What is an authentic tall ship?

david cook
5th August 2008, 17:17
A lot of people like large sailing ships. Most do not know much about them, in the same way that most people who watch show jumping have little idea about how a jump-course is designed. But people show up in hoards for tall-ship events. And we should be glad, because those of us who REALLY like large sailing ships would not have much of a menu if there was no public interest.

For most of the general public anything large with sails "counts", and the age of the vessel and the way in which it is rigged is of minimal interest, but for the enthusiast these things matter a great deal. There are fair number of vessels whose value is indisputable – the barques Belem, Elissa, Kruzenstern, and Sedov, for example. These were vessels designed for commercial purposes that are still sailing with a close approximation of their original rigs. It would be a rather extreme purist who would discount the schoolships such as Sørlandet, Gorch Fock and Georg Stage or the four-masters Esmeralda and Juan Sebastian d'Elcano. In fact, in my database there are probably about 30 vessels with three or more masts that would not cause much controversy and many more if we include schooners and the like, although even here barques like the Guayas or the Gloria have some modern features. We are on shakier ground with the "six sisters" (Dar Mlodziezy, Mir, Nadezhda, Pallada, Druzhba and Khersones) and the other Zygmunt Choren designs, the two STA brigs and particularly with such vessels as Royal Clipper. These have features that make them significantly different from earlier vessels, but all are clearly designed to use the wind as a major source of energy – they can and do sail. It is interesting to speculate what would have happened if square-rigged sail had remained commercially viable after the 1930s – certainly there would have been major improvements that would have scandalized the traditionalists. I am sure that the invention of the Jarvis brace-winch was regarded as sacrilegious! So if these vessels use a different approach to manipulating the sails perhaps we should regard this as a natural development rather than an unwarranted break with tradition. For the most extreme example, see Tom Perkins' yacht Maltese Falcon at http://www.yachtsmarter.com/yachtcharter/malt1.jpg

The second group of large sailing vessels are the trawler and lightship conversions such as Picton Castle or Alexander von Humboldt and the third includes the replicas, which at their best give us vessels like the Stadt Amsterdam, and at their worst…we'd better not go there. This is turning into a long post so maybe that discussion might wait. But I do want to make the point that from a purely personal perspective, I'll include most vessels that can reasonably be expected to make headway to windward. If all they can do under sail is to fall off downwind they are functionally useless. And from the vessels that pass this test, there has to be a nebulous but important aesthetic factor. This is obviously a personal issue, but if something looks like floating recreational vehicle I tend to write it off even if it is reported to sail reasonably well. It would be a lot of fun to find out which vessel is your favorite from the aesthetic perspective – I can see an energetic and sometimes blasphemous discussion arising from that request! My personal favorite is probably Sørlandet, but it is not an easy choice.

I also suspect that there are RN and MN veterans out there who are shaking their heads incredulously and saying something like "Who gives a ferret's foreskin about this kind of thing?", and to them I would say, "there are a few oddballs who actually do!"

David

Bruce Carson
5th August 2008, 17:23
I usually ask "how tall must a ship be before she's called a 'tall ship'".
It's amazing how few have an answer.

Steve Woodward
5th August 2008, 18:02
fairly tall I think Bruce

K urgess
5th August 2008, 18:05
The one in the opening titles of "Onedin Line"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrxabPBu4gM
Goosebumps!
Never could figure what a Roman slave had to do with sailing ships but it fits like a glove.

McCloggie
5th August 2008, 19:18
Well I did warn you David!

Actually Marconi the one in the Onedin Line looks great but I believe she was the Christian Radich and compared to the last big sailors such as Moshulu, Pamir, Lawhill etc. the vessel is not that big or indeed that tall. That does not however in any way detract from the benifts of sail training or the sight of a full rigged ship.

In my book they are still "tall ships" and do a sterling job teaching people about life at sea and therfore life in general. If these school ships today sailed without radios, radars and a full safety inventory we would quite rightly call them into question. I own/drive vintage cars without seat-belts but in my every day vehicle I make sure everyone wears a belt and the same arguement applies here.

So, I have no problem with Mir and her sisters being "tall ships". For the commercial cruisers such as Star Clipper then OK there is a point but they were being targeted to a specific market and no form of sail training was considered.

We must also consider what the ship has been built as. I have seen Stad Amsterdam several times and as a replica of a true clipper, she looks pretty much like the Cutty Sark (used to!). She was never meant to look like a later day sailor like the big Lietz ships or Rickmers vessels which were the bulk carriers of their day and were never meant to be greyhounds of the ocean although some of them did manage to achieve this in the Erikson days.

So David what do you want?

Original ships that will one day become too dangerous (structurally etc.) to sail or a vibrant sail training market that we have today where kids are put through their paces safely? Do not forget that this market also provides a lot of jobs to seafarers and to boat/shipyards.

It also trains people, and commercially (because we live in an increasingly commercial world) do not forget that the Belem is now picking up commercial charters shipping wine around Europe. At the end of the day commercially however the numbers of paid persons required to man a square rigger do not yet make it viable (Erikson in the 1930s was relying on cadets paying their way and old men to make his ships pay their way).

I am all for the Belem carrying cargo but still believe that this is just a good way to keep a historic ship up and running.

McC

stein
5th August 2008, 19:56
The term "tall ship" I believe only came into non-poetic use well after the end of commercial sail, and then primarily as advertising for diverse "sail-parades," and as Bruce Carson indicates, it is a term very hard to get a serious grip on. Presenting an argument for demanding certain criteria for inclusion in the classification "sailing ship" would be easier. Though perhaps no easier to obtain consensus about.
One could ask whether something that could not progress under sail alone should be called a sailing ship, whether a one-masted bermuda rigged yacht is a sailing ship or not etc. When square rigged ships sailed the seas without engines, there were sailing ships and there were auxiliaries in the registers, and accordingly there exists no sailing ships today, at least not in Europe. (One could remark that on the "school ships" of today it is the sails that are very much the auxiliary power.) Regards, Stein.

