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Firing While Tacking


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#1 Brian Weathersby

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 05:53 PM

This came up during the convention in Austin this last weekend.  A player wanted to tack and fire.  I made a quick search through the rules and could not find anything against it in the time press of getting on with the game.  After getting home, I still can't find anything that says firing while tacking is forbidden.  So, the question is: Can a ship fire while tacking?

 

 



#2 RazorMind

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 08:56 PM

I found this comment, seems like you would not be able to fire while tacking:  The only option for a ship to move upwind is to beat windward (tacking back and forth to proceed generally upwind).

Tacking (sailing)

This is slow and tedious, as well as removing the vast majority of courses that may be desirable to bring gun batteries to bear (lined up broadside to the target).  Add to this that when tacking into the wind, the vessel experiences a non-negligible list to the side pointing downwind, thus further rendering their gun batteries useless.


"I wish to have no Connection with any Ship that does not Sail fast for I intend to go in harm's way.

Capt. John Paul Jones

#3 Phil Callcott

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 01:14 PM

Hi, 

 

Edited from this page on Wikipedia:-

 

https://en.wikipedia...Brace_(sailing)

 

"A brace on a square-rigged ship is a rope used to rotate a yard around the mast, to allow the ship to sail at different angles to the wind.

Braces are always used in pairs, one at each end of a yard (yardarm), termed port brace and starboard brace of a given yard or sail (e.g., the starboard main-brace is the brace fixed to the right end of the yard of the main sail).

The braces are fixed to the outer ends of the yards, and are led to the deck as far aft as possible, to allow the crew to haul on them. The lower yards' braces can usually run directly to the deck, but to do so with those higher up would mean that most of the force was pulling downwards rather than backwards. Instead, the braces for the upper yards run to another mast and thence to the deck. On the aftermost mast, this may mean they have to be led forwards instead of backwards. Braces from the aftermost mast that run to the very stern of the ship often pass through blocks attached to short outriggers projecting from the side of the ship in order to improve their lead.

Tacking or wearing ship using the braces usually requires the entire crew to be called to "bracing stations". This is because the braces carry heavy loads but have few blocks and hence each one needs many people hauling, and because most ships with braces have many sails and hence many such teams

The sails on a tall ship's mast must all be turned together, because of all the gear that runs between them. The rate of turn is set by the course, the heaviest yard and hence the most difficult to move. The teams on the other braces for that mast must watch the course and keep their own yard in line with it.”

The bold italics are mine.

It would seem that any significant change of sailing direction would require the whole crew to haul the sails round to catch the wind on the new course.

Loading or firing (which would require aiming by mauling the guns around) simply would not have sufficient manpower available.

Regards, 

Phil



#4 Brian Weathersby

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 08:51 PM

Well, after reading Harland's Seamanship in the Age of Sail, I'm inclined to agree with both of you.  Harland does make it sound like an "all-hands" evolution.  However, (and I know this sounds very rules lawery) the rules do not specifically forbid it.  Given how specific the rules are about reloading during a turn (not a tack), I find it hard to believe they left something that obvious out.  Also, the guns were already loaded, and the rules do say on page 1-11 "only one tar is needed to fire a gun." So, to fire all 5 32 LB boxes on a British 74 would take 15 crewmen, which is only .625 crew factors.  I didn't let him reload the guns until he was done with the tack, though.

 

It's actually a moot point, as the player who did it missed with a full broadside at close range.  It would, though, be nice to have something 'official' from the designers.

BWW

PS: Razormind, sent your stuff out yesterday.

PPS:  I'm doing a write-up for both battles I put on and am hoping to have it finished tonight.



#5 RazorMind

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 11:37 PM

I think your letter arrived today, if you live in Deer Park, unfortunately, the envelope was empty and the post office wrote "Opened" on it :-(   I do look forward to reading our AAR though.

 

I had a great time at the Con and you ran a tight ship for sure!


"I wish to have no Connection with any Ship that does not Sail fast for I intend to go in harm's way.

