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Posted: 11/17/2016 12:40:24 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/17/2016 12:40:55 PM EST by sigp226]
I'm on the third book. I stopped reading them when I broke my knee. Painkillers don't mix well with Patrick O'Brian.

The issue is: What the Hell are they talking about?

I'm familiar with the world situation at the time. The Richard Sharpe series caused me to read up on the historical figures and events around the Napoleonic Wars. The background of the people, the politics, and the battles are easy to find on the internet, even if the source is wikipedia.

I need a book that explains the technical details of 1800s era sailing ships. I understand when O'Brian intends something bad about a ship, but he constantly uses old terms and rarely explains why they matter.

I bought Patrick O'Brian's Navy: The Illustrated Companion to Jack Aubrey's World in the hope that it would explain the ships. It doesn't. Don't waste your money on that one, wikipedia has the same information.

Can anyone recommend a book that explains the parts and procedures of sailing warships to a newb?
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 12:45:33 PM EST
I can't recommend a book, but do you have specific questions?
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 12:50:30 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/17/2016 12:50:59 PM EST by bluduk15]
There are many companion books.

"A Sea of Words" is a good one to nail down the terminology. "Harbors and High Seas" gives some pretty good context to the geography, but you'll have to read other accounts of the real battles to get all of the other details.

The one thing you should also look into is the Haynes Manual for the HMS Victory. Yes, it's a Haynes Manual and it's really, really good and showing the ultra fine details of a first rate Ship of the Line and rigging.

Haynes Manual HMS Victory

Link Posted: 11/17/2016 12:50:33 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/17/2016 12:51:07 PM EST by broadrunarms]
HMS Victory Manual 1765-1812 by Haynes

DAMN!! BEAT BY THREE SECONDS!!!
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 12:51:18 PM EST
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Originally Posted By broadrunarms:
HMS Victory Manual 1765-1812 by Haynes
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Great minds think alike!
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 12:58:36 PM EST
A historical work I would recommend is Six Frigates.

It is about the origins of the US Navy with the construction of the 44 gun super frigates.

The US and English navies were culturally similar. There was some issues related to figuring out who belonged to who's navy.

Also, the English were scandalized that their 38 gun frigates had to be order not to engage our 44 gun frigates.
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 12:59:05 PM EST
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Originally Posted By bluduk15:



Great minds think alike!
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Originally Posted By bluduk15:
Originally Posted By broadrunarms:
HMS Victory Manual 1765-1812 by Haynes



Great minds think alike!



Thanks for posting that.

Off to Home Depot for more lumber.

I've already got my Ryobi tools in the charger,

Let's build this!


Link Posted: 11/17/2016 1:04:43 PM EST
He does explain some things piecemeal throughout the book. IIRC he describes what "up and down" means at some point after using it in several previous books (it means the anchor line is vertical indicating the ship is directly over the anchor and ready to ship it). Just rig double backstays and enjoy the ride.

The HMS Surprise is the best book of the entire series and IMO one of the best novels ever written. He packs more stuff into the first hundred pages than other authors in entire books or even series. It's my second favorite novel ever, second only to Cryptonomicon.
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 1:19:29 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/17/2016 1:27:36 PM EST by MonkeyGrip]
Killick there! Another serve of drowned baby!

A Sea of Words, Third Edition: A Lexicon and Companion to the Complete Seafaring Tales of Patrick O'Brian Paperback – October 1, 2000 by Dean King (Author),

https://www.amazon.com/Sea-Words-Third-Companion-Seafaring/dp/0805066152


Harbors and High Seas, 3rd Edition : An Atlas and Geographical Guide to the Complete Aubrey-Maturin Novels of Patrick O'Brian, Third Edition Paperback – October 1, 2000 by Dean King (Author)


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0805066144/ref=pd_sbs_14_t_0?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=9BVC5DC8434GX0JCA605


Patrick O'Brian's Navy: The Illustrated Companion to Jack Aubrey's World Hardcover – September 4, 2003
by Richard O'Neill (Author)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0762415401/ref=pd_sbs_14_t_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=CBK9F92BBC8N7J67C3TT





Link Posted: 11/17/2016 1:27:10 PM EST
Buy the books in paper form and keep them as you will end up re reading the entire series every few years.
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 1:28:13 PM EST
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Originally Posted By DonS:
A historical work I would recommend is Six Frigates.

