the fore yard

foreyard on the pier

When we last left rig-up we had the sprit yard and fore topmast in place. The next spar in the sequence is the fore yard. Swinging the yards up in place is somewhat easier than the mast because the yards remain horizontal the entire time, well, hopefully they remain horizontal. All we have to do is hold back on them while the truck lifts the yard then slowly ease them over until the gantline is vertical, then raise the yard up into place. but with everything, there are a few details we have to go through for the yard to end up in the right spot.

The fore yard is placed alongside the exhibit. Fortunately the foremast and the exhibit line up so we can place the yard in the right spot for lifting. I don’t think the exhibit was planned with this in mind but it is a happy coincidence that it worked out this way. You can see the steel snatch block is still up in the rigging under the fore bowl and the sampson braid gantline is run through it.

We will bend the gantline to the middle of the yard and a tag line to the far end of the yard. the gantline will go through the snatch block down to the fair lead block on the pier then to our new truck. (Again, thanks Marty’s GMC in Kingston)

Before we lift the yard into place we rig all the gear necessary to hold the yard in place once it is up on the mast. There is the tye, rams head and halyard to lift the yard and lifts and braces to control the yard vertically and horizontally . The tye is a heavy line double through the rams head block with each end passing through the hounds on the mast. Eventually we will tie off the tye to the yard with a cow hitch and two seizings.

The lifts are made on to the fore stay collar, run through the lift blocks at the end of the yard, through a fairlead block on the first shroud then down to cleats on the mast. The brace pendants make onto the main stay, the fall ends lead to the aft end of the fore deck.

When everything is ready we haul up the yard with the truck, holding back with the tag line until the yard is in the air. When the starboard side yard arm is within reach of the foredeck we dress the yard arm. The sequence is, lift, brace then foot rope. The lift pendant fits over the yard, the brace pendant leads aft, and the foot rope spliced eye fits on last holding the other two in place.


When both sides of the yard are dressed we use the truck to lift the yard into position. It is easy to remember where the yard sits on the mast because it is the spot on the mast that is never scraped clean during spring cleaning so the mast is very dark where the mast sits. As I said before we tie off the tye around the yard. Meanwhile on deck the crew is reaving off the halyard through the rams head and the knights head on deck. The six part pulley between the rams head and the knights head provides the mechanical advantage necessary to lift the yard, if for example you can’t take your truck to sea.

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