Thursday, September 26, 2013

BAGGYWRINKLES fit for a Tall Ship

When I was aboard the Dutch Tall Ship, Bark Europa in Hobart harbour, conducting visitors around, the question I was most frequently asked was “What is that fluffy thing around the rigging?”
Having sailed aboard EUROPA for an extended voyage recently, I not only discovered what a baggywrinkle was, I also learned how to make one.
Baggywrinkles are made from old rope and their purpose is to stop the sails from chafing on the metal stays when they come into contact.
Stays are the ship’s fixed/standing rigging which support the masts.
You find smaller versions of Baggies on fore and aft yachts.
They serve the same purpose, but on a tall ship, such as EUROPA, everything is BIG including the baggywrinkles.

How to make a giant-sized Baggywrinkle.
Take a length of old rope and cut it into 12 inch (30 cm) lengths.
Unravel the rope down to single strands of spun fibre (sorry the pic is a bit fuzzy).

For a giant baggy, string-up 4 parallel lines of twine to two uprights – smaller yachts usually only use two lines of twine.
The twine needs to be a few meters longer than the length required.

In principle, the pieces of unravelled rope are tied to the two outer pairs of twine-lines and also to the inner pair thereby securing all 4 lines together.

Following the diagram – loop the strand of rope under the outer two lines of twine.
Take the two ends of rope and turn them over the twine and pull them down between the two.
Repeat this process on the other outer parallel twine-lines.
Then, using the two inner twine-lines, repeat the process – this brings the 4 lines together.
Pull the ends of rope tight and slide the knots to the end of the twine.
Continue making these simple knots and your baggywrinkle will continue to grow to the desired length.

Installing a Baggywrinkle on a Tall Ship.
Not a job for the faint-hearted!

Aboard Bark EUROPA, Derk demonstrates how to attach the baggy to the stay.
He does this by winding the length of wrinkles around and around the metal stay (rigging).
Over time the baggywrinkle will be worn down by constant wear from the sail rubbing against it, and it will need to be replaced.
The installation of baggywrinkles is an excellent way of saving massive sails from wear.
It also makes use of old rope.
And making baggies is a good way to spend a few hours when on a long sea voyage.
Happy sailing.


Linda Collison said...

What an excellent, informative post!

Chaffing is a problem inherent to fore-and-aft sailboats, no matter what century. Whenever you tack, or whenever light or variable air causes the sail to flog, abrasion of sailcloth against rigging is destructive.

I first learned of baggy wrinkles aboard the schooner Lewis R. French, out of Camden, Maine. And now, thanks to you, Marg, I know how to make them!

Buck said...

Interestingly enough the technique isn't all that different from a tug pudding: Very cool post!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post and the pictures.
I didn't have my camera handy when Derk was attaching the new wrinkle. Almost settled back to normality after the trip on Europa to Melbourne.
Best wishes from an ex-shipmate.

Rickreiver said...

Btw, it's one word, 'Baggywrinkle' and singular.

M. C. Muir said...

Have made the amendment to Baggywrinkle but prefer Baggywrinkles if talking about more than one.