Capt. John Paul Jones

#6 Brian Weathersby

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 12:23 AM

What?  AAARRRGGHHHHHH!!!!!!! :angry:&@*&^%*^*&*^%*#%$#$@^% (I'm presuming that if I used the words I wanted to, I would be banhammered in a heartbeat.)

 

OK.  If I don't have some more, I'll see if Andy (Broadsides organizer) has another set and I'll have him send them to you.  The AAR is up on my blog, and I'll post it here too.  Meanwhile, the blog address is below:

https://mymodelsaili...ps.blogspot.com

 

 

EDIT (11/18/17):  Andy is sending another set of tokens out to you, Adam.



#7 Cpt M

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 03:10 PM

"Well, after reading Harland's Seamanship in the Age of Sail, I'm inclined to agree with both of you.  Harland does make it sound like an "all-hands" evolution.  However, (and I know this sounds very rules lawery) the rules do not specifically forbid it.  Given how specific the rules are about reloading during a turn (not a tack), I find it hard to believe they left something that obvious out. "

 

Well, we're not perfect, ya know!   :)  

 

Seriously, tacking should fall under the 'no reloading during turns' rule, since a tack, in essence is a turn (kinda, sorta!).  And your decision to not allow reloading was the correct one (and you're right, we should have made that more clear in the rules).  However, already loaded guns can be fired (the act of discharging a loaded gun requires only the gun captain's attention).  Reloading while the ship is rolling during a turn or tack is quite another matter (and is not allowed). 

 

And ain't Harland's book a gem?  That and Sam Willis' books are the best! 



#8 Brian Weathersby

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 12:55 AM

Well, we're not perfect, ya know!   :)  

 

Oh, I sympathize, nay empathize with you.  We playested my auto racing rules for a year, using several different groups of people, before THW printed them.  Within a week after publication, a player caught something we left out.  :(  What I learned from that project was:

1.  It will always take longer than you thought to get something published,

2.  You will always leave something out.

 

I am glad to know we got the tacking issue right.  If you think about it, it's common sense that you can't reload during a tack as it is a type of turn.  And yes, Harland's book is fantastic.  And Willis' Fighting at Sea in the Eighteenth Century is also a gold mine of useful information.

 

Without trying to sound too cocky, I think you might get a couple of sales out of this convention.  Several people came and took photos of my rule book cover, which I'm presuming was so that they could look it up.



#9 Phil Callcott

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 09:02 AM

Dear ODGW Staff,

 

Regarding firing during a tack: - "However, already loaded guns can be fired (the act of discharging a loaded gun requires only the gun captain's attention)."

 

IMHO you are wrong, guns would not be fired during a tack because:-

 

Sailing ships heel over to one side due to the pressure of wind on the sails. 

Let's consider a 74 on a port tack crossing the wind to get onto the opposite (starboard) tack.

On the port tack the ship would be heeled over to port with the port gun-ports just a few feet above the water and the gun-decks would be sloping down towards the sea. 

To fire the port guns horizontally the guns would need to be elevated relative to their carriages to bring their barrels level. Conversely the starboard guns would need to be depressed relative to their carriages to bring their barrels level.

 

So we have a 74 on the port tack with all guns loaded, run out and ready to fire, but remember that to enable horizontal fire both broadsides will have their guns set at opposite elevation/depression.

 

The Captains decides to tack across the wind, the first thing to do is to run all guns inboard, lash them secure and close the gun-ports. 

Here's why, the decks currently sloping down to port are about to slope in the opposite direction and a 32 pdr cannon and carriage weighed in excess of 5 tons. The dangers of a "loose cannon" on a ship under sail were very real and understood.

But why close the gun-ports? The top hamper of a 74 weighed many, many tons and such a large mass had significant inertia, changing from a port tack onto the starboard tack the masts would move through the vertical and heel over to starboard like an inverted pendulum with the top hamper’s inertia pushing the starboard side down much further than the port side had been, possibly submerging the lower gun-ports until the pendulum swung back towards the vertical. This motion could last a few minutes, hence the expression “steady on a new course”.

