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  #1  
Old 05-08-2006, 09:09 AM
bobsummers bobsummers is offline
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Default Bowsprit Netting

Hi,
I am wanting to put netting under the bowsprit and am not sure if one buys the netting ready to go from the many rope netting companies or if one can make their own. If people generally make them, is there a good source of instructions, rope size, weave, attaching, etc. The bowsprit is 12 feet, no bow pulpit, has a chain bobstay and chain whisker stays.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 05-09-2006, 05:04 AM
osteoderm osteoderm is offline
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The slickest bowsprit netting isn't netting at all, but a lattice formed in place; the sort of heavy twine netting such as heavy fishnet often seen usually looks baggy and mis-shapen. i've made bowsprit netting for similar long 'sprits, and the procedure starts out much like "rattling down" shrouds: mark off the spacing you want, then make up a set of lines, eyespliced at their ends, measured to fit athwartships between the whiskerstays. Sieze them in place, starting outboard and working in. On these, mark out the spacing for the fore'n'aft running lines.make them up to the approximate length, plus a fathom extra, and eyesplice one end of each. Again, string them up outboard first, and where they cross the athwartship lines, clove-hitch them on. Finish the ends with eyesplices and sieze in place.
The siezings to chain are simple, but where (to form a fair grid) the lines land against the hull, you may want to put in eyebolts to catch the ends. Or, you can run the netting only as far aft as the stem, and have the after ends of the fore'n'aft lines attache to the aftermost athwartships line.
Bowsprit netting is supposd to be there to contain the sails, not the sailors, but i've always appreciated netting that is substantial enough to comfortably walk on and catch me in a pinch. i'd opt for the heaviest line that will still suit the scale of the bowsprit and boat, say 5/16". Let your eye be the judge. As for the spacing of the grid, 10" should ought to be plenty tight; again, lay out some temporary twine lines to see what suits your fancy.
Lay those lines in firmly; the flat net will look over taut at first, but will break in nicely after a season or too. Baggy bowsprit nets are lubberly.
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  #3  
Old 05-09-2006, 05:36 AM
Ian McColgin Ian McColgin is offline
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The point that the netting is there for the sail, not the sailor, is important but often not just overlooked, more like romped on past. Schooners such as When&If (I think this was where I saw this) even make the netting up of webbing to facilitate walking over and to make lying on, when dousing a flogging sail in a nasty night, more comfortable. Once used to this, semirecumbrant facing aft on the weather net and hauling down the sail with two hands makes good sense.

My onw schooners had bowsprits half that length and jibs with clews back near the foremast, so the need for netting was not present. I generally prefer a real footrope that put my belly button a bit over the sprit but that approach does get your feet wet in plunging conditions. Sometimes a bit more than your feet.

Side note: Chain looks all down-home shippy and all but is actually weaker, stretchier, more prone to electrolitic degredation at the lower end, and harder to inspect against catastrophic failure than good cable.

But then, different boats, different long splices.

G'luck

Ian
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  #4  
Old 05-10-2006, 01:25 PM
bobsummers bobsummers is offline
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Default Bowsprit netting

Thanks for the good information on bowsprit netting, I will have to digest your information and see what I can figure out. Interesting, using the clove hitch/siezing combo. Also a thanks to Ian on mentioning the differences between chain and cable and the suggestion to consider swapping chain for cable. I am not sure about the footrope idea, as I have been out on square rigger's yards and Bsprits and find that the more weight (people) on a footrope the better for stability with less "sag" until you can drop your weight over the yard or stay and I am not sure I will be able to run the footrope low enough to use the Bsprit to lean on. But I will take a look at it.
Thanks
Bob
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  #5  
Old 05-12-2006, 09:50 AM
osteoderm osteoderm is offline
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The clove-hitches i mentioned are just as if you are laying ratl'ns across three shrouds instead of just between two. If the hitches are tightly made-up, and the line well-tarred before and after, i've never known them to slip a bit.
i've used Roblon and other hemp lookalikes, but actually prefer spun-Dacron three-strand; not quite as ultimately strong, but the initially fuzzy texture really saoks up the tarry goodness.
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  #6  
Old 05-12-2006, 09:59 AM
osteoderm osteoderm is offline
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The clove-hitches i mentioned are just as if you are laying ratl'ns across three shrouds instead of just between two. If the hitches are tightly made-up, and the line well-tarred before and after, i've never known them to slip a bit.
i've used Roblon and other hemp lookalikes, but actually prefer spun-Dacron three-strand; not quite as ultimately strong, but the initially fuzzy texture really saoks up the tarry goodness. If seizing onto wire instead of chain, be sure to apply service to the wire first.
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  #7  
Old 05-15-2006, 03:03 PM
Brion Toss Brion Toss is offline
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Default Lubberly netting

Hello,
I like to combine footropes with netting, and since the former need to be loose, so then do the latter. It can be done gracefully. We also sometimes hitch at least some of the cranelines to the bobstay, and will also fashion removable pieces for the anchor to pass through. Oh yes, and we commonly refer to bowsprit nettings as "crew strainers".
As for wire vs. chain, it's wire, every time, and in this application service might not be required, given a proper lashing.
Fair leads,
Brion Toss
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