Rigging the Cutty Sark

Jim Dines of TS Rigging and Heritage Marine talks about his company's recent job of re-rigging the famous clipper Cutty Sark (c.1869) from his base at Downs Road Boatyard in Maldon - UK. The Cutty Sark’s rigging extended 11 miles long, her original sail area was 32,000 sq. ft. (2,976 sq. m), and her main mast stood at 152ft (47m). Fair trade winds gave her the famous parametric of over 17 knots which would have been achieved with most of her 32 sails set. So famous for her speed at sea, it was deemed she would under-go a full restoration and be granted full public access as part of the Maritime Museum Greenwich, London.

Jim and a team of young tall ships crew and engineers immersed themselves in the huge task of stripping down and re-rigging the Cutty Sark. Andy Hodder-Smith, the project manager on the job orchestrated work undertaken on 2.5 km of wire standing rigging, 14km rope for running rigging, 400 wooden blocks, 700 shackles, 41 spars, 9 mast sections, 17 yards, including one as spare for the Cutty Sark.

This film is the only record of her masts being lifted into place. Classic Yacht TV also filmed the opening day footage. The Cutty Sark was reopened by the Queen on the 25th April 2012, Jim Dines organised over 80 people to man the yards.

As a record, this film celebrates traditional boat building and rigging skills used to preserve maritime treasures such as the world-famous Cutty Sark tall ship.

This film is sponsored by TS Rigging: http://www.tsrigging.co.uk/