left hand lay ropes on HMS Victory

Home Forums Nautical Research: 1830 – Present Day left hand lay ropes on HMS Victory

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  • #23006
    TIMOTHY M
    Participant

    Whilst looking around HMS Victory, I noticed that the guns used left hand lay recoil ropes rather than the more common and stronger (if made from flax/hemp) right hand lay ropes. Would there be a particular reason for this? Also used on HMS Warrior and the US Constitution.

    #23013
    Tom C
    Participant

    Hello Timothy,
    Sorry about the delay.
    The breeching for guns is indeed left hand laid, and although not mentioned in my copy of Steel’s art of rigging, Nares 1862 says;
    ‘gun gear is hawser laid, left handed.’
    He goes on to say;
    ‘why is gun gear laid up left handed? The yarns being spun right handed, and the strands being also laid up right handed make the rope much softer and more pliable, but it has the disadvantage of being more liable to soak up wet.’

    Hope that helps,
    Tom

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