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Dismasting, repair and recovery

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#1 David Nichols

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Posted 02 September 2015 - 03:21 AM

Salutations all


Last weekend we fought and action between an French Corvette and a couple of RN sloops (one a ship the other a brig).


During the action at long range the Frenchman put a shot through the back stay of the brig's mainmast.


two turns later the mainmast went by the board. As a result of the reduced sail and the drag of the rigging over the side the brig had a net move factor of -1, so we assumed it was drifting.


Now he rules say a drifting ship will turn its bow into the wind...

Given that the remaining rigging is all forward I would have thought the balance of the sail plan would force the bow downwind?


The brig drifted for three turns before her crew could cut the raffle free, by which time she was well in irons.


As she was now at least nominally able to be brought under control we treated the situation as equivilent to a vessel in irons after a failed tack and had her drift backwards, picking up sone speed and then using the rudder to bring her head off the wind.


Were we in the right space with this, or were we missing something?




#2 Cpt M

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 10:02 PM

Ouch!  Losing a mast on a brig is a bad thing, indeed (in fact, the limited flexibility of this rig was one its main faults).  Be thankful you didn't lose your foremast; that would have left you with the mainmast standing, but sprung (essential, dismasted).  


Anyway, to your question...


Actually, in your case, the foremast was still effective,  although the effect of the dragging mainmast canceled out any MFs that the foremast provided.  In this case, you would not be drifting, but rather have your "thrust" balanced out by your "drag" (somewhat akin to being hove to).  What would apply (until you cut away the fallen mast) is that you'd slowly turn downwind in the direction of the fallen mast (this is detailed below the Fallen Mast table).  In your case, you'd stay stationary, but pivot 1 turn arc downwind on every odd MF (or, in this case since you're stationary, 1 turn arc per phase).    

#3 David Nichols

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Posted 04 September 2015 - 03:32 AM

Thanks for the reply, that does sound more reasonable.


I've encountered the catastrophic mast failure in the past - playing the Ranger/Drake duel from the AWI using Heart of Oak, I lost a mast to a critical and had the others go overboard in sympathy - certainly made for a decisive end to the action.


I'm running another game tomorrow - Frigates this time - different players (two newcomers to the system) hopefully we'll see some close action.




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