Drilling Mast holes for a Privateer

by Gary
(Republic, WA)

Please help me with drilling holes for the masts on a solid-hull model "Rattlesnake" privateer. Do i drill them straight or at an angle? If at an angle, what is the angle?

I take it there is no plan, which normally is where you'd find this information.

I'm somewhat familiar with the Rattlesnake and pulled out the Search for Speed Under Sail by Howard I. Chapelle.

In this book, there is a lines plan of the Rattlesnake. She was a full-rigged ship captured by the British. They had a habit of having the lines taken off captured ships. Unfortunate for the crew and owners, but lucky for us, we now know what these prize ships looked like. The lines were taken off the Rattlesnake in 1782.

Looking in The History of American Sailing Ships by the same author, there is also a sail plan which confirms my findings from the first book.

The plans shows the Fore and Main masts as being perpendicular to the waterline, whereas the Mizzen mast is raked back at about a 5 degree angle.

I seem to remember reading that the angle would be changed as part of trimming the rig for optimal speed and performance. With this in mind, I would expect the angle of each mast to be able to vary within a couple of degrees either way as part of the procedure.

If you need a plan to proceed with the model ship, you could look for these books at your local library. The latter would be the better one to get with lines plan, inboard profile and sail plan. Copies of the plans can also be obtained from the Smithsonian Institution in DC.

Best of luck!


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