 

Before the guns could be fired the gun-ports would need to be opened, the guns unlashed and run out and their elevation/depression adjusted. Not until the gun crews returned from yard hauling duties could the guns be operated, one man would not cut it.

 

Regards,

 

Phil

PS the Mary Rose was lost attempting a turn with her lower gun-ports open.



#10 Brian Weathersby

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 04:33 PM

Phil,

I took a while to look up some numbers before responding to your post, because I wanted to have something more than just "the Mary Rose is older than these ships."  It does come down to that somewhat, but it is more complicated than just that.

 

In looking at the Mary Rose, the first and most obvious factor is age.  She sank in 1545, so citing her loss doesn't take into account 250+ years of advancement in naval design (it's probably still too soon to call it "naval architecture").  The idea that sailing ships remained fairly static throughout the Age of Sail is just not correct.  The easiest thing to look at in this regard are relative sizes. 

 

Mary Rose is listed at about 700 tons burthen at her rebuild in 1536.  Tonnage wise, this is about the same as a medium merchantman from our period, and is considerably less tonnage than the 1794 frigate Diana, which is listed at 999 43/94 tons burthen.  HMS Colossus, a 74 Large is rated at 1,888 tons burthen.  Yet Mary Rose carries more guns than Colossus (admittedly, many/most of Mary Rose's guns are anti-personnel pieces) and has a crew of approximately 415 men.  Diana only carries between 270-315 men.  Also, with more men than a frigate and more guns than a 74 Large, the moulded breadth of Mary Rose is only 39 feet.  Diana's moulded breadth is the same, but her keel is an extra 16 feet 8 1/2 inches longer than Rose's (121', 8 1/2" versus 105').  The moulded breadth of Colossus is 48' 10", so she is 125% wider than the Mary Rose, while still not carrying as many guns.

 

The simple formula for determining ship stability is (.44xBeam/T)2 .  The formula gives you the metacentric height of a ship, In short, the higher the number the more stable a ship is, with numbers below 3 representing an unstable vessel.  T is the natural roll period of a vessel, which is "the time between two successive peak roll angles on the same side of a vessel."  Now, we don't know the natural roll period of any of these vessels, but we can get around that by assuming it is a constant across all the vessels we're discussing.  So, if T=10, the metacentric height of Mary Rose is 2.944.  As T gets larger, the vessel gets less stable; a T of 12 takes her down to a GM (abbreviation for metacentric height) of 2.045.  For comparison, the GM of Colossus is 4.616 if T=10, and 3.20 if T=12.  Clearly, the newer larger Colossus is safer during a roll than is Mary Rose, and that's before considering weight distributions.

 

Personally, I suspect Mary Rose was just barely above a GM of 3.0 after the reconstruction, and then the addition of extra weight topside and the sudden gust pushed her over the edge (no pun intended).  Also, let me apologize for the long answer, as I know it looks like I'm killing a fly with a sledgehammer.  There's just no way to discuss this sort of stuff without going into lots of detail.  I promise you, I kept it to the minimum of jargon I could use. :rolleyes:

 

EDIT:  PS:  There's a quote that said Mary Rose had her lowest gunports only 3 feet above the water, but I couldn't find it again so didn't bring up the question of differing gunport heights.  Colosssus  carries her lowest gunports between 4-5 feet above the water.  That extra foot or two makes a lot of difference because you now need a much steeper roll to get the ports down into the water, and Colossus is demonstrably more stable.



#11 Phil Callcott

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 07:12 PM

Hi Brian,

 

The moulded breadth of Mary Rose was only 39 feet. 

The moulded breadth of Colossus was nearly 49 feet.

 

Let’s agree that Mary Rose had her lowest gun-ports only 3 feet above the water and that Colossus carried her lowest gun-ports between 4-5 feet above the water.

 

Imagine a circle drawn with its centre on the centreline of Mary Rose and a diameter equal to the shop’s breadth.