It is about the origins of the US Navy with the construction of the 44 gun super frigates.

The US and English navies were culturally similar. There was some issues related to figuring out who belonged to who's navy.

Also, the English were scandalized that their 38 gun frigates had to be order not to engage our 44 gun frigates.
View Quote


This is a great book and several battles are word for word the same as in the Aubrey/Maturin books. That just shows you how much research O'Brien put into writing the books, he used official battle reports.
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 1:30:53 PM EST
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Originally Posted By InsaneRusher:
Buy the books in paper form and keep them as you will end up re reading the entire series every few years.
View Quote


Yup and don't be discouraged the books are writin in the King's english and between all of the technical nautical terms for a ship of sail and the way people spoke back then I think everyone has a hard time reading them. I'm going to start my 4th adventure through the series soon and so far I've picked up on something new every time.
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 1:39:05 PM EST
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Originally Posted By ken_mays:
I can't recommend a book, but do you have specific questions?
View Quote

Too many for a thread on arfcom, and I hoped for a reference I could keep handy when I read the novel so I could quickly read a definition, etc.

The books have a diagram of sails, but the books talk about a lot of things that are obviously important and I wish I knew why. Here's some of the stuff from when they sailed through the gale in H.M.S. Surprise.

The coaking above the cap is not what any of our friends could wish... (something to do with the foretopmast.)

...the launch had been carried away in spite of the bosun's treble gripes...

...now her larboard cathead touched green water...

Men were swarming up the weather ratlines... (are these different than the normal ratlines?)

...the downhauler had fouled the clew: stray lines from the wreckage in the hanks.

I get the gist of the chapter. The storm tore the rigging apart and they had to make sure they didn't broach on a wave and capsize. I wish I knew the specifics of it.
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 1:43:06 PM EST
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Originally Posted By MonkeyGrip:
Killick there! Another serve of drowned baby!

A Sea of Words, Third Edition: A Lexicon and Companion to the Complete Seafaring Tales of Patrick O'Brian Paperback – October 1, 2000 by Dean King (Author),

https://www.amazon.com/Sea-Words-Third-Companion-Seafaring/dp/0805066152


Harbors and High Seas, 3rd Edition : An Atlas and Geographical Guide to the Complete Aubrey-Maturin Novels of Patrick O'Brian, Third Edition Paperback – October 1, 2000 by Dean King (Author)


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0805066144/ref=pd_sbs_14_t_0?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=9BVC5DC8434GX0JCA605


Patrick O'Brian's Navy: The Illustrated Companion to Jack Aubrey's World Hardcover – September 4, 2003
by Richard O'Neill (Author)

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0762415401/ref=pd_sbs_14_t_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=CBK9F92BBC8N7J67C3TT
View Quote

The third one is useless unless the reader has no knowledge at all of the era.
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 1:46:38 PM EST
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Originally Posted By KennyW1983:


Yup and don't be discouraged the books are writin in the King's english and between all of the technical nautical terms for a ship of sail and the way people spoke back then I think everyone has a hard time reading them. I'm going to start my 4th adventure through the series soon and so far I've picked up on something new every time.
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Originally Posted By KennyW1983:
Originally Posted By InsaneRusher:
Buy the books in paper form and keep them as you will end up re reading the entire series every few years.


Yup and don't be discouraged the books are writin in the King's english and between all of the technical nautical terms for a ship of sail and the way people spoke back then I think everyone has a hard time reading them. I'm going to start my 4th adventure through the series soon and so far I've picked up on something new every time.

I bought them in hardback. I don't mind the language although sometimes I have to reread a passage to understand it.

