Ship Modelling

Rigging Patterns - The Windjammers / Tall Ships

The term "windjammer" ... indeed has swapped its original meaning: in the first place, "windjammer" was a swear word by sailors working on square riggers, who looked down upon the smaller Schooners with their much easier rigging ("That aint work!"), sailing much closer to the wind = jamming the wind. In other words, it was the Schooners being called "windjammers", which is the opposite of the modern meaning, a nickname for the giant square riggers between 1870 and 1950. On this small anecdote, You can feel the pride that the sailors had about their hard working life.

The German Training Ship Herzogin-Cecilie
Another word for windjammers is tall ships. After the Clipper Era, these ships were the last generation of sailing ships, competing against an ever growing fleet of steam ships. For a short period, the race was "stand-off", as the more stable speed of steam ships had a price: much of the ship´s hold was occupied by the machine and its coal. The sailing ships had their entire hold free for cargo, and did not have to buy an expensive machine, or coal.

Windjammers were made mostly of steel, even the masts and yards. The most tall ships were built in the UK ("tall ships"), France ("grand voiliers"), and Germany ("Großsegler" or "Windjammer", but they pronounce it "vind yummer").

Most of the active sailing ships of today are Tall Ships or Windjammers. After World War II, all of the German sailing ships survived because they were taken over by the Allies, foremost by the U.S. and the Soviet Union (now again Russia), and kept as training ships. And all Flying P-Liners that were not sunk in WWII are now museums ships all over the world, with one, truely BIG exception: the "Kruzenshtern", ex Padua.

Their old role as cargo ships has vanished in the 1950s, they are almost all used as training ships or stationary museum ships today.

A list of Tall Ships is on Wikipedia

These Tall Ships inherited their rigging from the Clippers. They became even bigger and wider, using masts and yards of steel instead of wood.
  • Bowsprit: 3-5 fore triangular staysails [staysail, inner jib, jib, outer jib, flying jib], no sprit yards
  • Fore Mast: 5-8(!) square sails [course, upper + lower topsail, upper + lower topgallant sail, royal sail, skysail, moon sail]
  • 2-4 main triangular staysails
  • Main Mast: 5-8(!) square sails [course, upper + lower topsail, upper + lower topgallant sail, royal sail, skysail, moon sail ...]
  • 2-4 mizzen triangular staysails
  • Mizzen Mast: a quadrangular "spanker" mizzen sail, and 3-6 square sails [upper + lower topsail, upper + lower topgallant sail, royal sail, skysail]
  • NOTE: sky and moon sails, the uppest yards, were not standard but used very rarely, "flying" with a minimal running rigging, just a halyard and sheets, in light weather only.
  • NOTE: in that era, stunsails came out of use, in rare cases they were much simpified: only one stunsail boom attached a the lower yard, and triangular lower and upper stunsails only, rigged almost like staysails. One of these rare ships was the 3-mast barque "Rickmer Rickmers", that served as "Sagres II" in the Portoguese Navy.

Sources and Books

Fortunately, many tall ships are still seaworthy or preserved in the museums. Many plans are in the archives, and as a number of them are still used as training ships, we also can find their belaying plans.

On this theme, there are many books:
Beatrice - Världens sista stora järnseglareDavidsson, JanForum 1976184
Les derniers Cap-Horniers francaisLacroix, LouisEditions Maritimes et d?outre-mer 1968366
Les derniers Grand VoiliersLacroix, LouisAmiot-DuMont 1950512
Les Grand VoiliersBathe, B.W.Edita 1975260
Rostocker Windjammer (Rostocks hölzerne Segler)Rabbel, JürgenVEB Hinstorff 1983240
Rostocks eiserne SeglerRabbel, JürgenVEB Hinstorff 1986224
Round Cape Hoorn Before the MastLubbock, BasilJohn Murray 1902/48375
Rund Kap Hoorn - Die letzte Reise der "Grace Harwar" [By Way of Cape Horn]"Viloliers, AlanF.A.Brockhaus 1966157
The Tall Ships - A Sailing CelebrationHamlyn 1977126
The Tall Ships - A Salute to LibertyThe Vendome Press 1986128
The Tall Ships Pass (1937)Derby, WLADavid & Charles 1937/70426
The WindjammersAllen, Oliver E.Timelife Books, Amsterdam 1978176
WindjammerBrennecke, JochenKoehler 1968408
WindjammerDesmond, ShawHutchinson 1932414
Windjammer - Die schönsten Grossegler der WeltBöhm, H.H. + Wiese, E.Karl Müller 2004240
Windjammer - Die schönsten SegelschiffeCzasnojctosa 2005143
Windjammer - Staatsraad Lehmkuhl, Sørlandet, Christian RadichGöthesen, GötheGrøndahl Dreyer 199396
Windjammer Lübeck Kiel 1972Koehler 197256
Windjammer ModellingMonk, CliveFaber 1954128
Windjammer von Hamburg - Schnellsegler um 1850Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte 197720
WindjammerparadeStalling 1972112
Windjammerparade (Einmalige Sonderausgabe)Stalling 1978128
WindjammersGordon, W + Lander, HCollins 193872
Windjammers of the HornCourse, A.G.Adlard Coles Ltd. 1969176
Windjammers SignificantColton, J.FerrellJ.F. Colton & Co. 1954296
Wir segeln dem Teufel die Hörner abGording, PeterDitzen & Co. 1969176

Belaying Schemes

Since these ships are still used as training ships, there ARE belaying scheme plans! But they are hard to find.

I am lucky to have a copy of a belaying plan of the 4-mast-barque Pamir, a Flying P-Liner. I got it on my visit of her surviving sister ship, the Passat, in Lübeck, Northern Germany, today a stationary museum ship. And I only got this plan because I happened to meet an old sailorman (who had been sailing with her in the 1950s) giving a guidance tour to another visitor group (I was coming alone). When he finished the guidance tour, I could talk to him, and he gave me the plan - the till girl selling tickets did not even know what such a plan was (of course she didn´t), nor that those were in stock for sell ... so I would not have had any chance without meeting that friendly old seaman!

And this is my more modern version of the Pamir plan, in English and German; it is not geometric but schematic for clarity:

There are some slight differences between Pamir and Passat, although they are sister ships. The Pamir sank in 1957 in a hurricane, and the Passat was decomissioned the same year. Now she is a museum ship in Lübeck, Germany.

Using that plan, I was also able to reconstruct a plan for the 5-masted full rigger Preussen, another P-Liner, and the tallest of all cargo sailing ships ever built, but of which no belaying plan had prevailed - she stranded and was abandoned in 1910 before Dover.

NOTE: this is the second version I made, I found some errors in my first one I uploaded here before ...

The patterns of these belayings can still be seen alive onboard the "Kruzenshtern" and other sailing windjammers.