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box-hauling


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A method of wearing a square-rigged ship in rough weather when the force of the waves makes it impractical for it to tack. The procedure is to put the helm a-lee (1), as in tacking, to bring the bows up into the wind, when the strength of the waves as they strike the weather bow will force the bows down to leeward (2). With the helm reversed, this movement is accelerated, and at the same time the aftermost sails are brailed up to spill the wind out of them in order to give the foremost sails an added turning moment. As the stern of the ship crosses the wind the aftermost sails are braced to catch the wind (3) and increase the rate of turn until the wind is forward of the beam and the yards can again be braced (4). Box-hauling, as well as being a rough weather tactic, was also used when ships were too near the shore to wear in the usual way.

(1), as in tacking, to bring the bows up into the wind, when the strength of the waves as they strike the weather bow will force the bows down to leeward (2). With the helm reversed, this movement is accelerated, and at the same time the aftermost sails are brailed up to spill the wind out of them in order to give the foremost sails an added turning moment. As the stern of the ship crosses the wind the aftermost sails are braced to catch the wind (3) and increase the rate of turn until the wind is forward of the beam and the yards can again be braced (4). Box-hauling, as well as being a rough weather tactic, was also used when ships were too near the shore to wear in the usual way.

Box-hauling

Subjects: Maritime History.


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