One of my small number of complaints about the Richard Sharpe series was that as Sharpe got promoted, his dialect changed. The guy was a London guttersnipe. By the time he was a major, he spoke like he had a formal education.
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 1:48:22 PM EST
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Originally Posted By sigp226:

Too many for a thread on arfcom, and I hoped for a reference I could keep handy when I read the novel so I could quickly read a definition, etc.

The books have a diagram of sails, but the books talk about a lot of things that are obviously important and I wish I knew why. Here's some of the stuff from when they sailed through the gale in H.M.S. Surprise.

The coaking above the cap is not what any of our friends could wish... (something to do with the foretopmast.)

...the launch had been carried away in spite of the bosun's treble gripes...

...now her larboard cathead touched green water...

Men were swarming up the weather ratlines... (are these different than the normal ratlines?)

...the downhauler had fouled the clew: stray lines from the wreckage in the hanks.

I get the gist of the chapter. The storm tore the rigging apart and they had to make sure they didn't broach on a wave and capsize. I wish I knew the specifics of it.
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Originally Posted By sigp226:
Originally Posted By ken_mays:
I can't recommend a book, but do you have specific questions?

Too many for a thread on arfcom, and I hoped for a reference I could keep handy when I read the novel so I could quickly read a definition, etc.

The books have a diagram of sails, but the books talk about a lot of things that are obviously important and I wish I knew why. Here's some of the stuff from when they sailed through the gale in H.M.S. Surprise.

The coaking above the cap is not what any of our friends could wish... (something to do with the foretopmast.)

...the launch had been carried away in spite of the bosun's treble gripes...

...now her larboard cathead touched green water...

Men were swarming up the weather ratlines... (are these different than the normal ratlines?)

...the downhauler had fouled the clew: stray lines from the wreckage in the hanks.

I get the gist of the chapter. The storm tore the rigging apart and they had to make sure they didn't broach on a wave and capsize. I wish I knew the specifics of it.


You can wiki a lot of the individual terms. Most of it is color anyway. Have some grog and a drowned baby and just enjoy it.
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 1:52:16 PM EST
I wish I had some advice but I was in the same metaphorical boat when I read the series some time back. Once Aubrey got on the ship and started sailing, I was completely lost.

To me, it was "garble garble anchor garble garble mainsail garble garble stern garble garble"
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 1:52:44 PM EST
For parts and rigging, look up illustrations of a full-rigged ship.

A quick primer: the masts are named by their position in the ship, i.e., Foremast (forward most mast), Mainmast (midship mast, and generally the tallest), and Mizzen (aft most mast). Each mast may have a Topmast, which is fastened by iron collars to its base mast. The Topmast is removable, and can be stowed on deck in heavy weather.

The sails are named by both their vertical position, and on which mast they are set. The bottom most sail (course) is named after the mast (Foresail, Mainsail, Mizzensail), the next course is the Topsail, Topgallant, Royal, Sky, and Moonraker and so on - all preceded by the mast name Fore Topsail, Main Royal, etc. All are set on yards, which are the cross-pieces of timber on the mast. The yards can be extended outward by Studding Sails (Stuns'ls I think he calls them in the books), although they aren't mounted on the higher yards.

Up forward are the jibs, and in between each mast, a staysail can be flown.
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 1:54:04 PM EST
The weather ratlines are the ones on the windward side. The other side are the lee ratlines. Catheads are anchor support beams near the bow. The rest of it I have to infer from context.
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 1:55:35 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Ranxerox911:
For parts and rigging, look up illustrations of a full-rigged ship.

A quick primer: the masts are named by their position in the ship, i.e., Foremast (forward most mast), Mainmast (midship mast, and generally the tallest), and Mizzen (aft most mast). Each mast may have a Topmast, which is fastened by iron collars to its base mast. The Topmast is removable, and can be stowed on deck in heavy weather.

