World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Futtock shrouds

Article Id: WHEBN0002219250
Reproduction Date:

Title: Futtock shrouds  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Top (sailing ship), Shroud (sailing), PNS Rah Naward, HMS Endeavour
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Futtock shrouds

A Top (sailing ship), with the futtock shrouds shown in blue beneath it.
As well as top (sailing ship)s, crosstrees will also have futtock shrouds. Because crosstrees are smaller, there is less need for alternatives to the futtock shrouds as a way past them. This sailor is about to climb out round the edges of the crosstrees using the futtock shrouds.

Futtock shrouds are rope, wire or chain links in the rigging of a traditional square rigged ship. They run from the outer edges of a top (sailing ship) downwards and inwards to a point on the mast or lower shrouds, and carry the load of the shrouds that rise from the edge of the top. This prevents any tendency of the top itself to tilt relative to the mast.


In the most traditional ships, the futtock shrouds can be used to gain access to the tops. Sailors ascend ratlines on the ordinary shrouds until nearly at the top, then transfer to the futtock shrouds which will be reaching upwards and outwards above them. Using the futtock shrouds involves climbing the underside of an overhanging rope at about 45 degrees. Futtock shrouds may or may not have ratlines.

As well as climbing the futtock shrouds, most ships also allowed access to the top through the "lubber's hole" at the tip of the ordinary ratlines. However, this was generally scorned by experienced sailors, and reserved for those on their first few trips aloft.

Any traditionally-rigged ship will have futtock shrouds, but on some modern ones they are strictly for structural purposes, with climbing forbidden. These ships may also dispense with lubbers' holes, and instead opt for a "Jacob's ladder" that descends from the edge of the top to the ratlines vertically, rather than overhanging like the futtock shrouds.

Futtock band

In the mid-nineteenth century the futtock band was introduced, being a metal collar fitted to the mast below the top, to which the lower point of the futtock shrouds is attached. Before this the futtock shrouds were attached to the lower shrouds that rose directly to the top. In this arrangement lower shrouds must support a greater load, requiring the use of catharpins to provide bracing between port and starboard shrouds.

Futtock (frame)

In the construction of a wooden-hulled ship, the futtocks are the separate pieces of timber which compose the frame of the ship. There are four futtocks (component parts of the rib), and occasionally five, to a ship. Those next to the keel are called ground-futtocks, or navel-futtocks, and the rest are termed upper futtocks. The word itself is derived from a contraction of 'foot hook', indicating their role in providing a secure framework to a ship.

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.