topsail sheet rove?
From the deck through a block under the jaws of the gaff, from thence
through a sheave or a block at the gaff end, How would you take a gaff topsail in? Lower the halliards, and haul on the downhaul, until the head of the sail
is down to the cap of the masthead, hold on the halliards, let go the sheet, and trip up. When the sail is clewed up, let go the halliards, and haul it down by the tack and downhaul. Always take it in to leeward of the mainsail if possible because there is less chance of its
How is the gaff topsail downhaul fitted ? A. The standing part on the clew of the sail, and through a single block on
the head of the sail (if it is jib headed); if set with a yard on the head,
the block is on the inner yardarm. Q. How is the square sail yard fitted in a Cutter or Sloop ? · A. In modern vessels, see next question. The old fashioned way was with a
strop and thimble on the midship part of the yard, this travelled on a wire rope jumper, set up from the masthead, to the deck, at the fore side of the mast. The yard was usually carried up and down the mast when not in use. When in use, it is squared by lifts from the lower
masthead, and by braces leading aft. How would you set a squaresail ? Lower the foresail down, hoist up and square the yard, bend on the yard
arm whips to the earings, and the foresail halliards to the middle of the
head of the sail, hitch the lizard on the jumper to the midship halliards, hoist up and trim. A downhaul is bent on to each halliard. In modern yachts the sail is sometimes bent to the yard which is hoisted
by the fore halliard, lifts being dispensed with. How would you take it in? Keep the tack and sheet fast. Slack off and haul down outer halliards as
low as possible. Then let go midship halliards, haul on the downbauls, and gather in the sail. In the case of a flying squaresail, as it is called, simply lower the yard down and gather in the sail to leeward of the
mainsail. How would you reef a mainsail? Lower throat and peak halliards sufficiently to take in the reef required,
hook on reef tackle to reef pennant, and bowse the reef cringle down on to the boom, pass the tack earing, tie the reef points, and reset the sail,
hoisting throat taut up before the peak. How would you take in the balance reef, the third and fourth reef
being in? A. Ease the peak sufficiently to allow the jaws of the gaff to come close down;
when down pass throat earing, and hook on tack tackle, reeve the points,
tie them, and set up the peak halliards. Q. Suppose your mainsail has no balance reef ?
Then lower the jaws of the gaff as aforesaid and lash the leach of the sail
round the boom. What is scandalizing the mainsail? Tricing the tack up, and lowering or dropping the peak.
Where does the boom guy lead to when running before the wind ? A. Outside the rigging, and in board, to the fore part of the bowsprit bitts.
What is a jib topsail, and how is it set? A. A light sail set from the bowsprit end to the topmast head. Sometimes
it is bent on hanks to the topmast stay. Q. What is a balloon jib?
A large jib of light make, used only in light winds for going free; it
extends from the bowsprit end to the main rigging. What is a spitfire jib? A very small jib, of No. 1 canvas, for stormy weather.
How would you shift jibs in a gale of wind ? A. Get the sail up from below, lay it along the weather side of the foredeck
with the head aft. Then haul the foresheet to windward, round in on the mainsheet, trice up the tack and becket the helm. Let go the jib outhaul, sing out to stand by ! and the sail will fly in along the bowsprit, muzzle it, let go the halliards, and haul down. Bend on the sheets to the spitfire jib, hook the tack on the traveller, and the halliards to the head, pass a couple of rope yarns round the head of the sail. Haul out the traveller to its proper place; belay the outhaul, make fast both sheets slack, hoist up, let draw foresheet and trim aft your jib
sheet. Q. What are the rope yarns round the head of the sail for ? A. In order that the sail may be snug while being roused out on the bow
sprit. Directly the sail is hoisted the rope yarns part. Q. What canvas would you reach under, in a gale, with heavy sea ?