The sails are named by both their vertical position, and on which mast they are set. The bottom most sail (course) is named after the mast (Foresail, Mainsail, Mizzensail), the next course is the Topsail, Topgallant, Royal, Sky, and Moonraker and so on - all preceded by the mast name Fore Topsail, Main Royal, etc. All are set on yards, which are the cross-pieces of timber on the mast. The yards can be extended outward by Studding Sails (Stuns'ls I think he calls them in the books), although they aren't mounted on the higher yards.

Up forward are the jibs, and in between each mast, a staysail can be flown.
View Quote


Staysails are hung on stays, which are basically guy lines for the masts.
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 2:07:01 PM EST
At the beginning of the book should be an illustration of a ship with all the sails labeled. Referring back to it should help any time sails are mentioned.

One of the roles of Stephen Maturin is to be a surrogate for the reader -- someone who is otherwise intelligent and well-educated but has no experience or knowledge of the naval world. Pay particular attention whenever Aubrey or any of the other characters go to the trouble to explain things to Stephen. Those passages are there to help you out.
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 2:08:25 PM EST
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Originally Posted By sigp226:

Too many for a thread on arfcom, and I hoped for a reference I could keep handy when I read the novel so I could quickly read a definition, etc.

The books have a diagram of sails, but the books talk about a lot of things that are obviously important and I wish I knew why. Here's some of the stuff from when they sailed through the gale in H.M.S. Surprise.

The coaking above the cap is not what any of our friends could wish... (something to do with the foretopmast.)

...the launch had been carried away in spite of the bosun's treble gripes...

- Launch: the small boat carried on deck or in davits; Gripes: tie downs, tripled up in this case

...now her larboard cathead touched green water...

Larboard: old expression for starboard; Cathead: a small boom-like extension at the bow that routes the anchor line over the side of the ship; Green water: solid amounts of seawater as opposed to spray, usually when it comes aboard

Men were swarming up the weather ratlines... (are these different than the normal ratlines?)

The weather side (also windward side) is the side of the ship that the wind is coming over

...the downhauler had fouled the clew: stray lines from the wreckage in the hanks.

Downhauler: Line that pulls down a sail; Clew: corner of the sail; Hanks: hardware that attaches the sail to the yards

I get the gist of the chapter. The storm tore the rigging apart and they had to make sure they didn't broach on a wave and capsize. I wish I knew the specifics of it.
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Originally Posted By sigp226:
Originally Posted By ken_mays:
I can't recommend a book, but do you have specific questions?

Too many for a thread on arfcom, and I hoped for a reference I could keep handy when I read the novel so I could quickly read a definition, etc.

The books have a diagram of sails, but the books talk about a lot of things that are obviously important and I wish I knew why. Here's some of the stuff from when they sailed through the gale in H.M.S. Surprise.

The coaking above the cap is not what any of our friends could wish... (something to do with the foretopmast.)

...the launch had been carried away in spite of the bosun's treble gripes...

- Launch: the small boat carried on deck or in davits; Gripes: tie downs, tripled up in this case

...now her larboard cathead touched green water...

Larboard: old expression for starboard; Cathead: a small boom-like extension at the bow that routes the anchor line over the side of the ship; Green water: solid amounts of seawater as opposed to spray, usually when it comes aboard

Men were swarming up the weather ratlines... (are these different than the normal ratlines?)

The weather side (also windward side) is the side of the ship that the wind is coming over

...the downhauler had fouled the clew: stray lines from the wreckage in the hanks.

Downhauler: Line that pulls down a sail; Clew: corner of the sail; Hanks: hardware that attaches the sail to the yards

I get the gist of the chapter. The storm tore the rigging apart and they had to make sure they didn't broach on a wave and capsize. I wish I knew the specifics of it.

Link Posted: 11/17/2016 2:23:32 PM EST
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Originally Posted By broadrunarms:
HMS Victory Manual 1765-1812 by Haynes

DAMN!! BEAT BY THREE SECONDS!!!
View Quote

GD is a cutthroat world. Be fast - be alive.
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 2:23:32 PM EST
Just read the books. You'll figure it all out. If it doesn't all make sense, that's fine, skim over it and get the gist. Some of those passages are there to make you feel like the outsider you are, it helps you appreciate the complexity of what they were doing and Maturin's position. By the third trip through the books you'll find yourself laughing at lubberly Maturin.

