Just back from a little vacation. May I ask for a photo? The one you posted here with the topgallant roundhouse is cut off on the left side. I would like to study the carvings of the taffrail from the side and behind a little closer, the warrior (staatshut), the dolfin (has a really nice and elaborate crest), a volute. Do you have a detail view of this? Thank you. Rein
Rein informed me about the fact that Winter left out a picture in his book: a picture of the space underneath the forecastle looking forward. Here is a picture of that space on the STAM-model.
We're looking forward to the bulkhead, the foremast is in the middle. On the left hand side of the bulkhead a chase-gunport, in the middle two entrances. The red piece at the top of the picture is one of the bars of the small capstan. Two small hatch covers cover the hatches for the riding bitts.
Interesting placement of the knightheads, with the halliard/toprope knight alongside the foremast and the small knight aft, as well as the topsail sheet bitts before the mast. Are there separate hatches in the forecastle deck for all of these lines?
Considering the theme of Vasa II, rigging, I already thought the placement of the knights and bitts would be of interest to you. Here's a picture of the holes in the forecastle deck, and the setup of the knights and bitts around the front mast.
Of interest are the two 'kardinaalshoeden' (cardinals hats) in front of the mast.
Be careful: Birnie has an entrance in his restoration diary about removing the bitts because they are in the wrong place and about placing new bitts behind the front mast on the forecastle deck (page 30). I believe the configuration of the knights and bitts on the upper gundeck, is the original one; I couldn't find an entrance in Birnie's diary for these.
If you want to see more for the main mast and the mizzen mast, just let me know. Maybe I can be of help.
Thanks Jules, that is very helpful. I would be interested in the configuration of the knights around the mainmast, as well as the position of the knight for the main topsail halliard, if this model has one. Sorry to hear about the restoration issues, but they afflict virtually every surviving 17th-century model, thanks to "knowledgeable" experts of a century ago.
Curiously, we face the same problem today. In the cannon replica project and in sailing Kalmar Nyckel, it is very hard for people to accept that what we tell them about how things were done in the 17th century is the truth if it differs from what they know to be correct for "old sailing ships."
Yeah, it's a shame that a lot had to be changed on the model to give it a seventeenth century appearance again. At least Birnie used a good source for changing the bitts behind the front mast: he placed them in the exact same position where they are found on the Hohenzollern model.
Regarding your question for the main mast: here are two pictures for the knights and bitts around the main mast. The first one shows the situation above the quarterdeck.
The second one shows the situation on the lower gun deck. Behind the pump, directly behind the main mast, is the large knight. The two lower bitt ends of the bitts on the upper gun deck are visible too. On the left some of the beams of the main capstan can be seen. This same setup can be found in the Hohenzollern-model (Winter, Abbildung 33).
About your remark on the preconceptions of people: I couldn't agree more. It's very hard to change people's points of view, especially when their preconceptions are based on their own theories. I guess it means that you have to come up with very well proven theories of your own. Maybe they will start to doubt their preconceptions, and, let's hope for the best, are even willing to accept your new theory. In short: people with open minds are hard to find.
Hi Alexander, The two holes you describe are the same holes that I called the 'kardinaalshoeden'. I always thought these were only used on the lower transom for guiding the boats ropes. But in this model they appear as rope guiders near the masts. I can not answer your question about their presence in Vasa. Fred is the designated hitter for that.
Here´s a little request: Do you have a photo of the little capstan in the forcastle. I can only see a shadowy thing in the photo of the beakhead bulkhead through the entrance. The shape of it, however, seems to be a little strange (if it is the capstan). Thanks. Rein
There's nothing strange about the small capstan. It looks a lot like the Vasa-capstan: four tiers for the bars, six clamps for the rope. The stopper system is different though. Vasa's capstan has a single swingarm type, the Gent-model's has two separate stoppers. Here it is:
The capstan on the Gent-model is placed one beam more aft than on the Hohenzollern model (Winter, Abbildung 17 and, especially, Tafel IV).
