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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    St. Marys County, Maryland, USA (Chesapeake Bay)
    Posts
    1

    Default Admiralty Manual of Seamanship

    I've read several places that the Admiralty Manual is a good reference for traditional skills.
    What's the best edition to look for? (I'm in the USA)

    Thanks,

    Bob

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Victoria BC
    Posts
    1,005

    Default

    There are 3 volumes; I only have volume 2, and it has advanced ropework, wire splicing etc, then it mainly about ships' gear.
    Volume 3 is yet more advanced seamanship. I would guess you want Volume 1. They were once very cheap in used book shops, they seem to be going up in price:

    http://www.abebooks.co.uk/book-searc...alty/sortby/3/

    If you come across a recent volume of the Admiralty Manual of Navigation, take a look at it. It is one of the most superbly produced books in my collection.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    12,988

    Default

    I've got quite a few. They seem to have gone through several editions, changing quite a lot each time; presumably reflecting the changes in training requirements through the years.

    For instance, my 1951 Vol II is very different from my 1967 Vol II, though they do have some similarities.

    Most of the content is not directly relevant to small boats (how often do you have to handle steel hawsers, or replenish your stores at sea?) but they are all very well written and make fascinating reading.

    I've also got Vol 1 of the 1938 Manual of Navigation. All very different back then but, if you want to look after a chronometer or maintain your gyroscopic compass it's all there!

    I can't really say which the best edition is, they are all good.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Costa Brava
    Posts
    7,222

    Default One from the US Navy

    I found this one published in 1891 for the US Navy to be very interesting.
    E.g. how sail to anchor in a full rigged ship.

    http://www.hnsa.org/doc/luce/index.htm
    My boat is for sale - ask me if interested.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    88

    Default

    I have a full collection of AMS from 1937 through to the current day!

    The AMS vol 1 1964 (1972 reprint) cost me £1.00 when I bought it (1973 I think) - It was my first real book!

    It covers everything from parts of a boat, ropework, splicing, how to sail, communications, navigation, IRPCAS, buoyage....

    Further information is available in vol 2 and 3 - which do cover stability and more navigation - useful for sailing in yachts.

    Vol 1 was replaced in 1979, and again is OK (Vol 2 and 3 were also revised subsequently)

    I would certainly recommend either of these versions of volume 1

    I would recommend either version of vol 2 - my preference is the older one (1967) - it is useful for yachting especially on traditional sailmaking and awnings.

    The earlier books are a bit out of date now - but may be useful to some.

    However - there is a new version out now which replaces vol 1, 2 and 3 into one book - it is truly awful!!!

    Whilst the previous books covered a wide range of general seamanship subjects the latest one is specific; basically to deck operations on an RN warship.

    Previously each subject provided a basic background and understanding, then some detail, in the new version - it is just an operations manual!

    As an example,

    In the 60's version - breaking strain of Manila rope - typically it is the size (in inch) squared divided by 3 (so a 3 inch rope = 3 x 3/3 = 3 tonnes)

    In the 80's version - - breaking strain of Manila rope - typically it is the size(in mm) squared divided by 200 (so a 24 mm rope = 24*24/200 = 3 tonnes)

    In the new version Navel stores Manila 0350/942-5026 has a breaking strain of 4.57 tonnes.

    Some nice pictures - but the new one is pure RN warship and little use for anything else!

    BB



    Note - Rope should be measured as diameter in mm or circumference in inch

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    1,061

    Default

    You might like to check Amazon or www,kessinger.net as a source for old books.

    The facsimile copy of "Manual of Seamanship of Boy's Training Ships of the Royal Navy, 1883" (1883) is fascinating reading. Not much there on engines though:-)
    Seemed like a good idea at the time!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    19,519

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mariner69 View Post
    The facsimile copy of "Manual of Seamanship of Boy's Training Ships of the Royal Navy, 1883" (1883) is fascinating reading. Not much there on engines though:-)
    How ever did they manage to dig in their anchors, I wonder?

    According to several self-proclaimed anchoring experts on these forums it is absolutely neccessary to run your engine in full astern to set the anchor.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    6,040

    Default

    This is good, too! It is a nineteenth century manual of seamanship for, as it says, young officers. Everything you ever wanted to know about handling a square-rigged vessel!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    1,061

    Default

    Back the course.

    Or do a running moor.

    The book gives lots of information on the releasing of the anchor from the catshead to ensure it drops flukes down.
    Seemed like a good idea at the time!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Gibraltar, RGYC.
    Posts
    3,046

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mariner69 View Post
    Back the course.

    Or do a running moor.

    The book gives lots of information on the releasing of the anchor from the catshead to ensure it drops flukes down.
    Nowadays, if you get anchoring wrong, it is not difficult to try again.
    Not so in the olden days.
    For starters nowadays we have reliable forged anchors and chain.
    In the olden days the hook was made of forged iron and there was no chain. Instead three right handed ropes were laid left handed to make up a cable laid rope. That is why anchor chain is still referred to as "cable" or "anchor cable".

    The old anchors were very clumsy and akward to handle as they had to be suspended from protuberances on each side of the bow called catheads that mainly served the purpose of keeping the flukes away from the hull. Then the anchor could be manipulated into and out of a vertical position by using block and tackle and manpower, to positions known as a cockabill and hove in.

    As the anchor's shape was not unlike that of a fishermans, care had to be taken that it dropped vertically and would not foul.

    But the precursor to dropping the anchor in a choice of anchorage was to ascertain two factors, being the depth of water and the quality of the bottom. For this the hand lead was used, and the tallow inserted in the hollow of the lead would roughly indicate the quality of the bottom.

    It would show sand, or pebbles, shells, etc.,

    Now I say roughly because nowadays if an anchor is fouled and cannot be broken free a diver can be sent down to deal with it. In the olden days a fouled anchor had to be left there, the cable having been cut if all attempts to break it out failed.

    The evidence of this particular difficulty remains on the seabed. Countless old anchors have been lifted out around these waters dating back weven to Phoenician and Roman hooks made of lead and old iron anchors sans cables.

    Another preoccupation when anchoring under sail was wind planning, to avoid lee shore situations developing in the event of the anchoring manoevre failing and the anchor dragging, as to lift it required concentrated manpower to man a circular capstan with as many as half the crew to turn it by brute force to heave up the hook. So additional to the quality and depth of bottom the direction of the wind was also critical. Tide had to be considered as well.

    The standing moor was carried out by dropping an anchor and allowing the vessel to drift back. The running moor was carried out by dropping the anchor when the vessel was still making way and running with it.

    For the running moor conventionally fore courses were set and used.

    For a standing moor the mizzen courses were set together with the staysails that preceded it, rudder strictly amidships. These courses were against the wind. Then the term "flat aback" was used to describe and order this manoevre.

    "Flat aback" was also used when tacking incidentally and describes the period during which the yards and sails abaft the foremast rig were protected from the wind (in the lee of them) allowing them to be hauled across in readiness for the change of tack.

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