The important things to learn are directions, starboard/larboard, weather/lee, course vs. royals, weather gauge (upwind). Most other technical terms are some specific kind of lashing, knot, or splice that doesn't change the story. You can pick that up on your next trip through the books.

The beauty of these books is that you pick up all the nautical knowledge on the way through a great story without trying. If your trying too hard you're doing it wrong.

Enjoy the ride!
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 2:25:26 PM EST
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Originally Posted By DonS:
A historical work I would recommend is Six Frigates.

It is about the origins of the US Navy with the construction of the 44 gun super frigates.

The US and English navies were culturally similar. There was some issues related to figuring out who belonged to who's navy.

Also, the English were scandalized that their 38 gun frigates had to be order not to engage our 44 gun frigates.
View Quote

Reading that book verified that our founding was a miracle. Political shenanigans galore.
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 2:27:36 PM EST
Isn't a lot of that stuff in the inside book jacket? All my Aubrey books are at my parents', I can't check.
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 2:40:22 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Sauce:
Just read the books. You'll figure it all out. If it doesn't all make sense, that's fine, skim over it and get the gist. Some of those passages are there to make you feel like the outsider you are, it helps you appreciate the complexity of what they were doing and Maturin's position. By the third trip through the books you'll find yourself laughing at lubberly Maturin.

The important things to learn are directions, starboard/larboard, weather/lee, course vs. royals, weather gauge (upwind). Most other technical terms are some specific kind of lashing, knot, or splice that doesn't change the story. You can pick that up on your next trip through the books.

The beauty of these books is that you pick up all the nautical knowledge on the way through a great story without trying. If your trying too hard you're doing it wrong.

Enjoy the ride!
View Quote


And reefing. There is hardly a page where they aren't reefing topsails, sailing under a "close-reefed topsail breeze" or something. This is a quick and dirty guide to give you an idea:

http://www.oceannavigator.com/May-June-2014/Square-sail-handling/
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 2:55:29 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Okay:
At the beginning of the book should be an illustration of a ship with all the sails labeled. Referring back to it should help any time sails are mentioned.

One of the roles of Stephen Maturin is to be a surrogate for the reader -- someone who is otherwise intelligent and well-educated but has no experience or knowledge of the naval world. Pay particular attention whenever Aubrey or any of the other characters go to the trouble to explain things to Stephen. Those passages are there to help you out.
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There aren't that many of them and the things that O'Brian explained seemed pretty basic.
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 2:55:55 PM EST
Originally Posted By Bourbonator:
Isn't a lot of that stuff in the inside book jacket? All my Aubrey books are at my parents', I can't check.
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I have the first three. Each has a diagram of a ship that indicates the sails and masts, but that's all.
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 3:25:08 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Bones45:


You can wiki a lot of the individual terms. Most of it is color anyway. Have some grog and a drowned baby and just enjoy it.
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Originally Posted By Bones45:
Originally Posted By sigp226:
Originally Posted By ken_mays:
I can't recommend a book, but do you have specific questions?

Too many for a thread on arfcom, and I hoped for a reference I could keep handy when I read the novel so I could quickly read a definition, etc.

The books have a diagram of sails, but the books talk about a lot of things that are obviously important and I wish I knew why. Here's some of the stuff from when they sailed through the gale in H.M.S. Surprise.

The coaking above the cap is not what any of our friends could wish... (something to do with the foretopmast.)

...the launch had been carried away in spite of the bosun's treble gripes...

...now her larboard cathead touched green water...

Men were swarming up the weather ratlines... (are these different than the normal ratlines?)

...the downhauler had fouled the clew: stray lines from the wreckage in the hanks.

