|A photo essay of the rigging restoration of the 3 masted Barque Glenlee.
While the spars were being put back together,
the rigging crew was hires and began training
in the "how" of traditional rigging. The crew
had a variety of experience, but no traditional
rigging experience. One had worked on North
Sea oil rigs and another had done some
theatrical rigging. On the whole everyone
started at the beginning with worming,
parceling, and serving wire rope.
Before we could begin practicing these new
skills a rigging loft had to be created out of the
space. We put down plywood sheeting as
decking and placed welded steel strong backs
and posts to set up the rigging on.
The rigging loft looking towards the river Clyde
The rigging loft looking away from the river Clyde. The large steel
framework is for the overhead hook up needed for splicing wire. The
wire splicing vices mount just below the horizontal overhead steel beam
One of the welded steel strong back posts.
1 & 1/2 ton come alongs were attached to
the posts to tighten the wire - "put it on the
stretch" They had to be very strong and
were drilled and epoxied bolted to the stone
The loft in action. One could smell the
Stockholm tar from a mile away
The crew learning how to set up the wire
on the stretch safely and the correct way
to "worm, parcel, and serve" using both
serving boards and the larger serving
While everyone learned basic marlinespike
seamanship ( knots, bends, hitches) and
how to worm, parcel and serve, only a
couple learned how to splice wire and clap
on wire seizings. There was not enough
time to train everyone.
The first piece of wire is cut. This wire
will eventually became one of the 22 wire
foot ropes the ship required.
I am splicing up a fore topmast cap
backstay in 1 1/8" diameter wire. One of
the over 275 wire splices needed.
Frank Carr serving a topgallant backstay.
In total over 4,500' feet of service was
Andy Aire and Brian Gray turning in a wire
seizing on a topmast backstay. One of
over 420 wire seizings done on board.
Fine example of a wire throat seizing on a
lower shroud turn back. Notice the canvas
chafe protection in the score of the solid
The Glenlee as she looked on my arrival.
One of the 4 splicing stands
The first splice completed on a fore lower
yard footrope. Only 274 more to go
Leathering the fore upper topsail parral
bucket. Over 13 full hides of leather were
used during the restoration.
The wire rope for the standing rig was 6x7 galvanized
extra improved plow steel from Spain. Unfortunately it
was coated in a thick wire rope lube/sealer that had to
first be steam cleaned off the wire. I guess my Spanish is
not as good as I thought! Leaving the lube on made
splicing impossible. Also notice some of the bottle
screws on the shelf in the background. Almost 100 were
needed for the rig