I'm curious, does anyone know what was done with the ends of the clew lines and sheets on a ship like Vasa when a course was not attached to its yard? Were they just disassembled? Lashed somewhere? Allowed to hang free?
Good question! One option is to seize or bend the ends of the sheet and tack to the clew garnet block, and haul the block up to the yard to its normal furled position. All of the lines would then be in the same place as when a sail was bent. This was common in later periods. In Vasa's case, since the main course had not yet been bent to the yard, its rigging might not yet have been rove. Some of the blocks and hardware found with the sail show that the bowlines and martnets have not yet been rigged (one cannot rig these without the sail, since they attach to the boltropes), and the main sheet blocks may be among those also found with the sail. There is no wear on the chesstree or kevel for the main tack.