K urgess
5th August 2008, 20:26
Although the attached of Pamir fills me with awe I find that these vessels are not my favourite sailing vessels. For want of a better comparison they seem to be the bulk carriers or container ships of their day. Slab sided hulls not all that disimilair to some of the motor vessels I sailed on.
In some ways I prefer the hull form and sail plan of the Victory. So, although it's a replica, I rather like the Endeavour.

Tony Breach
5th August 2008, 21:44
Doesn't it come from Masefield:

I must go down to the sea again
The lonely sea & the sky
And all I ask is a tall ship
And a star to steer her by

I think it went something like that - would somebody like to rewrite that in the context of boozer-cruisers & satnavs.

Tony

Was it Masefield?

K urgess
5th August 2008, 22:23
Yes, It's Masefield.

I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.'

By John Masefield (1878-1967).
(English Poet Laureate, 1930-1967.)

david cook
6th August 2008, 01:41
One of the few poems that I was forced to learn at school that I still like. However Masefield had a couple of tries at being a sailor and finally jumped ship in New York and never went back to it...

Are there any School-Ship officers or graduates that want to argue with Stein's assertion that the ships are motor vessels with auxiliary sails?

And I agree with McCloggie that what we want is an ongoing vibrant culture of seamanship supported by large well-found ships. But I would like them to be pleasing to look at. There IS something impressive about the surviving giants and I would have to put Krushenstern in my top ten. Maybe size DOES matter, after all... I agree that Endevour is an excellent replica, although I like things a bit more streamlined. Any other favorites?

David

Sister Eleff
6th August 2008, 07:27
Are there any School-Ship officers or graduates that want to argue with Stein's assertion that the ships are motor vessels with auxiliary sails?

WHAT! :sweat: Argue with Stein? (Cloud) Never, (Whaaa) I have too much regard for his knowledge in all things to do with ships/shipping, inparticular square riggers and his command of the English language! Anyway I tend to agree with him, engines are used to manouvre for berthing and departure from the wharf, it means you don't need tugs and therefore cheaper for the owner. What you do at sea depends on how important the schedule is but again it is much more cost effective to sail rather than use an engine (more fun too) (Thumb)

I think the term 'tall ship' is used to cover a bigger base. If they said 'square rigger', vessels with only a fore and aft rig would be excluded from a race/parade or whatever.

As for favourites, mine are - in no particular order: Australian Sail Training Assoc. vessel 'New Endeavour' - no longer with us; Ireland's sail training vessel Asgard 11; Onedin Line's star 'Soren Larsen' now based in New Zealand. Eye of the Wind, not sure where she is now and another, 'Svanen' based in Sydney.

stein
6th August 2008, 08:38
While words actually mean what you aim them to mean, some agreement on a definition of words is absolutely necessary for our ability to communicate, so when definitions changes radically among the majority, the only sensible thing is to change along with it. In short: seriously demanding that only engineless ships are to be called sailing ships, is to retreat into a dark cellar. I actually don’t want to do that. I only want to keep alive the remembrance that once ships sailed around the world without engines, and that staying off the shore, for example, demanded knowledge and carefulness that now, due to the large engines on every sailer, are easily forgotten.

This thread has become somewhat rambling, much due to my sidetracking of the original idea for it. Trying to get back to where we started, I’ll observe the many fine replicas built in later years, and the happy appearance of the Stad Amsterdam and the Cisne Branco to buck the Polish-led trend away from tradition. We have been through a difficult period as the former state supported school ships have had to find independent income. “Adventure tourism,” “sail parading” in “festivals” and diverse odd charter traffic, has kept many of them afloat, and even made turning fishing vessels and the like into “windjammers” (also a new word) a feasible commercial proposition. Today the opportunity to handle square sail are there for people who 50 years ago would have no chance of it. One should – even me – rather rejoice at the situation.

As for some of the ugliness sporting sails, odd vessels that would have a hard time getting anywhere without an engine parading as true to tradition sailing ships, I guess that in a way it was always like this. I remember Roger C. Taylor, author of “Good Boats,” “More Good Boats” etc, writing that he once came across a large stack of old issues of “The Rudder” and thought he had a gold mine of great design – the truth turned out to be that all the ugliness that once was afloat had been forgotten. What we now see reproduced in “Good Boats” etc is the cream only of what once was. (I want to retreat a little from yesterday's grumpiness yes. And thank you Sister Eleff, let's hope it don't go to my head!) Regards, Stein.

david cook
7th August 2008, 06:33
Please don't retreat too far, Stein. We need some diehard traditionalists! And Alan Villiers in "The Way of a Ship" (still my favorite book about square-rigged sail) had some unkind things to say about engines in large sailing ships that coincide exactly with your views. However, as you point out, we have to regard auxiliary engines as an integral part of the present sailing vessel, although I sometimes wonder if they would be powerful enough to get a large sailing vessel off a lee shore in a real blow.

Sister Eleff's favourites are all relatively small vessels (two barquentines and two brigantines) so probably size is not an important factor in determining whether a tall ship is "authentic". At first sight it looks as if "square rigged" vs "fore and afte rigged" would be easier, but there are plenty of square-topsail schooners that are rigged with the yard but seem never to set the square sail. And we certainly can't exclude the topsail schooners or we wind up excluding a number of very handsome vessels that narrowly miss being barquentines or brigantines. In fact, we probably have to include fore-and-aft schooners as "tall ships", partly because the owners usually do, and partly because if I claimed that the "Bluenose" was not a tall ship I would be massacred by the good citizens of Nova Scotia!

