Reply To: Tacking vs. wearing square-riggers — relative time and distance

Home Forums Nautical Research: 1500 – 1830 Tacking vs. wearing square-riggers — relative time and distance Reply To: Tacking vs. wearing square-riggers — relative time and distance

Gina Willis

    Thank you, gentlemen. But I think in order to better state my question and get the answer I need, I should show you a picture of the situation and tell you why I ask:
    This is for a simulation of the 1813 campaign on Lake Ontario:
    Hypothetical tack vs. wear situation
    Here is the situation: The wind is from the west. The British force containing 5 ships (2 corvettes, 1 brig, 2 schooners), heading NW, is maneuvering against an American force off its port bow.
    The British force wants to make a turn to a S heading.
    My sources say these crews could tack a ship in 5 minutes. So to tack in succession, I’d say it would take 5 ships x 5 minutes = 25 minutes to complete the tack.
    The time and distance scale here is 1 km = 1 speed point = 5 minutes.
    Since this force has a current speed of only 3, it doesn’t have sufficient speed to tack.
    But let’s say it had a speed of 5. Then, according to my rule, it would be rotated in place to a S heading and it speed would be reduced by 5 points to 0 (1 point per ship making the tack). That would complete its movement for the turn.
    My question is, what should happen if the British force were to wear ship to achieve a S heading?
    How long should it take to complete the heading change? Or, to put it another way, what should the equivalent cost in speed points (1 point = 5 minutes) be in order to wear instead of tack?
    And, once the heading change is complete, what square should the British force be in? Should it be displaced one or more km to leeward, for example? Or would a force this size have been able to complete a wear within a square kilometer area?
    Also: If I understand your comments correctly, you’re saying that it would have been impossible for a force in line of battle to “wear in succession.” They could wear, but once they completed the heading change they would no longer be in line-ahead formation.
    Thank you in advance for your help and suggestions!