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    Rebuilding thames barge Cambria
    33 Posts ยท 8 Followers ยท 52 Photos ยท 128 Likes
    Began 5 months ago by
    Leading Seaman
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    Latest Post 4 months ago by
    Rear Admiral
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    roycv
    Rear Admiral
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    ๐Ÿ“ Rebuilding thames barge Cambria
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    Hi good idea to start again. You should find all you need on the Internet. One thing I have recently learned is that Google does not pick up everything. Try Bing or another of the search engines, it worked for me.

    There is a lot on Wikipedia on Thames and river Medway Barges, Cambria is still in use.
    The first sail to be hoisted on this barge is the topsail, connected by hoops it picks up the higher cleaner air to get going.

    The Sprit sail is hauled up close to the mast, so when it is let go the sail opens straight away.

    Note there is no sail boom, it is a loose footed sail and is just 'brailed' off onto the 'horse'. This means that when tacking it all operated automatically, the sheet to the foot of the sail at the clew just slides along the horse.

    The rudder mechanism is complicated with left and right hand threaded screwed shafts which is an excellent compact system but does not lend itself to copy in a working model.

    It is all looking good so keep us informed on progress.
    regards
    Roy
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    majorray
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    ๐Ÿ“ Rebuilding thames barge Cambria
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    hi all i have decided to take the sails and rigging off and start from scratch the information that has been provided is fantastic although a bit over my head so i am going to have a steep learning curve i will try and get a sail and rigging plan for the Cambria if its available as this is the first time i have attemted this previosly the only sail boats that i have built was a Victoria but this is a whole new ball game so if any one can tell me a good book to get that will help me understand all the different sails on my model i would appreciate it and i will look up the Ambo face book group i think my estimate for finishing this boat in the spring is now defunct and now going to be next christmas
    AlessandroSPQR
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    Hi Tom.

    "Alessandro .. I still don't understand why you still don't want to recognize just the spritsail as the mainsail for Thames sailing barges...."

    In reality I thought and wrote exactly this (according to the photos I saw in this forum): the Thames barges are characterized by a type of sail called "sprit sail" (in Italian it is called "tarchia").

    Perhaps someone who read carefully from the beginning might have understood where the misunderstanding came from.

    I have one last strenuous attempt left, after which I give up, if this fails I admit my inability to communicate in English and take all the blame.

    I am not yet clear whether "mainsail" is a generic term or whether it refers to a specific sail unequivocally.
    By now I think it is the first hypothesis and that is that it is not a specific (absolute) name but is relative to the position she has on the sail plan.
    When I insert the word "randa" (which in Italian indicates a specific sail without the possibility of confusing it with others) both Google and my glossary translate it with the English word "mainsail".
    From this I initially assumed that "mainsail" was a specific term and not a generic one.
    But then this discussion made me doubt, so I performed another type of search.
    I looked for a sail plan of a ship (three masted) in English where that type of sail is not the most important, therefore it is certainly not the main one, to see if the term remained "mainsail" or not.
    All the pictures I have seen so far point to this glider as a "spanker" or "driver".
    At this point I have come to the conclusion (but I leave it to your judgement) that the exact term to translate "randa" is not "mainsail" but "spanker".
    So both Google translate and the glossary I used were wrong.
    I have also come to the conclusion that the "randa" can be translated as "mainsail" only if it is actually the main sail on a certain vessel and therefore if it is attached to the main mast.
    Therefore, if my conclusion is correct, the "randa" will be mainsail in the case of a schooner, a cutter and a sloop, for example, but not of a three-masted clipper (like the one in the attached image), for example, where it is inferred to the mizzen mast.
    For us, that type of trapezoidal sail is always called "randa", whatever position it occupies and whatever mast it is attached to. Here's the difference.

    I don't know if this conclusion is right, I'll leave the last word to you.

    Now I wonder (indeed I always ask you) is the term "spanker" correct?
    Can I call it a "spanker" or that type of sail even if we are looking at a schooner and not a three-masted clipper?
    tomarack
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    ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Czech Republic
    ๐Ÿ“ Rebuilding thames barge Cambria
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    Hi,
    as I can see .. much ado about nothing...

    But now the main question - probably should have been asked at the beginning -
    Alessandro .. I still don't understand why you still don't want to recognize just the spritsail as the mainsail for Thames sailing barges....
    To your pictures..
    The mainsail, as you describe it, is the mainsail of just and only a few types of single-masted ships(for example, the mainsail of cutters) and then of schooners, brigs and brigantines, which carry fore-aft sails on their mainmast. In other cases it is only and only a Gaff sail, as opposed to Yard sails, which are called square sails.

    Gaff is a spar which extends the head (or upper portion)of a (square) fore-and-aft sail.
    The sail suspended by gaff is called a gaff sail !
    The foot of the gaf sail can be extended by boom or can be free, like at barges .
    Sail booms take their names from sails, they extended, as the main,mizzen, or spinnaker booms.
    The Sprit, in modern sailing craft, is a pole set diagonally across fore-and-aft sail to extend that sail by the peak.
    Sprit sail (it is in Holland > spreet< ,then this applied to small boats is used with conjunction with a foresail . This combination is called > sprit and foresail rig < which at big barges is pecuilliary adapted.
    In the end - I helped myself here with a Dictionary Of Sea Terms from A.Ansted in my statement. Otherwise, I really ran out of all the arguments.

