Forecastle Rails on Frigates

Home Forums Nautical Research: 1500 – 1830 Forecastle Rails on Frigates

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  • #24014
    Andrew T
    Participant

      Hi, all.

      I’m currently reading The Sailing Frigate; a history in models by Robert Gardiner, and it’s bringing up some interesting thinking.

      Attached is a picture of a model of HMS Lowestoft (1761) and you can see that there’s no rails on the forecastle. My question is; why? I mean, in a heavy sea this seems like a great way to loose sailors.

      The caption for the picture states:

      “Exposed forecastle. The frigates of this generation had no rails forward but usually had righbolts to mount a pair of guns here; the chock where the fish davit is shown (on the starboard side) is the likely location.”

      #24015
      Andrew T
      Participant

        Please see picture.

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        #24018
        Sam Willis
        Keymaster

          HI Andrew – please email your image to forum-editor@snr.org.uk

          #24020
          Frank Scott
          Participant

            While I have not seen the picture, I cannot say that I am particularly surprised. In the Twenty-First Century we have become accustomed to a level of attention to “Health & Safety” that would have been unthinkable 60 years ago, let alone 250 years ago.

            For example back in the 1960s I regularly sailed offshore in an International Six-metre class yacht (confusingly it was nearly 12 metres on deck) which had no guardrails or lifelines at all, and nobody raised an eyebrow. Similarly as a cadet in the Norwegian Merchant Navy full-rigged schoolship Sørlandet in 1968 we were not issued with safety-harnesses, but worked quite happily aloft, and out on the bowsprit.

            Actually I served as a junior watchkeeper in the last HMS Lowestoft in 1976/76, and particularly off Iceland in the so-called Cod War we had men working on deck while conducting replenishment at sea (fuel and stores) in very heavy weather with what would now be regarded as entirely inadequate safety gear.

            The past is another country.

            #24023
            Sam Willis
            Keymaster

              Picture is now visible on Andrew’s previous post.

              #24025
              Andrew T
              Participant

                Thank you, Sam.

                Appreciate it.

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