I get the gist of the chapter. The storm tore the rigging apart and they had to make sure they didn't broach on a wave and capsize. I wish I knew the specifics of it.


You can wiki a lot of the individual terms. Most of it is color anyway. Have some grog and a drowned baby and just enjoy it.

The Drowned Baby sounds pretty good, as long as I don't have to eat the millers first.

I think the Haynes Manual is what I want. I might also get the recipe book, Lobscouse and Spotted Dog: Which It's a Gastronomic Companion to the Aubrey/Maturin Novels, though a French one from the era would probably be better. The English of the day were not known for the quality of their food. The French called them Roast Beefs as an insult.

I enjoy the 'color' of a period book, if it's accurate. It makes me want to understand the way they lived in some detail and what was important.
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 3:59:01 PM EST
I really enjoyed "Desolation Island" where Aubrey takes command of the Leopard. In a characteristic bit of humor, it's always referred to as the "horrible old Leopard" in previous books. But when it becomes Aubrey's command, it's suddenly "not as bad as all that."

I find it fascinating how a fifty-gun ship like the Leopard was something of a technological orphan at that time. Not able to stand up to the second- and first-rates, but not quite weak enough to flee with honor, while also outgunning the typical frigates to the point that beating them would be no honor either.
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 6:01:03 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Ranxerox911:

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Originally Posted By Ranxerox911:
Originally Posted By sigp226:
Originally Posted By ken_mays:
I can't recommend a book, but do you have specific questions?

Too many for a thread on arfcom, and I hoped for a reference I could keep handy when I read the novel so I could quickly read a definition, etc.

The books have a diagram of sails, but the books talk about a lot of things that are obviously important and I wish I knew why. Here's some of the stuff from when they sailed through the gale in H.M.S. Surprise.

The coaking above the cap is not what any of our friends could wish... (something to do with the foretopmast.)

...the launch had been carried away in spite of the bosun's treble gripes...

- Launch: the small boat carried on deck or in davits; Gripes: tie downs, tripled up in this case

...now her larboard cathead touched green water...

Larboard: old expression for starboard; Cathead: a small boom-like extension at the bow that routes the anchor line over the side of the ship; Green water: solid amounts of seawater as opposed to spray, usually when it comes aboard

Men were swarming up the weather ratlines... (are these different than the normal ratlines?)

The weather side (also windward side) is the side of the ship that the wind is coming over

...the downhauler had fouled the clew: stray lines from the wreckage in the hanks.

Downhauler: Line that pulls down a sail; Clew: corner of the sail; Hanks: hardware that attaches the sail to the yards

I get the gist of the chapter. The storm tore the rigging apart and they had to make sure they didn't broach on a wave and capsize. I wish I knew the specifics of it.


Larboard is port, not starboard.
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 6:03:21 PM EST
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Originally Posted By InsaneRusher:
Buy the books in paper form and keep them as you will end up re reading the entire series every few years.
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I got to the end and started over.

And as far as the real deep nautical stuff goes, I just do what Stephen does and pretend I know what everyone's talking about.
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 6:22:07 PM EST
Psshhh - blowboaters
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 6:33:15 PM EST
I can answer all your questions, but alas I am in me cups and will pass for 8 bells.
Link Posted: 11/17/2016 6:39:13 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/17/2016 6:40:30 PM EST by sigp226]
I bought the Haynes book.

I gots to know.

Originally Posted By BB:
I can answer all your questions, but alas I am in me cups and will pass for 8 bells.
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I've had my drops of laudanum today.
Link Posted: 11/30/2016 1:39:13 AM EST
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Originally Posted By bluduk15:
There are many companion books.

"A Sea of Words" is a good one to nail down the terminology. "Harbors and High Seas" gives some pretty good context to the geography, but you'll have to read other accounts of the real battles to get all of the other details.

The one thing you should also look into is the Haynes Manual for the HMS Victory. Yes, it's a Haynes Manual and it's really, really good and showing the ultra fine details of a first rate Ship of the Line and rigging.

Haynes Manual HMS Victory

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I got it today.