    Tom
    Main principle: if it is not broken - don't repair It!
    Ronald
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    ๐Ÿ“ Rebuilding thames barge Cambria
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    Yes I trust you Roy implicitly.
    roycv
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    Oh! Ronald 'don't you trust me'?๐Ÿ˜Š

    I thought I explained a few posts ago.

    Never mind no one listens to the oldies!

    Roy
    AlessandroSPQR
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    Hello to all naval modelers.

    For Ronald, thanks to you too.
    Certainly very useful.

    The photo confirms to me what I had noticed on the boats shown for the first time by Wildhog31 and that is that the Thames barges use "a tarchia" sails which you call "spritsail" and have the characteristics we have already talked about in previous posts.



    Mainly for Tomarack.

    In the meantime, thanks for all this information. Many of them match what I knew too and I'm pleased.

    I try to find the main threads of our dialogue because I think that communication is ruined by my bad translation.
    Maybe we're saying the same thing, but I'm not sure.

    My statement (among other things) to Wildhog31 was this: "Furthermore, the main sail is not a mainsail but a sail that in Italian we call a "tarchia" sail, (perhaps a "sprit sail")."

    Now I think there is no longer any doubt about this.

    That is, I want to definitively state (please correct me if I'm wrong) the Thames barge (like many other barges) uses the type of sail illustrated in the first attached image and not that of the second attached image.

    I call the sail in the first image "a tarchia" and that in the second image "randa".

    The English call the sail in the first image "sprit sail" and that in the second image "mainsail". (is this correct?)
    tomarack
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    Hi Alessandro, thanks for the interesting explanation, but I'm afraid there's a big misunderstanding here.
    First of all..it's a shame you can't argue with Mr. Ivor Bittle, who was a great theoretician in all things sailing.I will try to find at least some of his texts.
    So, the way I see it - I think you're confusing the sail's function with its design in this case....
    I recommend that you familiarize yourself with the terminology used among bargemen. I myself discovered that it is quite different from everything I have known so far - and without his knowledge, we cannot come to an agreement..
    What I mean by this is that the main sail of most Thames barges today has a spritsail design...you have to accept that the MAINSAIL HERE IS USUALLY THE MAINSAIL SPRITSAIL..

    But now a little history..
    * The spritsail and leeboard are both of Dutch origin. The rig was certainly employed in Holland as far back as 1416, and some of the early Thames barges had it by 1600
    The rig developed slowly and by the end of 18 th century > the usual sail plan still consisted of foresail* and mainsail ,the latter a spritsail. With increasing length of hull an extra sail was needed to assist in handling and about 1800 mizzens were added. The mast was stepped on the rudder post . These sails were small and little of driving power . Later the mizzens were stepped in-board and made larger to balance the increased head sail of later craft.* (Handbook of sailing barges by Cooper and Chancellor).
    * The sailing barges from the south-east could be broadly clasified into types by their cargo capacity,dimensions and rig , all reflecting the requirements of the trades for which were built.
    The โ€žstumpiesโ€œ were the smallest of these basic types and retained the original and simple rig of the Thames spritsail barge into the 1930s.
    Average dimension 70ftx14ft x 5ft load draft. The โ€žSTUMPYโ€œ rig was a foresail , a sprit mainsail fitted with brails , and a small mizzen sheetet to the top of the rudder.Some stumpies did not have a mizzen.
    The next larger size of sailing barge worked generally between the Thames and Medway rivers
    and to the many small ports on the adjacent coasts of the counties of Essex,Suffolk and north Kent..
    Many were rigged -when less bowsprit - with foresail*, sprit mainsail, topsail ,and staysail. Next were rigged with jib set on bowsprit which could be topped up and large mizzen, which was stepped well forward,reducing the mainsail and topsail to a size suitable for crew. The mizzen was often set from a standing gaff and was fitted with brails. This rig was known as โ€žMULEโ€œ (Mullies) (e.g.Cambria),the term the coasting sailors and fishermen applied to any hybrid rig or hull form.*(Barges by John Leather).
    Some similar size coasting ketch barges had a gaff and boom mainsail and mizzen, then they were โ€žBOOMIESโ€œ.
    Main principle: if it is not broken - don't repair It!
    Ronald
    Admiral
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    I heard from the Administrator of the AMBO group on Facebook regarding this discussion and he said, โ€œthe pole is the sprit, pronounced spreet on bargesโ€ and included this photo.

    Hope this helps.
    AlessandroSPQR
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    Hello Roy.

    Of course you were helpful, thank you.

    Indeed, sails can be differentiated by their geometric shape, the way they are luffed (head-rope) and the poles that support them. I used the generic term "pole" on purpose.

    In the "a tarchia" sail (spritsail) the pole that supports it starts from the lower part of the mast and ends in the "drizza" corner (halyard corner).
    This sail has an irregular quadrangular shape, sometimes trapezoidal, inferred on one side only.
    It was also seen in Italy used for small coastal boats, usually with shallow draft.

    In the mainsail the pole is called "picco" in Italian (perhaps "spanker" in English), it is fixed in the upper part of the first spindle of the mast.
    The mainsail is drawn on two sides and is always trapezoidal in shape (ancient mainsail).
    Often on the side of the base there is a pole called a "boom" that controls it (the boom is always present in modern mainsails).
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