Reply To: Napoleonic Era Ship Manoeuvrability

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Frank Scott

Furthermore I have not come across the instruction to avoid tacking, unless in the chase. If you only wear it is quite impossible to make any ground to windward. Indeed, the fact that very heavy weather forced you to wear rather than tack was the reason why being caught on a lee shore was so feared, and why being ’embayed’ was fatal.
Modern square riggers all have auxiliary power to assist in such situations, but if they rely on them too much, and the engines fail, they have proved just as much at risk of being driven ashore and wrecked as in the days of old.