Hms Bounty One Or Two Masts

As originally ordered by the Navy Board on 20 June 1787, while Bounty was fitting out, her boats were to be a 20-foot launch, and 18-foot cutter and a 16-foot cutter or jolly boat. These boats were apparently delivered to Deptford Yard but at Bligh's request the first two were exchanged for a 23-foot launch and a 20-foot cutter. Bligh, having had experience in the South Seas, realized the value of large boats for provisioning and watering. The Navy Board's We also know that the launch was a good sea boat; Bligh notes in the log, while decision that the longest boat was to be of 20 feet was probably arrived at by adrift, <4 May, 1789 We could do nothing more than keep befor the sea, in the considering stowage; from Bounty's fore brace bitts to her fore companion way course of which the boat performed so wonderfully well . .

is a little over 18 feet so a 20-foot boat would have fitted quite comfortably on The rigging of boats varied quite dramatically and was determined by the the main hatch. Even after removing her rudder the 23-foot launch took up a intended use of the boat as well as the personal preference of those who sailed

Length

23ft

Oin

Breadth

6ft

9in

Depth

2ft

9in

Stern sided

Oft

3l/2in

Keel Do. Midships

Oft

3%in

Post sided at the Tuck

Oft

31/2in

Alow [belowl

Oft

3in

Transom thick

Oft

2in

Floor timbers Sided

Oft

2in

Moulded at the Heads

Oft

2V8in

Throat

Oft

3%in

Futtocks Sided Alow [below]

Oft

2in

Square at the Heads

Oft

l%in

them. The draught of Bounty's launch clearly shows provision for stepping one mast, well forward, and in this instance she would most likely have been rigged as a cutter. However, Bligh makes a number of references to her rig in the log that have convinced me that she carried two masts:

3 May 1789 I bore away under a reefed lug fore sail 10 May [1789] I now got fitted a pair of shrouds to each mast 10 May 1789 In the afternoon I fitted a pair of shrouds for each mast, and contrived a canvas weather cloth round the boat, and raised the quarters about 9 inches, by nailing on the seats of the stern sheets, which proved of great benefit to us.

The drawings show the boat rigged as a lugger, with masts and yards, rigging and sails all based on Steel. As so much variation occurred with boat rigging, the figures given in the Rigging Schedule under 'Rigging for cutter and launch' can only serve as a general guideline.

After carrying Bligh and his followers to Coupang (Kupang) Bounty's launch was towed to Batavia (Jakarta) and eventually sold at auction. By this time Bligh had grown sentimentally attached to her and in his account he wrote, 'The launch was likewise sold. The services she had rendered us, made me feel a great reluctance at parting with her, which I would not have done, if I could have found a convenient opportunity of conveying her to Europe.5

The 20-foot cutter was clinker built, shipped six oars and was designed to carry a maximum of ten men. The drawings show her rigged as a cutter, with a single mast set well forward, a large fore-and-aft main sail spread on a gaff and boom and two fore sails. Here again, rigging and sails are based on Steel's proportions. If Bounty carried a 16-foot Jolly Boat, it would have been clinker built and would have carried four oars.

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