There are also a significant number of ketches, yawls and even cutters that common sense tells me could be called "tall ships" without much argument. Many of them were built in the 1800s and are traditionally rigged and sailed in fashion that Stein would approve. Most sail in coastal waters, but with a good crew could easily cross the Atlantic.

This leaves us with the grotesque "pirate ships", usually with some non-functional sails stapled on to broomsticks or old telegraph poles and mounted on the hull of some aging fishing boat. They invariably call themselves "Tall ships" and most of us would apply an alternative and less flattering epithet. I don't even object to these, for the same reason that I don't object to hip-hop versions of the Grieg piano concerto - the real thing is available, and it is possible that someone who is exposed to the fake my later develop an interest in the real thing.

So what your contributions tell me is that, as Humpty-Dumpty says in "through the Looking-Glass", "a word... means just what I choose it to mean." I rather hoped there would be more of a battle between those who seek an all-embracing definition and those who want to reserve the term for the classic large square-rigged sailing ship. I really did not need my tin hat, McCloggie, although the thread is not over yet!

I would be really interested in the views of this group about replicas and conversions, but maybe that should be a different thread.

David

Santos
7th August 2008, 12:46
To be perfectly honest, I feel that the true sailors were the men of the sailing ship ( non engined variety ). Dependant entirely on the weather, the skill and bravery shown by them was unsurpassed. I mean those who sailed the roman & viking trade ships too as well as the schooners, brigs and fully rigged ships. The island traders of the southern oceans they too deserve recognition many often dying doing their work.

I agree with Stein, my idea of a true tall ship is one that relies purely on the winds to drive them and their crews to work them without electric winches, engines etc, just pure muscle and skill.

Chris.

Sister Eleff
7th August 2008, 23:50
To be perfectly honest, I feel that the true sailors were the men of the sailing ship ( non engined variety ). Dependant entirely on the weather, the skill and bravery shown by them was unsurpassed. I mean those who sailed the roman & viking trade ships too as well as the schooners, brigs and fully rigged ships. The island traders of the southern oceans they too deserve recognition many often dying doing their work.

I agree with Stein, my idea of a true tall ship is one that relies purely on the winds to drive them and their crews to work them without electric winches, engines etc, just pure muscle and skill.

Chris.

... and no radios to call for help when in trouble! Life was a bit of a gamble whether one arrived at ones due destination or not.

stein
8th August 2008, 18:37
The past , I think, is lost forever,- but should I still be sent back as one of those who went to sea in 1860 or thereabouts, I probably would have the alternatives of working as a farm hand, a lumberjack, a road worker, or slaving all day in a factory. And then a slight amount of freedom and adventure might outweigh the high possibility of suffocation under water as an early end to ones life. "Who wouldn't sell a farm to go to sea" was a standard saying among the old shellbacks when life was miserable - it should not be necessary to mention that very few of them ever stood in line to inherit a farm.
I think I would go to sea, but admittedly I don't expect ever to test that theory. And how hard it is even to imagine how it might be, I got some inkling of when I recently read an old sailor using five pages of a slim book on the experience of watching a London vaudeville actor playing a drunk, and by extreme dexterity and balance avoid falling off the scene - I had to ask in wonderment: is that exciting? But had to realise that at this time in Norway the only professional entertainment was church, and the poor folks sat furthest back and didn't hear a damn thing of the ununderstandable latin. In short, it was a totally different age, with mindsets much different from ours. What was adventure then is hoo hah today. So actually we can't really choose here and now what we would have done then, it is really all symbolic.

I paint pictures of sailing ships, and when I want to give a reason for that, I think of the willingness to risk a lot for a bit of freedom the old sailors showed, and how it might fortify us state-slaves of today to think a bit about it, how it might engender the willingness to dare a little.
Consider this: according to Captain Jarvis, of the brace winch, having men climb around in the rigging was something totally unnecessary, it could really all be handled from deck. But, to be perfectly honest, do any of us really want that? I think not, I think the possibility of falling, and of drowning, and the pure crazyness of the monkeying around in the rigging attracts us. We really want square riggers to be dangerous, we want to evoke the battle of Cape Horn as a battle for one's life. What every wind-sailor said was that getting from here to there was an accomplishment and gave the satisfaction of a battle won. (It was to some degree a gamble, as sister Ellef says, insofar as the best ship and crew could lose, but mostly it was something in which one could take pride.) And that's part of why people like me ask for square-riggers to look as much as possible like they once did, as a pure symbol of something of great spiritual value.
Another reason is esthetics, and I suspect that has something to do with adapting to nature. Ships today have to a great degree overpowered nature, they do no longer have to conform to demands of the sea, their architects can use whatever form that best suits the cargo, what's alive no longer influences their form - and that is perhaps why they are in my eyes, compared to the old sailing ships, ugly. Regards, Stein.

Sister Eleff
9th August 2008, 00:03
Well said Stein (Applause) How about posting some of your pictures - or maybe you have & I have missed them?

stein
9th August 2008, 07:42
Hi Sister Eleff. My pleasure, (though photographing the paintings I haven't yet managed to do well), here's the Dunboyne reducing sail in a hurry: http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=39462 Here's the Hebe showing her speed: http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/39461 The Lilla in a traditional ship portrait: http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/40366/ppuser/9545 The Søm ditto: http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=50308 The Wild Pigeon in a hurry: http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/40364/ppuser/9545 The Breidablik: http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/40879/ppuser/9545 And a yacht I wouldn't mind owning: http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/40259/ppuser/9545 Regards, Stein.

david cook
10th August 2008, 23:01
This thread has developed in a way I did not envisage, and provided a gold mine of attitudes, information and great and ACCURATE maritime art. Thanks to all!