 

Simple maths, circumference of said circle = π x 39 = 122.538 feet.

 

Angle moved though 3 feet at circumference = 3 ÷ 122.538 x 360 = 8.8o.

 

If the Mary Rose heels over with her masts a mere 8.8o from the vertical her lower gun-ports will be at sea level.

 

For Colossus the angle moved through would be between 9.35 to 11.69o.

That extra foot or two does not make a lot of difference because you only need a slightly steeper angle to get the ports down into the water because Colossus is 125% wider than the Mary Rose.

 

For Colossus the above is only true if she is on a mill pond, on the Beaufort scale a moderate breeze will produce waves between 3.5 to 6 feet in height.

 

Heeling Colossus over in any kind of sea carries some risk of water pouring in through open gun-ports.

 

Tacking requires all hands to the braces to reset the yards, the ship is about to swing like a giant inverted pendulum from one side to the other.

 

As Captain would you make that manoeuvre with your lower gun-ports open and insufficient crew on hand to close and secure them should things go wrong?

 

That is why main battery guns would not be fired during tacking; the ports would need to be kept closed.

 

Regards,

 

Phil



#12 Brian Weathersby

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 03:08 PM

Phil,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you; we're celebrating Thanksgiving today, but have been getting ready the last couple of days.  Also, I needed to go into some of my books to look up some answers to the topic we're discussing.

 

I agree with you that tacking ship has the risk of bringing water in through the lower tier gunports.  The question is whether or not it would be enough to cause swamping and sinking of a Napoleonic ship.  It can happen under certain circumstances; no doubt about that.  The rules cover that by forbidding lower gun use in certain wind conditions.  First and second rates lose lower gun use at Force 6, with third and fourth rates losing them in a force 7.  The scenario we were playing set the wind force at 4, which is a light chop and 15 knot wind.  I did not mention the wind setting in the game report, and that was my mistake.

 

I also agree with you that any ship in a tack is going to heel, but the question is how much.  What I think we're overlooking here is that IF the wind speed in the same in the Mary Rose incident and our game, then the larger ship is going to be less effected by the wind.  Also, in looking in my library, Sam Willis' book Fighting at Sea in the Eighteenth Century actually addresses this issue.  On page 118 he points out that, "the British eighty and ninety-gun three-deckers of the 1740s were particularly notorious for this but by the 1750s the dockyards were building bigger and stiffer warships and were learning the mathematics of raising the gun deck sufficiently free of the waterline without endangering the stability of the vessel."  In the very next sentence, he says, "By the Revolutionary War, examples of ships suffering in this way are hard to come by."

 

For the Revolutionary War sentence, he cites Lavery, The Ship of the Line, i, 122.  Now my copy of Lavery does not say that specifically, but he does say that the concept of metacentre was developed by 1749, and that Chapman's work was published a few years later, which sort of implies it.  As an aside, I think my gunport sill height was wrong.  I think Colossus carried hers closer to 5 feet above water, and the Surveyor's class of 1806 carried theirs 6 feet above the water.

 

So yes, a ship might take some water, but probably not in the level of sea we had in the scenario.  Because of the type of maneuver, reloading is completely impossible, but I still think she could fire in relative safety.  Sorry for the short response, and I will be more than happy to discuss it more in the next few days.

BWW



#13 Phil Callcott

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 02:08 PM

Hi Brian,

 

I hope that your Thanksgiving went well.

 

"A ship might take some water," agreed.

 

"Reloading is completely impossible," agreed.

 

"I still think she could fire in relative safety," this is where I beg to differ, it's not only a matter of safety it's a lack of manpower.

 

The rules say on page 1-11 "only one tar is needed to fire a gun", this needs some examination.

 

One man could cock a flintlock and jerk the lanyard to fire a previously loaded gun, agreed.

 

​I think that we both acknowledge that tacking was an "all hands on deck" manoeuvre, so there are not going to be many hands on the gun decks - if any.

 

Let's assume that the Captain wants to fire a broadside as his ship tacks across the wind.

