| || |
The 4 channel radio control allows the master to brace the foremast and the mainmast square yards independently, to pay out or haul in the sheets on the jib and boom-mainsail (driver), and to turn the rudder. Sails cannot be furled in place, but are changed at the dockside.
The size of the ships is crucial to their sailing performance. The shallow draft (9.6", 24.4cm in the brigs, 11", 28cm in the frigates), full length, and smooth bottomed ballast keel allows sailing in mucky shallow water. Lighter or shorter vessels tend to "bob" on the water, they also lose way unrealistically quickly, not allowing them to tack properly. Smaller vessels with deep "bulb" ballast keels are initially stiff, but are tippy in gusts, besides which they need deep clear water. Smaller vessels move too sharply, with none of the sedate confidence shown by Steel, Chapman & Hutchinson ships.
Staying (tacking), boxhauling and wearing are all very straightforward, but competence comes only with time. Just sailing square rigged ships is quite a skill, unlike the ease of fore-and-afters. Sailing as high up into the wind as possible is the most common point of sail. A challenge because of the vagaries of the wind. In a steady breeze, holding a course 6 points (67.5 degrees) off the wind, is just fine. Gusts will cause the ship to heel, but she will recover as she should. Shorten sail in rough weather, and she'll really impress you.
Every ship comes with an advisory dissertation on sailing.
Ships come complete with a launching cart. Each time the ship is launched, the masts and their rigging need to be 're-commissioned'. This can take 10 minutes and is done simply by bringing up the masts, hooking on hooks and connecting rigging loops with cable ties. The ballast keel slips in and is fastened before launching.