Category Archives: HMS Surprise


This is the way that I make Footropes…

Completed Footrope on Port side of Fore MainSail Yard

I first cut a length of Line. I use this brand of String because I like how the Nylon soaks up the Superglue.

Make a Loop and tie a Clove Hitch with some Black Sewing String and loop around it.

Clove Hitch around Loop
Put around 4 or 5 Loops around it and a dab of Superglue
Clove it to Spar
Make a couple sets of Line with Midshipman’s Knot/Figure 8 Loops on the ends…
Slide through the Footrope Line…

Figure Eight Noose

I continued on with the Line and made a Clove Hitch on the end…

I put this Block on the end of the Line.

Trucks and Parrels

Parrels were common to 17th, 18th, and some 19th century ships. The ribs (battens) and trucks (rollers) were strung together on rope trusses. The ends of the truss were secured around the yard, while the ribs and trucks were passed around the body of the mast.

I used Beads for the Parrels.

I installed 3 Ribs. The Trucks (Beads) go vertical along the Parrel. The Loop on the end is so I can run the line around the Spar to secure it.

Example of Parrels and Truck (Beads) on real Sailing Ship
Finished Parrels on Fore Main Mast Yard

Fore MainSail Yard

For this Post, I am going to do a Step-By-Step of the Lathe Work involved… (for my own purposes and notes)

First, I cut the Dowel to length at 250mm. I always go 2mm longer each side to compensate for errors.

This Dowel is a 5.89mm width. So 6mm for all intents and purposes. Which is great for the Center portion.

5.89mm… that’s just about perfect. 1mm excess.

I will now put the Dowel in the Lathe.

The Pencil Mark is the end of the Center bit.

Now, using a Circular File, I will make an indentation so that it’s cut in until it’s 5mm.

Close enough…

Then I use this course File to bring Spar off center to 5mm. It’s easier to get close to that little Gap made by Rat Tail File.

Next… I use Sandpaper to bring the taper down to the end.

Taper finished with 8mm Notch on end

I made the Taper using 120 Grit Sandpaper on a Block. I find it gives me the most control.

Then, I made the notch on the end using a small Flat File.

Tools I used. Sandpaper on Block and File
Both sides Tapered…
Central Notch
End Notch
I lashed some line around the Stunsail Iron.
Fore MainSail Yard with Stunsail Booms attached.
Center Battens with Black String to simulate Iron Bands
Fore MainSail Yard rigged

Mizzen Main Sail Yard

5mm Dowel in my Proxxon Lathe

I’m getting to where I can eyeball the widths pretty good and only need Calipers every once in awhile.

This Dowel was 5mm thick and I brought it down to 3mm. But I started 15mm from center. The middle bit is left thick.

Dowel Tapered from 5mm to 3mm starting from 15mm from center…
I notch the ends 5mm from end…

I use an Xacto blade and File for the notching.

Attaching to Mizzen Mast
Mizzen Main Yard done