 

For one tar to fire a gun it has to be both loaded and run out through an open gun-port.

 

Did ships at that time risk tacking with open gun-ports and guns run out? Their not inconsiderable weight outboard could affect the ship's centre of gravity.

 

During a tack the ship was going to heel from one side to the other as she crossed the wind. On the port tack the ship would be heeled over to port and the gun-decks would be sloping down towards the sea. To fire the port guns horizontally the guns would need to be elevated relative to their carriages to bring their barrels level. Conversely the starboard guns would need to be depressed relative to their carriages to bring their barrels level. When changing from one tack to the other all the guns would require their elevation adjusted either up or down, which was the work of more than one man per piece. 

 

 

When they were run out guns were not lashed tight, they had to be allowed to recoil. The gun-decks currently sloping down on a port tack are about to slope in the opposite direction on the starboard tack and a 32 pdr cannon and carriage weighed in excess of 5 tons. There were real dangers of a "loose cannon" on a ship under sail. Surely guns would be lashed tight while tacking?

 

So with all hands to the braces, who is on the gun-decks handling the guns to enable them to fire?

 

Regards, Phil



#14 Brian Weathersby

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 02:02 PM

Phil,

Yes, Thanksgiving went well.  I suspect it was because some people were here and some people were not, but isn't that the case at any family event?

 

I'm working on an answer to your comments, which is taking me deeper into my books than I had first expected.  The point of crew availability has got me tending towards agreeing with you in this area.  Even if you agree to only one man snapping a gunlock, that is still 30 men or 1.25 Crew factors.  Lavery in Ship of the Line talks a great deal about stability and tumblehome.  Also, I want to look in Boudriot's The Seventy-Four Gun Ship to see what he has to say on gun drill and handling.  I don't think I will actually find a specific reference to lashing down the guns before tacking, but I don't know until I look.

 

I also want to take a moment and thank you for this conversation we've had.  You've challenged my assumptions, and made me go and look some things up that I hadn't considered before.  It's been nice too, in that it has been conducted without rancor.  That seems to be a rare commodity on the Internet, even on gaming sites.



#15 Phil Callcott

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 04:31 PM

Hi Brian,

 

Thank you.

 

I'm envious that you have access to Boudriot's treatise on the 74.

 

I've been Googling to try and find some information and came across these sites which you may find of interest:- 

 

https://ore.exeter.a....pdf?sequence=1

 

http://victory1744.o...apers46_000.pdf

 

- has this quote "Of this era of warship design it was even said that captains were reluctant to be appointed to First Rates because their lack of stability meant they could deploy their lower-deck guns only in calm seas, and in rough seas their instability actually rendered them dangerous. In June 1744 – in a characteristically acerbic comment – Vice-Admiral Edward Vernon suggested that through inefficient ship design the Surveyor of the Navy, Sir Jacob Acworth, was responsible for as much damage to the Royal Navy as might be expected from two lost battles to the French".

 

A bit early for us unfortunately, and not about a 74...

 

http://oa.upm.es/152...GONZALEZ_01.pdf

 

Good hunting,

 

Phil



#16 Brian Weathersby

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 01:01 AM

Phil,

The sources you’ve mentioned are a little before our time, but actually bear directly upon our topics of conversation.  Lavery talks about this in Ship of the Line v. I.  On page 91 he points out that ships of the 1741 dimensions were completely unsatisfactory and that 80 gun three deckers were to be abandoned completely.  Apparently, the improvement came pretty quickly, because he says a few pages later that “the typical ship of the Seven Years War was more weatherly, more stable, and more heavily armed than her predecessors.” (p. 102).  Now, I did find the quote that Willis cited on page 121 instead of 122, and Lavery says there:

 

“A contemporary historian wrote that ‘The British ships of 74 guns, built according to the old principles, in many instances,
when a heavy sea has been running . . . have been unable to fight any of their lower deck guns. . ..’ – though it is difficult
to find an example of this happening during the French Revolutionary War.” (p. 121).