It's good. The text explains how and why she was built. I leafed through it because I primarily bought it for the illustrations. It's nice to write that this bit attaches to that bit and controls the other bit, but it's much better to see it photographed or sketched with a description.

The book is loaded with photos of HMS Victory. I think some of them are areas the typical tourist wouldn't see. The author, Peter Goodwin, was an RN nuclear submarine engineer and ultimately became the keeper and curator of HMS Victory. He credited various RN officers, historical, and technical experts in the book, as well as his wife, who was the curator of history at the Portsmouth Museums. It appears to have a very legitimate pedigree.

It also has operating instructions.

Turn to page 68 to determine how to steer the ship if the crapauds damage your rudder, then turn to page 87 for detailed (and correct) instructions how to fire a broadside at those self same stinking Frenchers.

There are plenty of photos of other square rigged ships and some stills from the Master And Commander film where appropriate. Goodwin was a consultant for the film, but the book is not an attempt to sell the movie. It seems to be the much more rare effort of a writer and a publisher to produce some good, clean fun.

Buy it if you enjoy the subject or want to gift a friend with the same interest.
Link Posted: 11/30/2016 2:09:51 AM EST
I just started Post Captain as I read the series a second time. Wonderful series of books.
Link Posted: 11/30/2016 2:44:33 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/30/2016 2:45:41 AM EST by Mariner82]
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Originally Posted By sigp226:

Too many for a thread on arfcom, and I hoped for a reference I could keep handy when I read the novel so I could quickly read a definition, etc.

The books have a diagram of sails, but the books talk about a lot of things that are obviously important and I wish I knew why. Here's some of the stuff from when they sailed through the gale in H.M.S. Surprise.

The coaking above the cap is not what any of our friends could wish... (something to do with the foretopmast.)  Not sure on coaking, but a coaking machine looks like a vertical lathe.  Cap is the very top of the mast, so I'd deduce it involves some woodworking way on up high.

...the launch had been carried away in spite of the bosun's treble gripes... Launch is a large ship's boat.  Gripes are lines (now wire) that hold the boat in place in the davits (or rack) - treble = 2x normal number.  Carried away = gone. 

...now her larboard cathead touched green water...  Larboard (port(left)) side.  Cathead is a large, square timber that projects out from the ship to which the crown of the anchor is hauled up and secured withthe shaft of the anchor horizontal.  It almost always has a cat's face (lion/tiger) carving on the end for decoration.  If that touches greenwater, the ship has heeled over waaaaay too far.

Men were swarming up the weather ratlines... (are these different than the normal ratlines?)  There are always two side.. Weather side and the leeward side.  The sides change depending on where the wind is coming from.  You wan to go up the weather side so you aren't trying to hang over the water on the way up - it would be like tryng to climb theback side of a straight ladder you lean against the house, but worse.

...the downhauler had fouled the clew: stray lines from the wreckage in the hanks.  Downhaul- exactly what it sounds like - a rope that pulls down on a sail or spar.   Clew - one of the lower corners of a square sail or the loose corner of a triangular sail.

I get the gist of the chapter. The storm tore the rigging apart and they had to make sure they didn't broach on a wave and capsize. I wish I knew the specifics of it.
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Answers I can answer in red...  Any USCGA grads want to chime in with EAGLE experience?
Link Posted: 11/30/2016 3:01:24 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/30/2016 3:04:29 AM EST by elbeefalo]
The obvious solution is to just jump into the lingo by enlisting in the Navy as a Bosun Mate and then complain how yours is the only real sailing rate left while you do nothing but sweep and paint and brag about how you're more knowledgeable at heaving round things.


Also, Wikipedia articles are easy ways to get a fair understand of rates, rank, terms and sailing. If by the end of the series you can explain the difference between a brig, a sloop and a frigate then good on you.
Link Posted: 11/30/2016 3:33:41 AM EST
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Originally Posted By elbeefalo:
The obvious solution is to just jump into the lingo by enlisting in the Navy as a Bosun Mate and then complain how yours is the only real sailing rate left while you do nothing but sweep and paint and brag about how you're more knowledgeable at heaving round things.


