The Appearance and Lead of the Rig of the S.S. Great Britain in 1845
The author’s involvement, at the Bournemouth and Poole College of Art, in the preparation of a 1:48 scale, fully rigged, longitudinally cutaway illustration of the S.S. Great Britain as she was on her first voyage from Bristol to London in 1845, prior to her maiden North Atlantic voyage has given insights into how the ship was rigged. This article considers the differences between the sources of information in the Science Museum model of the ship and the sail plans drawn by Dr. E. C. B. Corlett for his book The Iron Ship. The arrangement of the standing rigging is considered, in particular whether the topmasts were fidded or not. The belaying pin and winch layout is considered and illustrated, with a consideration of the leads used for the running rigging. Reefing and brailing arrangements are considered, as are differences in the sources as to the sail area.