The bravery and seamanship of those masters, officers and crews during the great years of commercial sail cannot be questioned, but it is maybe worth remembering that they did not have much choice! To set out now from Europe in a barque or full-rigged ship without a radio, a doctor or a functioning auxiliary and head to the west coast of Chile or to Australia, would be seen as foolhardy rather than brave. The sort of seamanship that would decide exactly how much sail to set for that delicate balance between speed and safety is now required only of a vanishingly small percentage of those with a master's ticket, and perhaps even here safety wins a lot more that would have happened in the 1800s. There does seem to be a substantial belief that the sort of respect for sea and weather that sail-training engenders is still worth having and it seems to me to be a sensible view, as well as enabling us to keep the traditional alive.

The comments by Stein about what a newspaper might call "The Romance of Sail" are exactly right, I think. I enjoy the great privilege of being able to look back and participate vicariously in the excitement, to see pictures of the ships and understand the way they are sailed, and to develop a nostalgia for those beautiful vessels without ever having to go aloft in a screaming gale to furl the upper topsail. It is not surprising that we want present-day vessels that recapture that tradition. As to the aesthetics – it seems to me that function and simplicity are a large part of it. To me "Tre Kronor" :

http://www.timedesign.de/ship/tre_kronor_af_stockholm.jpg

is a more pleasing vessel than the STA brigs

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=81411

because of the crowded decks of the latter, but either of these easily qualify as "tall ships" in my book, and are miles ahead of things like this "replica" of "Hispaniola":

http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/p/m/1a9c17/

How you have a replica of a fictional vessel, I'm not quite sure, and in any case "Hispaniola" was a topsail schooner in Stevenson's book. However maybe some kid will go on the cruise, decide to read "Treasure Island" and become part of the next generation of supporters that sailing ships will need!

David

McCloggie
11th August 2008, 13:40
I have to agree with all your comments David - even that Te Kronor looks better than Stavros!!

There is danger that people look at the past through rose tinted glasses -a steam locomotive looks, sounds, and smells great on a holiday outing but in reallity it must have been a dirty back breaking job firing one 6 days a week in all conditions! Similarly, I love my old cars on a good summer day but driving one of them in January in Scotland makes you wonder why you are doing it in the first place.

Tall ships do not need to be big or imposing - does a Thames Barge or a sailing fishing boat like the Reaper qualify for example? In my book they may not be tall ships but are definitely worth seeing and keeping sailing. What is less easy to quantify are the numbers of new but big yachts that turn up. They do a splendid job but should they be in a Tall SHips race?

McC

david cook
11th August 2008, 18:06
I think that the mega-yachts are a different breed, although there are plenty of historic yachts that I think of as tall ships - "Sea Cloud", for example. I was in Halifax for the tall ships event in 2004, and I remember the outrage when "Destination Fox Harb'r", Ron Joyce's 41m toy

http://www.destinationfoxharbr.com/Sailing2.htm

elected (uninvited, I believe!) to join the parade of sail!

David

Shipbuilder
11th August 2008, 23:09
Hello Stein,

I have just been admiring your paintings & to my surprise & pleasure, came across the LILLA. Was the LILLA a Norwegian vessel? If we are talking about the same one, she had a long life & was converted into a motor ship eventually.

This is my plan of the LILLA - is it the same ship? Can you give me a brief history please?

Bob

stein
12th August 2008, 10:04
Hi Shipbuilder. Yes that's the plans I used, from Die Grossen Segeschiffe by Walter Laas.
Rostock Neptun Werft 1886, 1125 grt for Hintze & Moeller, Hamburg, 1890 to Fr. Th. Eckhausen, Hamburg. (A number of voyages is detailed on page 127 in Hamburgs Segelschiffe by J. Meyer.) In April 1906 to Pedersen & Ullesnæs in Porsgrunnn (Norw). On 28th of Sept. 1906 she collided with brig Avanti of Kristiania while anchored in Pensacola under a storm. The ship was condemned and the assurers sold the wreck to Hermann Jeremiassen of Porsgrunn for 5000 dollars, he refitted her, and she sailed on for Jeremiassen. But in 1914 she lost her rig on a voyage Lorenzo Marquez - NSW. She arrived Port Adelaide March 31st and was condemned. She was once again rerigged, and as my text has it (Våre Seilskuter by Sørensen vol III), she was sold to New Zealand in 1918, and the same year rebuilt as steamer.
According to my information, the plans could equally well show the J. C. Julius of 1885. That ship did not have a happy end though - lost with all hands in the White Sea while under Norwegian flag as Sværdstad in 1909. Here the Sværdstad (or Sverdstad, my sources has different spellings): http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=76506 I did xerox a couple of pictures of Lilla and Sverdstad in the archives of the Norwegian maritime museum, but those would be hard to find among my boxes of papers now. Should you decide on a model, I'll at least make a tentative search. Regards, Stein.

