Steering sails or studding sails

Home Forums Nautical Research: 1500 – 1830 Steering sails or studding sails

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #9920
    Andrew Bond
    Participant

    Nelson and his contemporaries repeatedly refered to “steering sails” and, as far as I have seen, never ever to “studding sails”. However most historians use the latter term and hardly ever the former. Thus Victory’s log for 6.00 am on October 21st “bore up to the Estwd. Out all Reefs topsails, set steering Sails, royals, cleared for Quarters.” Are the they actually the same thing?

    #9947
    Wayne Tripp
    Participant

    According to Admiral Smyth’s “Sailors Word Book” (1867), ‘Steering Sail – an incorrect name for studding sail’.

    #9948
    Frank Scott
    Participant

    Short answer – Yes

    Studding sails appear in contemporary works such as Falconer’s Marine Dictionary (1769), where he deplores the fact that some call them Steering Sails. In speech the name was normally corrupted to stuns’ls.

    John Harland covers these sails in considerable detail in his magisterial Seamanship in the Age of Sail (London, 1985), pp. 155-172. For the origins of the terminology, on which he is always very sound, see pages 162-3

    Frank Scott

    #10024
    Andrew Bond
    Participant

    Many thanks – any suggestions as to what the derivation might be? For example might they have been so called because of their use in order to achieve steerage way?

    #10025
    Frank Scott
    Participant

    The derivation is covered by John Harland in the reference noted previously. Much too long to type out, and you really do need to get hold of the book if you are studying this period.

    Frank Scott

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.