 

As an aside, I am beginning to wonder how much of the “French ships are better than ours” is similar to the “Soviet equipment is superior to ours” that we used to hear during the Cold War.

 

So, while everyone is agreeing that the later ships are more stable, Lavery doesn’t put any numbers on this.  For that, we have to turn to Boudriot.  In volume I, page 32 he explains what all of the stability talk means.  It’s a long quote, but he tells us exactly what we’ve been talking about.

 

A good, stable 74 is not expected to list by more than 6-7 inches (16.2-18.9 cms), when heeled over under the pressure
f full sail and close-hauled, which in a fresh or “manageable” wind should drive the ship along at 14 kms/hour.  With the
lower deck 36-pdrs run out on the lee side and the gun crews in position (the guns on the other side being secured
i.e. run in, with the muzzles hard up against the ship’s side, and the gunport lids fastened), the list will increase by a
further 3 inches or 8.1 cms. [italics in original]

 

Note that he says the guns are secured, but not housed.  Boudriot defines housed as, “with a muzzle-lashing made fast to the clamp.” (iv, p. 121). Given the distinction between secured and housed, I think an inference can be drawn that the crew does not do a full housing of the guns before performing a tack.

 

Coming back to the above quote about stability and heeling, Boudriot has a set of three drawings on page 32-33 that show the conditions described above.  In the explanatory text for the drawings, he says that a list of 16.2 to 18.9 cm is only 1 degree 24 minutes, while a list of 24.3 to 26.0 cm is only 1 degree 38 minutes.  He does say in the explanation that “it is possible to imagine a situation whereby a ship engaged on both sides might have her lee battery run out ready to fire, while the weather battery is run in to the limit of the breechings for reloading.”

 

The tube weight of a British 32 pounder is between 54 and 57 hundredweight, so 6048-6384 pounds, approximately.  A French 36 weighs 7,450 pounds.  Along with the sheer deadweight and only a 1 degree roll, Lavery, in The Arming and Fitting of English Ships of War 1600-1815 describes what he calls a “train tackle.”  This is described as, “similar to a gun tackle, except that it was fixed between the gun and a ringbolt near the centre line of the ship.  It was used to prevent the gun from running itself out when the ship was heeling.” (p. 141).  He does say that when it came into use is uncertain, but by the 1780, three tackles were issued per gun.  “Presumably one was to be used as a train tackle if necessary.” (ibid.).  Boudriot also mentions train tackles, but apparently the French used two on their 36 pounders by 1780. (Boudriot, ii, p. 169 and Plate XXXIX).  However, he says (ii, p. 168) that the train tackles in French service “serve to haul the gun in for loading.”  So, presumably they would also serve the same purpose as British train tackles?  I’m not sure, but think so.

 

It seems clear from all this that by the Napoleonic era, ships could tack under normal circumstances without much chance of flooding the gundeck in normal weather.  Also, it seems that keeping the guns run out doesn’t present much of a problem, at least according to Boudriot.  Now, this still doesn’t answer the question about gun crews being able to shift the piece and whatnot while tacking.  To be clear, I don’t think they can.  Padfield’s Guns at Sea supports your contention about adjusting the guns (or inability thereof) quite explicitly via this quote from William Hutchinson, describing the aiming system in 1781:

 

The Captain of the gun is to look by the side sights first, and apply one hand to the bed or coin, and make motions with
the other hand, upwards or downwards, for the men on each side looking at him with handspikes to rise or fall the breech
of the gun…then, looking along the top sights, tap with his hand more or less on the side of the guns, as it requires to be
breeched fore or aft by the men with their crows or handspikes…. (Padfield, p. 95)

 

They also can’t reload, but we had already agreed on that.  So, even though you can’t aim, and can’t reload while in a tack, can the guns be fired?  After all the above, I still can’t find anything that definitively says yea or nay.  I guess it comes down to whether or not you (the general you, not you specifically) believe that an unadjusted broadside can have any effectiveness.  I think it’s possible, but we may have reached a point where no further research can answer the question.



