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rough weather. Launches should be sloop rigged, with jib, stay-sail and main-sail; the lower mast short, the main-sail square on the head and with but little hoist. A short, stout topmast would set a gaff topsail for light weather, without much extra gear, and would also do for signalling. The sail should balance with a single reef in the mainsail and the stay-sail alone set, so that in rough weather the boom would be in. The objection to the weight of a signal mast and the consequent difficulty in shipping it could be obviated by a box opening aft, from the step to the thwart, which would keep the heel of the mast always in place when stepping; and by using the jib halliards from forward the weight would not be felt. To our cutters, the same criticism, as to being built for speed alone, applies but in a greater degree. In addition, they are framed too heavily with the exception of the keel, which should be heavier than at present and the main strength of the boat. They should have vastly fuller bows; heavier stem pieces would enable them to carry and use a Gatling gun, an impossibility now. How necessary this last will become we may know if we are ever obliged to do patrol duty, Watching against a night torpedo attack. All the men-of-war boats I have seen lack several minor useful appurtenances found necessary in foreign men-of-war boats; such as, a permanent boat chest, chocks to close row-locks when under sail. The booms and masts are very badly arranged even where the rig best adapted to the boat is used. The masts often ship through a hole in a fore and aft piece on the thwarts, necessitating standing upon the thwarts to ship them. Masts should clamp to the thwart, and the above mentioned box from step to thwart, should be built in strongly ; it is impossible for a mast to go adrift at the heel with such a box and that it has been used for years in the whale boats of whalers is proof that it is practically serviceable. The jigger booms often ship through a hole in the stem and are unshipped with great difficulty; they should be stepped in a movable heel iron and be clamped over the top of the stem so as to allow them to be triced up. Cumbersome iron work is frequently put outside the stem for shipping the masts, flag staffs, &c. All this should be inside and would be, I presume, were the boats not fitted with rings for hoisting, at the extreme ends—a most vicious practice, tending to break the back of any boat. For the larger cutter I would recommend the rig shown in figure 1, with jib, fore and main sail and jigger. The advatages of this rig are a large spread of canvas, with the stern sheets fairly clear of booms
and sheets, very little gear, while it is strong and easily reduced to handy sail for heavy weather. After taking in the jib and jigger, all the sail is in the boat at hand for reefing and shortening and leaving enough sail to work the boat. The masts are short and the peaks of the lugs high ; the yards should be hoisted with a block fitted to the traveller, so that the halliards may not be slacked off, as is often the case with single halliards, when belaying. For smaller cutters, of less than 28 feet length, if built with good beam, I would recommend the rig shown in Fig. 2. The training ship Minnesota has three cutters fitted in imitation of this rig, but unfortunately the imitation is very poor. The masts of the Minnesota's cutters are plumb, which is bad for hoisting a lug; the lugs are standing and very square on the head, and there is too much canvas aloft and too little below. The boats will not tack in any sort of a sea or with a fresh breeze, and the coxswains have so little reliance upon the working of the boats under sail, except with a fair wind and sea, that they know but little of bending or making sail. The only rig for cutters comparable to the foregoing seems to be the sliding gunter, but that labors under the disadvantage of the sails, of necessity made up with the masts, being in the way when rowing.
Whale boats should be clinker built with good beam, flat floors, and centre-board. They should be fitted with a permanent arrangement for steering with an oar, and the stern should be fitted out under water with a piece of dead wood that they might have a proper rudder. The sliding gunter is the best rig for whale boats, with all the sail inside the boat. The whale boats of the Minnesota are rigged with a dipping fore lug and a standing main lug, the fore lug being split at the mast to give a jib to the boat. * ,
As a reason for the many varied rigs to be seen in our men-of-war boats, I may state that I have been told by experienced sailmakers that it is the custom to build boats, to fit them them with spars and booms and then to turn them over to the sailmakers with orders to place sails wherever possible.
THE CHAIRMAN. I am in favor for a sloop rig for launches and sliding gunter for all other boats except dinghies, which should be fitted with a simple sprit. The present order of the Department in regard to boats is very good, but it lacks uniformity. There is no use in having part of the cutters rigged with sliding gunter and part with sprit-sails. Both styles are good in themselves but of the two I prefer the sliding gunter as it allows boats to lie alongside ship with masts stepped, it is more easily handled in every way, besides being safer. The Chinese system of rig is well worth imitating in some respects. I agree entirely with Lieut. Noyes in thinking our boats defective in strength and carrying capacity, and that we should give up building boats for racing purposes and build them more for safety and comfort; but I disagree with him in thinking the rig in fig. I, a rig of lugs with jib and jigger, a good one. It is too cumbersome, there are too many sails and spars, and it is not at all equal to the sliding gunter rig in ease of handling.