Shipbuilder
12th August 2008, 10:26
Hi Stein,
Many thanks for that. I was also interested to hear of the SVERDSTAD. I have a recollection that I have an old article somewhere concerning the loss of that vessel. Not sure it is the same one though as the article was supposed to be written by a survivor. I had printed the plans of LILLA with the intention of building a model. I felt that she was probably a German vessel as the plan was in an old German technical book. Didn't know she became Norwegian, but did know about the conversion to steam later on.
Bob

Shipbuilder
12th August 2008, 11:22
Hello again Stein,
Thanks for PM. Further to the above, I have got out the article of the SVAERSTAD, that came from a survivor. It also contains a copy of a letter from the Consul General at Archangel dated 16th October 1909. There were apparently fifteen survivors. The SVAERSTAD of this article was a Norwegian vessel of 1,221 tons and had left Archangel towards Port Adelaide, Australia. The article is by the ship's bosun, Edward G. Fox. He played a prominent part in saving the captain's daughter, Miss Christensen from the wreck, her father also survived. There are two copies of other official documents in it. Here is the first page. I will be pleased to scan & send the whole lot if you wish to PM your e-mail address.
Best wishes
Bob

stein
13th August 2008, 08:37
Shipbuilder. So she was not, as I had it, lost with all hands, I'm happy to hear that, it's always preferable to know what happened to a lost ship. I'll mail you a PM. I found the Xerox I made of a photo of the Sværdstad, probably photographed as the J. C. Julius. http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r28/stein_photo/DSC_0001-5.jpg
http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r28/stein_photo/DSC_0002-7.jpg
http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r28/stein_photo/DSC_0003-3.jpg
The Lilla photo-xerox I have not found yet.
David Cook. Regarding your posting of the 10th of August. I think I'll agree with you on the first two brigs, (though please do try not to ruffle any national pride here, it's dangerous, I know from experience; I've refrained from making any comment upon that vessel up until now:sweat:). (The first one may be the one who was to be a replica of the 'Gerda'? - I'll look that up.) The last one, the pirate ship, was a bit of a surprise, as I've seen at least fifty that would be offensive to five year olds, and this one was surprisingly cute! I'd have a hard time producing much ire on her behalf, as she's not really trying to represent anything more than what she is. Regards, Stein.

Shipbuilder
13th August 2008, 09:57
Thanks for the reply & pictures of J C Julius, this has been a great help to me. I have PM my e-mail address to you & will scan & send the SVAERSTAD article shortly.
Bob

Tony Breach
13th August 2008, 10:23
Stein, Many thanks for sharing your fine paintings with us. Would you have any knowledge or information of the Norwegian barque PETER LUND (Capt. Neilson) or another Scandinavian barque ILOS (Capt. Olsen) both of which were extant in 1884/5. My interest is because my grandfather was sailmaker in each of them during that period.
Regards, Tony.

stein
13th August 2008, 12:31
Tony. I have found your ships in the ship register at Aust Agder Museet.
Ilos, Barque 1848 Bremen, 236 lasts. Norwegian owners (Arendal): 1855-1861 Et Interessentskap (a company of several "interests" - I don't know how to translate), 1862-1872 Herlof Herlofsen,1873-1882 N. J. Evensen, 1883-1885 T. Olsen, 1886-1888 M. H. Smith, 1889-1904 Axel Smith. Captains: Chr. Johannesen 1892 1904, F. Schlambach 1863 1866 , J. M. Andersen 1855 1857, Martin Andersen 1858 1861, N. J. Evensen 1874 1882, O. Dahl 1867 1873, O. Sørensen 1862 1862, T. Olsen 1883 1891. She's on the net: http://www.geocities.com/mppraetorius/com-ju.htm

Peter Lund, Barque. Arendal 1882. Owners (Arendal): 1883-1884 Hans H. Pettersen. Captains: O. Nielsen 1883 1884. (Short life, or did she live on somewhere else?) Regrettably I have not found any picture of this one, but they would be sure to have one at Aust Agder Museet:
Parkveien 16, N-4838 Arendal Phone: +47 3707 3500 Fax: +47 3707 3501
E-mail: postmottak@aust-agder.museum.no
Main site: http://www.aust-agder.museum.no Regards, Stein.

david cook
13th August 2008, 17:45
The "Gerda" replica is also a rather good-looking brig, but different from "Tre Kronor". Here is her website which has some good recent photographs:

http://www.briggengerda.com/

With regard to ruffling national feathers - "I call them as I see them" as the baseball umpire said! Everyone has their favorites, and if someone decides that Kulamanu:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d2/Ship_Kulamanu.jpg/725px-Ship_Kulamanu.jpg

is the loveliest vessel in the world, who am I to argue? I was toying with the idea of starting a thread inviting people to provide their vote for the most ghastly travesty of a tall ship, but I'd probably be sued...

By the way, I am new to "Ships Nostalgia", but I wonder whether the discussion of data about specific ships like "Lilla" or "Peter Lund" might not reach others more effectivly if it was a separate thread. There may be people who would like to know more about these vessels but who will not bother to look at this thread. Any advice?

David

stein
13th August 2008, 18:06
Sorry about the side-tracks David, they are a feature of this site. It's not as bad in the Forum section as in the Gallery where "How's your aunt" might spawn a ten part dialogue under a picture paid for in blood, but you just have step right back in as if you've not noticed. All in all, considering the diversity in the large membership, it's perhaps quite orderly here?
Call them as you see them; let's hope you fare better than I have done, doing that (Thumb).
The Kulamanu is not a great beauty no. Here's the Tre Kronor with a website to add to the link list: http://www.briggentrekronor.se/ Regards, Stein.

Tony Breach
13th August 2008, 23:06
Stein,
Thanks so much for sidetracking a little to help my enquiries. Your information has helped a lot in tracking the life of my grandfather & I can pass this on to my family who remain very Scandinavian in their lifestyles & interests.
Regards, Tony.

Indie Boy
18th August 2008, 20:13
My boyhood copy of 'The Modern Boy's Book Of Pirates' (1941), By Flying Officer W.E.Johns, shows the Tall Ship as a definite type of square rigged vessel.