Holes in the foredeck: On the Gent model, it looks like these holes with "cardinal's hats" are fairleads for the fore topsail sheets, since the topsail sheet bitts are below the deck. The lines currently leading through them are coming from directly above, which supports this assertion. Because the topsail sheet bitts on Vasa are not below a deck, there is no need for fairleads. On Vasa, there are two holes in the upper deck, much closer together and just before the mast, with fairings over their forward edges. The angle and location suggest that they were intended to lead the mainstay collar below the deck, where it would be secured to the bowsprit or stem head, but this was never done (see an earlier post about why we can tell that the stay collar was not acutally led this way).
The capstan on the Gent model, below the gratings in the post above: This is nearly identical to the upper deck or jeer capstan on Vasa. The shape and construction are the same, and the use of a pair of pawls pivoted in a timber abaft the capstan is the same. The longitudinal location, at the break in the foredeck, corresponds closely to the location on Vasa, but is one deck higher (since Vasa has a flush deck instead of an open waist). The capstan on the upper gundeck, which is the one Jules refers to above) has a single U-shaped pawl on a central pivot, while the main capstan on the lower gundeck has two separate pawls like the one on the Gent model. The location on the Hohenzollern model is farther forward as Jules notes, but that ship has only two capstans, and the location is determined by the lead of the primary lines taken to the upper capstan (cat and fish tackles, foremast rigging). Vasa uses separate capstans for the cat and fish tackles, due to how the catheads, fish davit and anchor gear are set up.
The Gent-model has two capstans: one smaller one below the forecastle deck (as shown above), and one larger one on the lower gundeck. So the set up of the capstans is the same as in the Hohenzollern-model. Here's a picture of the main capstan of the Gent-model:
Five bars and, like the main capstan of the Hohenzollern-model, the main capstan of the Gent model has a closed, flush barrel: it simply is a cone without any clamps (whelps) protruding. The force caused by the friction between the messenger (kabelaring) and the flush barrel must have been enough to hoist the anchor. The William Rex-model of 1698 in the Rijksmuseum shows a main capstan with a flush barrel too; this is a capstan with a drumhead though .
Any idea if VASA's main capstan had a flush barrel like the ones on the Hohenzollern-, Gent- and William Rex-model?
There are some interestings things to see in the last photo of the main capstan. The waterway seems to be of the same shape as in the HZ-model. Thus simplified; just one piece of wood hollowed out to imitate the original two-timber-arrangement and cut in for the "steunders". I think, the William Rex model has even no steunder at all, and it´s main capstan looks almost like a toy, so oversimplified is its appearence. You mentioned already, that the Ghent moded has no bulkhead to the gun room on this deck. Do you have a photo through a port, where I can see that place? The tiller must also be there. That would be great! This is altogether strange. After all, this model is so detailed everywhere. Vasa´s main capstan, as far as I know, looks exactly like the other two, just bigger in scale. Thank you. For Fred: Hi! The other Swedish flagship besides the Svaerdet, that got lost in 1676, as well as the Kronan, was the Äpplet. Was she also built by a Dutch master shipwright? These two ships must have been threedeckers already, with up to 90 guns (according to lists)! Regards. Rein
Deck construction is very much simplified on the Gent-model. Much worse than the Hohenzollern-model. Just simple strips of wood. So I think you're right in saying that they left out the chocks between the riders and simply fit the strips of wood around the riders. I also think they didn't bother to hollow the waterways like on the Hohenzollern-model.
I managed to make the following photo of the lower gundeck through one of the ports in the transom:
As you can see: no bulkhead for the powder cartridges: we have a clean view towards the bows. The tiller and the whipstaff you wanted to see are visible. The tiller should be between the deckbeam and the sweep; it now is underneath the sweep, and is not supported by it. As you can see, the whipstaff has slipped of of the swans neck at the end of the tiller.