Lieut. HANFORD. We do not want all our boats rigged alike; a good rig for a launch might be a very poor one for a small cutter: but the idea that all boats of a certain size in the Navy should have the same rig is a good one. Safety, simplicity, weather lines and comfort are the points needed in all the boats of a man-of-war, except one or two in a large vessel, which should be fitted for speed. I agree with Lieut, Noyes that our boats, as a rule, have not sufficient capacity and that two much is sacrificed to speed under oars. At the same time an endeavor should be made to give every vessel one or two fast pulling boats, the rest to be more capacious. It is useless to expect one boat to have all the good qualities, or any one rig to be without defects. I would suggest for launches the sloop rig without gaff topsails: a topsail adds little or nothing to the speed and is rarely used, For the larger cutters I would suggest a sliding gunter rig, and for the smaller, the sprit : this gives both uniformity and variety. My experience is that the jigger rig is always bad. Lieut. Comd’r. GOODRICH. In the selection of a suitable rig for boats in the navy, the conservatism of individual taste and experience will necessarily enter as a powerful factor, since officers will naturally advocate that which they liave themselves tried and found satisfactory as to appearance and performance. It would seem then that a fair discussion, having for its end a professional and impersonal good, ought to include on the part of those joining in it, not only arguments for the particular schemes advanced, but a realization of the influence of naval antecedents on the opinions formed. Of one thing I am certain, that there exists a wide-spread discontent throughout the service, on this subject, founded on the lack of uniform rig of boats of similar class and their but too frequent inability to perform the simplest manoeuvres under canvas, resulting in a reversal of the old maxim, that sailing should be the rule and pulling the exception for a man-of-war's Cutter. The usual classification of a ship's boats is as follows, viz., first, Steam launches and cutters; second, Sailing launches ; third, Cutters; fourth, Whale boats; fifth, Gigs; sixth, Dinghies. - * Let us begin with cutters as forming the principal portion of the complement. A cutter's rig should possess 1st, Efficiency in propelling, or, more simply, permit an ample spread of canvass. 2d, Balance of effort, indicated by a firm weather helm while on the wind. 3d, Simplicity—as few parts as practicable. 4th, Ease and rapidity
of making sail. 5th, Convenience of stowage in the boat. 6th, No bowsprit. 7th, Handiness in reefing. 8th, Low centre of effort. The first and second conditions may be fulfilled in a variety of ways. The third condition, however, reduces the consideration to rigs of not more than three sails and these sails must be as simply fitted as possible. A large dipping fore lug and a main lug either standing or dipping is perhaps the simplest of all. The liability of the fore lug to get aback in tacking presents a most serious objection to this rig.—The fore lug may now be split, yielding an arrangement found in the Russian service, or the split may be developed into a separate jib thus making a three-sail rig. Another three-sail rig is a jib with sliding gunter fore and main sails, the latter often provided with a boom. I may at once remark that my experience leads me to reject all dipping lugs and, briefly, to narrow down the choice to between the sliding gunter rig, just mentioned, and that composed of a jib and two standing lugs (the main with a boom.) In both the tack is hooked once for all and the only gear needed is halliards, sheets and main brails with one shroud on each mast opposite the halliards. Under the fourth head, the lug rig appears preferable, as one set of hands can be loosing the sails while the other is stepping the masts. In the gunter rig both operations cannot be effected simultaneously, although it does not follow that much time is thus lost. The lug rig offers the considerable advantage of showing no canvas above the rail until actually needed, and, of permitting a complete dousing of sail in case of emergency, leaving the masts standing, if desired. Under the fifth head the lug seems better, for no nuisance is greater, in a passenger boat, than that of stern sheets half blocked by spars projecting beyond the after thwart. Under the sixth head it seems merely necessary to call attention to the undesirability of bowsprits. Sufficient canvas in the fore lug will be found to secure the proper balance. It would appear that the gunter is, if anything, a trifle more handy than the lug in reefing. The gunter shape carries its own recommendation for a low center of effort. On the other hand, the question naturally arises whether, in order to secure sufficient spread of canvas, it might not be necessary to lengthen the masts, so as to place the center of effort not far from that of the lug, and at the same time to cause the spars to encroach too much on the stern-sheets. Altogether, I incline strongly to the lug rig indicated, while confessing that I have not had the opportunity of testing the gunter on a scale great enough