When we were visiting Ephesus in Turkey this last September, we were taken to a factory where they make traditional Turkish rugs.  They had an artisan demonstrate the hooking or knot tying procedure for a rug.  Everyone was going Oohh and Ahhhh.   And to be truthful, she had talent doing a double knot in a row about every second. Many long rows.   The fact that it takes 30,000 knots  to make even a small rug, impressed the crowd (well not enough for anyone to spend $3000 for a rug)

I was thinking of this as I continued to tie the ratlings in the shrouds of the Victory.  A lot more difficult than hooking, because each knot had to be tensioned and the thread had to be passed behind the shroud and then a clove hitch tied and moved on to the next shroud.  Each knot had to be spaced from side to side and above the row of knots below while keeping the scale.

The ratlings are cords tied at 16 inch intervals up the shrouds so that the crew could quickly climb up to the tops to handle sails and man their gun positions.  If you like a rope ladder.

Anyway I have finally completed the ratlings.  Thousands of knots but if you want the model to look right, you have to do it. Probably the last really boring stage of the model.

If you wonder why the lines are black, on the ships of this era once the shrouds and ratlings were laid up they were coated in tar to make them water proof. The sailors that handled the sails up in the air were the most skilled and called topsmen.  They would run up the ratlings in bare feet and used their toes to hook over and hold on.

Zoom in on the second picture.  Scale and separation is great with no lumpy knots.  I am pretty puffed about this if I say so myself.

The next months are more interesting as I finish the standing rigging, manufacture the spars and mount them and finally finish off the little details.  The end is in sight.


Rat Lines 2 Rat Lines Detail