BobClay
19th August 2008, 02:37
I don't want anybody to think I'm taking sides here, because up until this year I'd never been on a sailing ship in my life (including 20 years at sea). However here's a picture of the Kathleen and May I took in Bideford earlier this year. She's alongside so for sure not in all her glory.

The first ship I ever stepped aboard and I was very impressed with her (and the restoration job they had done on her).

She is a 'Topsail Schooner' (which will probably mean something to you guys, but I have to read up on it).

For more info: www.kathleenandmay.co.uk

So, is she a tall ship ?

david cook
19th August 2008, 07:04
Most books define a topsail schooner as a schooner that carries square topsails on the foremast, but I've always been inclined to include gaff schooners that carry fore-and-aft topsails. In your (very good) photo, Bob, "K&M" does not have the yards on which a square topsail would be set, but it is quite easy for a normal schooner-rigged vessel to become a square topsail schooner or vice-versa. I have seen pictures of her with square topsail yards. Here is a model:

http://beehive.thisisnorthdevon.co.uk/default.asp?WCI=DisplayImage&ImgID=29943

And she has been beautifully restored, as you point out.

Is she a tall-ship? Certainly by my definition, which I suppose comes down to something like "A large or medium-sized sailing vessel that could sail upwind, that would not normally be described as yacht, and that I think is good-looking/interesting enough to qualify!" When I lived in England, someone once told me that to be a member of the middle class, all you had to to was to claim that you WERE a member of the middle class, since no member of any other social stratum would ever say that! I think tall ships are bit like that. If someone calls it a tall ship, we should probably let them get away with it, although there are few vessels described by their owners as "tall ships" that give some of us indigestion.

I HATE to take on Captain W.E. Johns (even if he was really only a lieutenant and an air-force man at that!) because I grew up with "Biggles" and "Gimlet"*. But I can't agree that a "tall-ship" has to be square rigged. There are lot of beautiful fore-and-aft rigged schooners that, by any criterion deserve to be "tall ships". Such as the "Kathleen and May".

David

*If this means nothing to you, you are obviously MUCH younger than I am!

BobClay
19th August 2008, 12:55
Thanks David. When I went aboard her, the guide (an ex Merchant Navy Mate) told me the original owners had removed the top sail rigging in order to cut down on the crew ... (doesn't that sound familiar ?).

All the rope work devices are still handomatic so sailing her was to use his words, 'quite a workup'. She does now have quite an impressive engine, but I understand when she was first built she was pure sail. And of course most of her life she was a working merchant ship.

I think she's a tall ship, cos when you stand on deck and look up at the masts, you have to strain your neck, which I'll admit, is a pretty feeble definition.

There's a sail plan on the site which seems to show one square sail. I presume that's the original plan of the vessel.

Sister Eleff
20th August 2008, 00:26
I can't agree that a "tall-ship" has to be square rigged. There are lot of beautiful fore-and-aft rigged schooners that, by any criterion deserve to be "tall ships". Such as the "Kathleen and May".

I agree

I think she's a tall ship, cos when you stand on deck and look up at the masts, you have to strain your neck, which I'll admit, is a pretty feeble definition.

I like your thinking Bob (Applause)

Indie Boy
21st August 2008, 19:28
Is anyone able to advise me as to the title of the Documentary about a Thames Barge, which was shown some time ago on British television.
My memory fails me, but it could have been several decades ago, possibly on the BBC.
Apologies if this is out of thread, but I don't know where else to post it.
Mike

JimC
22nd August 2008, 14:25
What are you all waffling -on about? A Ship (sailing) is just that. It is a 'ship' because it is fully rigged as such. Not a Barque, Barquentine nor one of the eight versions of schooner. It's not Brig, Hermaphrodite Brig, Brigantine or half Brig. It's not even a Bermudan Cutter, Yawl, Ketch, Cutter or Sloop. However, all of the foregoing have one thing in common -apart from sails that is -they all have tall masts to carry their sails.
To me the term 'Tall ships' is purely a collective publicity name. As has been pointed-out it has attracted the good (beautifull) the bad (wierd and wonderful hybrids) and the downright ugly (a matter of personal taste).
For the purist, the Tall Ship 'thing' can do bad things to blood pressure but basically, it's a great day out for the family. A chance for those who have never had the chance to -dare I say it- go down to the sea in ships to get a feel for the romantic aspect of seafaring. I suppose it conjures-up images of the Errol Flynn - Gregory Peck and the strident sound of French horns etc.

As for that 'plasticky' rich man's 'thing'...ugh! All that's needed there is a digital version of Lara Croft shinning up the plastic rigging.

Shipbuilder
22nd August 2008, 20:18
I mainly agree with Jim C. The whole thing is very clear to me. The term "Sailing ships" covers the whole spectrum "Tall ship" is some modern terminology that doesn't appeal to me at all & I never use it.

However, the common (& oft dredged up) statement that a ship is a vessel of three or more masts,square-rigged on all of them, and if it doesen't qualify, it isn't a ship, does not go down well with me. In my opinion, a four-masted barque or even a little topsail schooner is generally entitled to the term "sailing ship!" "Ship rig" describes the sail arrangement.

I have even heard someone say that if it didn't have three or more masts, square rigged on each one, it wasn't a ship, but a "boat!" So - I suppose HMS DREADNOUGHT (or any other of the big battleships) was really a "battleboat!" Or the WINDSOR CASTLE was the "Flagboat" of Union-Castle.

Bob

Cangarda
3rd October 2008, 19:41
I agree with Bob, Tall Ship, while lifted from Masefield, has become more of a marketing term than anything else. The American Sail Training Assn. even has it copyrighted.