#17 Phil Callcott

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 05:57 PM

Hi Brian,

 

Wow, that is some serious research.

 

You have shown that a 74 was much, much more stable under sail than I would have thought possible and therefore my contention that a 74 ran some risk of shipping water through open gun-ports while tacking is just wrong.

 

The use of a "train tackle" to prevent guns from running themselves out when the ship was heeling indicates that there was a need to secure guns during a tack and by inference there would need to be gun crew present to both secure guns prior to a tack and release them again when the ship was steady again on its new course.

 

We've agreed that tacking called for "all hands on deck" and that guns could not be reloaded during a tack because of the lack of available manpower.

 

You have also shown that aiming a loaded gun was the work of several men and that "train tackle" needed to be used during a tack.

 

I think that you may well have demonstrated that the rules' assertion on  page 1-11 that "only one tar is needed to fire a gun" is untrue.

 

With all this in mind I would consider it imprudent to fire an unadjusted broadside from a tacking ship at a target that was moving in both the vertical plane, due to the changing heel of the firer, and the horizontal plane, due to the change in direction as the firer swung through the tack.

Ineffective may be too generous a description.

 

This last conclusion of mine may be a moot point that you disagree with and as you say we may never be able to prove it one way or another.

 

We may just have to agree to disagree.

 

Thank you for all the time and effort that you have put into this, I'm now a little bit older, and much better informed.

 

Regards, Phil


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#18 Brian Weathersby

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 03:51 PM

Phil,

Thank you.  I have to say though, that I enjoy doing this kind of research.  I'm also very fortunate in that my wife realizes that to do good research, you have to have good books available.  

 

I too was surprised to find just how stable a gun platform Napoleonic ships are.  At first I didn't expect to find any hard numbers, and then I was really surprised to see that the roll is less than two degrees under normal conditions.

 

I really think that we are in about 95% agreement on this.  As far as the firing during tacking goes, I might say that we don't know where in the one minute segment the firing is actually happening.  In other words, is it an all-at-once broadside, or more of a "fire as your gun bears" situation?  Even with this though, I would readily admit that I'm getting off into something that can't possibly be quantified.  If you were to say that it's a flimsy attempt to bolster my contentions about firing, I would have to agree with you. :lol:   I might say that a middle ground is possible: permit the firing, but apply a +1 penalty to the dice.  However, it does add more complexity to the game in a one-instance rule (which I thoroughly dislike), so I can see just banning it altogether.  It's definitely an area where people can disagree.  



#19 Cpt M

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 10:52 PM

"As an aside, I am beginning to wonder how much of the “French ships are better than ours” is similar to the “Soviet equipment is superior to ours” that we used to hear during the Cold War."

 

Actually, the French, at least during the French Revolutionary War and later had the better designed ships.  The French were early adopters of Fredrik Chapman's groundbreaking work in naval architecture and used his formulas for nearly all their ship designs in the later AoS period.  Consequently, you had designs such as the Temeraire with its excellent stability and sailing qualities.  Where the British excelled was their construction methods.  The British method of shipbuilding was the best of the period and resulted in strong, long lasting ships.  Where this is hilited best is the opinions of RN ship captains verses RN shipyard superintendents; ship captains coveted a French prize for its superior sailing qualities while the shipyards were less enthused due to the French ships wearing out quicker and always requiring more extensive repairs.  Which is better?  Depends on what you're looking for....   



#20 Phil Callcott

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 05:00 PM

Hi,

 

"Which is better?  Depends on what you're looking for...."

 

If your ships are beating to and fro off Ushant for weeks that could stretch into months you will need a robust vessel that can withstand the ardours of blockade duty without having to leave station for dockyard repairs.

 

​If you are attempting to break out through the blockade or in a ship needing to pursue a blockade runner then a ship with superior sailing qualities is what you require

 

It's horses for courses, you just have to manage with what you have got, but a crew that has spent a lot of time at sea should outperform one that has spent the same amount of time swinging at anchor in the roads.

 

Regards Phil






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