Also, Wikipedia articles are easy ways to get a fair understand of rates, rank, terms and sailing. If by the end of the series you can explain the difference between a brig, a sloop and a frigate then good on you.
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Bosun WTF is that?
Link Posted: 11/30/2016 3:45:35 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/30/2016 3:47:24 AM EST by Mariner82]
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Originally Posted By QCMGR:


Bosun WTF is that?
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Alternate form of Boatswain, as opposed to The Bosun, which is a Warrant Officer in the deck department.

I know that stuff is confusing for you Dogs.
Link Posted: 11/30/2016 3:49:53 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Mariner82:

Alternate form of Boatswain, as opposed to The Bosun, which is a Warrant Officer in the deck department.

I know that stuff is confusing for you Dogs.
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Originally Posted By Mariner82:
Originally Posted By QCMGR:


Bosun WTF is that?

Alternate form of Boatswain, as opposed to The Bosun, which is a Warrant Officer in the deck department.

I know that stuff is confusing for you Dogs.


Or, on a merchant ship, the senior most deck seaman.
Link Posted: 11/30/2016 4:11:48 AM EST
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Originally Posted By KennyW1983:


Or, on a merchant ship, the senior most deck seaman.
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Originally Posted By KennyW1983:
Originally Posted By Mariner82:
Originally Posted By QCMGR:


Bosun WTF is that?

Alternate form of Boatswain, as opposed to The Bosun, which is a Warrant Officer in the deck department.

I know that stuff is confusing for you Dogs.


Or, on a merchant ship, the senior most deck seaman.

Ah, yes... just so.
Link Posted: 11/30/2016 4:23:19 AM EST
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Originally Posted By QCMGR:


Bosun WTF is that?
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Originally Posted By QCMGR:
Originally Posted By elbeefalo:
The obvious solution is to just jump into the lingo by enlisting in the Navy as a Bosun Mate and then complain how yours is the only real sailing rate left while you do nothing but sweep and paint and brag about how you're more knowledgeable at heaving round things.


Also, Wikipedia articles are easy ways to get a fair understand of rates, rank, terms and sailing. If by the end of the series you can explain the difference between a brig, a sloop and a frigate then good on you.


Bosun WTF is that?


The guy that stands on the foscle
Link Posted: 11/30/2016 5:08:48 AM EST
I just skimmed past the parts that I didn't understand and eventually they were explained or I worked it out.
Link Posted: 11/30/2016 6:19:02 AM EST
I tried one of the Jack Aubrey books, but I like the Hornblower series much better.
Link Posted: 11/30/2016 11:29:48 PM EST
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Originally Posted By conductor:
I tried one of the Jack Aubrey books, but I like the Hornblower series much better.
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I've got 17 more to go before I try another series.
Link Posted: 11/30/2016 11:42:49 PM EST
https://www.amazon.com/Young-Sea-Officers-Sheet-Anchor/dp/0486402207

They reprinted this book because of the popularity of O'Brian's work.
Link Posted: 11/30/2016 11:44:20 PM EST
"Jack, you've debauched my sloth."
Link Posted: 12/18/2016 11:21:14 AM EST
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Originally Posted By ken_mays:
I really enjoyed "Desolation Island" where Aubrey takes command of the Leopard. In a characteristic bit of humor, it's always referred to as the "horrible old Leopard" in previous books. But when it becomes Aubrey's command, it's suddenly "not as bad as all that."

I find it fascinating how a fifty-gun ship like the Leopard was something of a technological orphan at that time. Not able to stand up to the second- and first-rates, but not quite weak enough to flee with honor, while also outgunning the typical frigates to the point that beating them would be no honor either.
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I just finished Desolation Island and started The Fortune Of War. It's nice to see that as soon as they sailed her into Port Jackson, Admiral Drury restored her status as the horrible old Leopard.
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