In the world of the big sail training vessels, those categorized as "Class A" come the closest to what we have grown used to as 'Tall Ships'. But that category has changed, is now flexible and still lacks a solid definition. The term that comes closest to what I think when I see a big square rigger is "windjammer", once used as a term of derision by steamship men. Now windjammer is used to define the moderate sized, pure sail passenger schooners in Maine (just about the last commercial sail), or the semi-sailing passenger vessels in the Caribbean. So that one has changed too.

There are many salty words that arm-chair sailors like to try and define to show their superior knowledge: rope/line, ship/boat, etc. Where in reality there is no definition, only usage. No one term fits all; the biggest submarine in the world is still a boat. The same goes for tugs, but not salvage ships. People like to claim there is no rope on a ship, only line. Wrong: the bos'n keeps many coils of rope in his locker, but once it's used for something it becomes a line; except: manrope, bell rope etc.. Steve

Sister Eleff
3rd October 2008, 22:39
We gave a lift one day to a submariner and during the 10 hour exhilerating sail, he explained that submarines were boats & everything else was a target!

Hyperborean
30th December 2008, 21:20
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Statsraad Lehmkuhl. Described by Harold Underhill (Who knew a thing or two on the subject) as,"The best looking of all the three posters of the barque rig." I think I incline to the position that we can separate out the general term "Ship" for any large vessel and the specific term for the rig being 3 or more masts of 3 parts and square rigged on all of them after all we can cope with various definitions of "Sloop" for instance.

sidsal
30th December 2008, 21:34
Last year chaps from my Rotary club ( Bramhal and Woodford - south Manchester) urged me to arrange a siling ship break. My nephew is a tustee of the Jubilee Sailing Trust and so seven of us did a week on the Tenacious ( square rigged) in the Channel. We took along a young disabled lad and he had a ball.Off Normandy we had a gale of wind and some good sailing. I even climbed to the first table and inched my way out along the main yard. It was not quite like the old days with all sorts of harnesses etc. Mind you , I am 82 so it was a sensible precaution I suppose.

Sister Eleff
31st December 2008, 22:09
Well done Sidsal (Applause) (Applause)

McCloggie
31st December 2008, 23:13
Sidsal,

If I am able to get up the gangway at the age of 82 let alone up a mast via the rigging I shall be well pleased!

Well done indeed Sir!

McC

BobClay
1st January 2009, 00:13
Bloody right. Well done Sidsal.

(Thumb)

sidsal
2nd January 2009, 12:51
In ww2 - in 1944 if I remember rightly I was apprentice on the Fort Camosun and we we were in Durban being fumigated. Pat Palin the senior apprentice and I ran the motor boat and we went over to the Pamir which was lying there. The only one aboard was the master - a Finn, I think and he tried to persuade us to jump ship and join him. Apparently she had taken weeks and weeks to sail there from Capetown and as soon as she arrived all the crew b****ged off. We did consider it but being wartime we thought we might end up in jail.
On the Conway when I was on her there was a cadet - The Honorouble Gerald Balfour who eventually became Viscout Taprain - he died a year or 2 ago. He seemd a thicko, only proceeding to the 2nd class but years later it was found he was dislexic. In his obituary it said he was a valued member of the House of Lords because he used to read the acts with a fine toothcomb and picked up all sorts of errors which others missed. Anyway he saild as a deckhand on the Pamir and at the time there was quite a lot of publicity - "Titled man sails as deckhand" etc.
(Another lot of usless info !!)
Sid

are39
9th January 2009, 11:01
A lot of people like large sailing ships. Most do not know much about them, in the same way that most people who watch show jumping have little idea about how a jump-course is designed. But people show up in hoards for tall-ship events. And we should be glad, because those of us who REALLY like large sailing ships would not have much of a menu if there was no public interest.

For most of the general public anything large with sails "counts", and the age of the vessel and the way in which it is rigged is of minimal interest, but for the enthusiast these things matter a great deal. There are fair number of vessels whose value is indisputable – the barques Belem, Elissa, Kruzenstern, and Sedov, for example. These were vessels designed for commercial purposes that are still sailing with a close approximation of their original rigs. It would be a rather extreme purist who would discount the schoolships such as Sørlandet, Gorch Fock and Georg Stage or the four-masters Esmeralda and Juan Sebastian d'Elcano. In fact, in my database there are probably about 30 vessels with three or more masts that would not cause much controversy and many more if we include schooners and the like, although even here barques like the Guayas or the Gloria have some modern features. We are on shakier ground with the "six sisters" (Dar Mlodziezy, Mir, Nadezhda, Pallada, Druzhba and Khersones) and the other Zygmunt Choren designs, the two STA brigs and particularly with such vessels as Royal Clipper. These have features that make them significantly different from earlier vessels, but all are clearly designed to use the wind as a major source of energy – they can and do sail. It is interesting to speculate what would have happened if square-rigged sail had remained commercially viable after the 1930s – certainly there would have been major improvements that would have scandalized the traditionalists. I am sure that the invention of the Jarvis brace-winch was regarded as sacrilegious! So if these vessels use a different approach to manipulating the sails perhaps we should regard this as a natural development rather than an unwarranted break with tradition. For the most extreme example, see Tom Perkins' yacht Maltese Falcon at http://www.yachtsmarter.com/yachtcharter/malt1.jpg

The second group of large sailing vessels are the trawler and lightship conversions such as Picton Castle or Alexander von Humboldt and the third includes the replicas, which at their best give us vessels like the Stadt Amsterdam, and at their worst…we'd better not go there. This is turning into a long post so maybe that discussion might wait. But I do want to make the point that from a purely personal perspective, I'll include most vessels that can reasonably be expected to make headway to windward. If all they can do under sail is to fall off downwind they are functionally useless. And from the vessels that pass this test, there has to be a nebulous but important aesthetic factor. This is obviously a personal issue, but if something looks like floating recreational vehicle I tend to write it off even if it is reported to sail reasonably well. It would be a lot of fun to find out which vessel is your favorite from the aesthetic perspective – I can see an energetic and sometimes blasphemous discussion arising from that request! My personal favorite is probably Sørlandet, but it is not an easy choice.

