Make the Sail




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Make the Sail
Plane the Bottom
Ready for Water
Rope Bindings

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By Dan Beard

Secure for a sail material as strong as you can find, but it need not be heavy. Unbleached muslin is cheap and will make good sails. Turnover the edges and sew or hem them, as in the diagram. Make eyelets like buttonholes in the luff of the sail-that is, the edge of the sail nearest the mast. Sew a small loop of rope in each corner of the sail. Through the eyelets lace the full of the sail to the mast.

From spruce or pine make a sprit two inches in diameter. For a "sheet" -that is, the rope or line that you manage the sail with-tie a good, stout line about a dozen feet long to the loop in the loose corner of the sail. Trim the upper end of the sprit to fit the loop in the top of the sail and make a simple notch in the other end to hold the line called the "snotter."

Now, as you can readily see by referring to Fig. 165, when the sprit is pushed into the loop at the top of the sail the sail is spread. To hold it in place make a cleat like the one in the diagram, and bind it firmly with a cord to the sprit; pass the snotter or line fastened to the mast through the notch in the sprit up to the cleat and make fast, and the sail is set. The jigger or dandy is exactly like the mainsail except in size, and the sheet rope is run through a block or pulley at the end of the out-rigger and then made fast to a cleat near the man at the rudder or helm. The jib is a simple affair hooked on a screw-eye in the end of the bowsprit.

The jib halyard, or line for hoisting the jib, runs from the top of the jib through a screw-eye in the top of the mast, down the port side of the mast to a cleat, where it is made fast. When the jib is set the jib-sheets are fastened to a loop sewed in the jib at the lower or loose end. There are two jib-sheets, one for each side of the boat, so that one may be made fast and the other loosened, according to the wind. The remaining details you must study out from the diagrams or learn by experiment.

How to Reef Her

When the wind is high reef your sails by letting go the snotter and pulling out the sprit. This will drop your peak and leave you with a simple leg-of-mutton sail. Only use the jib in light weather.

In this boat, with a little knowledge of sailing, you may cruise for weeks, lowering your sails at night and making a tent over the cock-pit for a sleeping-room.

When the author described the Rough and Ready for the New York Press, Mr. Curtis Brown, the genial editor of the Sunday edition of that paper, was delighted with it. He had had letters from boy readers asking the rules for building just such a boat. 

After the article was published Mr. Brown received more letters asking for descriptions and rules for building a rowboat. The writer had already told how to build a rowboat, under the head of a "Yankee Pine" in the "American Boy's Handy Book." 

If the young boat-builders do not have a" Handy Book" they can reduce the dimensions of the Rough and Ready, leave off the decks, and they will have a serviceable rowboat.







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Last modified: October 15, 2016.