The first step in the rigging restoration was to determine how to change the
modifications made by the Spanish to return the vessel to her Cape Horn
appearance. Many of the deck fitting positions and corresponding angles for a lot
of the running rigging were altered when larger deckhouses, life rafts, etc were
The Islamount ship photo helped tremendously. By blowing up the photo, details
began to emerge like the main yard and main upper and lower topsail brace block
positions on the above photo (the flying bridge necessitated changing the brace
leads by the Spanish).
One of the first tasks, was to sort out all
the bitts and pieces that eventually would
become a rig again. We also needed to
find out what parts were missing and
would need to be fabricated.
The Spanish had removed the spars and rigging when they rigged her
down before sending her to be scrapped. After the Clyde Maritime Trust
purchased her, arrangements were made to load the cut up rigging and
spars into 40 foot containers and ship them to Scotland. Any spar that
was longer than 40 feet, was cut down. This meant many spars were
cut into 3 or more sections and would need to be put back together again.
Above is a "pile" of spars in a field on the Naval base where they had
been heaped. They were later transported to Glasgow inside 40 foot
One of the many "mystery" rigging piles
Part of the main top. At least we had a
"half breadth" shape to work from. The
entire steel platform was re-fabricated
based on these measurements
Organizing the spars in the warehouse alongside the ship at Yorkhill
Quay, Glasgow. This was an old bonded whiskey warehouse that had
a lot of charm and no heat!!! The stone floors were covered with
plywood in the rigging loft area.
On the Quay with Charlie MacIntyre on
my first day at the Glenlee. Charlie was a
member of the riding crew that brought the
ship back from Spain under tow. Charlie
also is a retired Boss rigger from John
Brown shipyard and was in charge of re
rigging the Queen Mary after the WWII.
Charlie worked as a volunteer on the
project and was a great resource of
knowledge and encouragement.
|A photo essay of the rigging restoration of the 3 masted Barque Glenlee.
The photo on the right gave information on
the placement and rigging of the fore
topgallant halyard arrangement
The spars arrive in
Speaking of the RMS Queen Mary here is a photo of Dr. John Brown, flanked by
Bob Layden on the left and Hamish Hardie on the right.
Dr. Brown was a very famous designer and Naval Architect:
"During his outstanding career John Brown was personally involved in the design
and production of over 400 vessels, including the three Cunard Queens, Caronia
and the Royal Yacht Britannia. He ultimately became Managing Director of the yard
to which he had dedicated his entire working life. In his 99th year, in 2000, Dr
Brown received due recognition by being honoured with a knighthood. Sadly Sir
John enjoyed his new title for less than a year. He died peacefully in his own home
in Glasgow on 27 December 2000, just a few months short of his hundredth
birthday. The quiet man "who drew a legend" lives on in our memories and in his
achievements as a legend in his own right.
The above photo shows how much detail
can be taken from the Islamount photo.
By enlarging the photo, even chain and
block details could be studied.
Islamount, ex Glenlee in Australia
Islamount, ex Glenlee