I also suspect that there are RN and MN veterans out there who are shaking their heads incredulously and saying something like "Who gives a ferret's foreskin about this kind of thing?", and to them I would say, "there are a few oddballs who actually do!"

David
Hi Dave
What about Spirit of New Zealand.Sail traing ship.More info if needed
Mike Bishop
Jumi5

treboats
11th September 2009, 19:57
I have just skimmed through this great thread and will now go back and read and enjoy at length. To a certain extent I think a Tall Ship is like beauty "in the eye of the beholder" but would exclude the far too numerous DIT versions. In my humble opinion the Asgard II which is now sadly no more one of the most beautiful if smaller such vessels.

I had the privilege to serve aboard her as a mate on two occasions and what was achieved by a permanent crew of just 5 was amazing. There was none of the "Afterguard" nonsense to be found elsewhere but a very real sense of discipline none the less. She was lost last year and I have heard recently that the Irish Government intend keeping the insurance payout without replacing her - That I think is a tragic mistake

Treboats

Pat Thompson
11th September 2009, 20:26
Greetings,

What is an authentic tall ship....surely height has something to do with it or, if you're going to get technical, air draft. As Spike Milligan said....

I long to go to the sea again to the lonely sea and the sky,
I left my shoes and socks there; I wonder if they're dry.

Sister Eleff
11th September 2009, 23:48
I have just skimmed through this great thread and will now go back and read and enjoy at length. To a certain extent I think a Tall Ship is like beauty "in the eye of the beholder" but would exclude the far too numerous DIT versions. In my humble opinion the Asgard II which is now sadly no more one of the most beautiful if smaller such vessels.

I had the privilege to serve aboard her as a mate on two occasions and what was achieved by a permanent crew of just 5 was amazing. There was none of the "Afterguard" nonsense to be found elsewhere but a very real sense of discipline none the less. She was lost last year and I have heard recently that the Irish Government intend keeping the insurance payout without replacing her - That I think is a tragic mistake

Treboats

I agree totallly about Asgard, I had a fair bit to do with her during her time in Australia plus a trip from Melbourne to Sydney. The best description I heard about her was a report in an English Newspaper, reporting on the Australia Day '88 celebrations and the Parade of sail in Sydney Harbour: 'She may be only a small tall ship but she has the biggest heart'. I was fortunate enough to be on her that day also.

treboats
12th September 2009, 14:46
Hi Sister Eleff, You must have been abaord with Capt Tom Macarthy when in he and Breda got married? Roan was Mate and Barry Bosun? A great crowd.

Sister Eleff
12th September 2009, 14:52
Hi Sister Eleff, You must have been abaord with Capt Tom Macarthy when in he and Breda got married? Roan was Mate and Barry Bosun? A great crowd.

Not only that, I made the wedding cake! The Mate was Gerry and we used to call the the Tom & Gerry show (Jester) Where abouts were you involved with them, did you come over here at that time?

treboats
13th September 2009, 12:08
No afraid I never made Oz. Asgard's first foreign trip was to Penzance the year after she was launched, where I was harbour master and got to know the ship and her crew that way. Her first master was Eric Healy from Howth who had been involved in Irish sail training for many years. Then he retired and Tom took command and after sounding Penzance out [because Eric was a very enthusiastic party giver !!] and found that we were not a load of drunkards he continued to visit very regularly. Often they came up to the house for a meal and a smal libation of two.
My youngest daughter sailed aboard to Denmark for the start of a Tall Ships race, I was later to learn that she and some of the trainees visited some of the less salubrious parts to Copenhagen much to Toms embarrassment !!

I sailed with them to the start of the last London Tall Ships via Holland and then again when Asgard was invited to the opening of the museum at Duarnenez. This coincided with Toms [40?] birthday and while he was ashore enjoying a pre lunch celebration Roan and I cooked lunch a bouillabaise. When Tom got back he was a bit disapointed to learn his special lunch was Fish soup but I am glad to say changed his mind after the first mouthful. There was a video of Roan and I making the soup [which I never saw] but was apparently very funny as were were drinking the wine that was meant for the Bouillabaise !! Not as good as a wedding cake though

Have not heard from them for a while since I retired

Sister Eleff
13th September 2009, 13:21
I met Eric briefly, he came out to accompany Asgard back to UK, she was derigged and hoisted onto the deck of a Willhelmsen vessel (sorry, can't remeber which one). Barry Martin and Eric sailed with her. See my gallery, there is a picture of her in the hoist, I was on the bridge of the Willhelmsen ship when I took it.

Robert D
13th September 2009, 22:16
Many years ago I read every book I could get my hands on that was about "Tall ships". One of my favorite authors was Allan Villiers. When someone mentions "Tall ships" the first that comes to my mind "Windjammer", roaring forties, tea races,wool trade,Grace Harwell (spelling?)Cutty Sark,Thermoplæ(also spelling?) to name few off hand.
Regards
Robert D.

mike33
9th April 2012, 15:00
As a young boy during the war, I was given a copy of 'The Boys Book of Pirates', by Capt'n W.E.Johns. Which I still have.
In this Capt'n Johns describes a 'Tall Ship' as a type, in much the same way that a 'Galleon' would be used.