Deadeyes

 

Size: 

For deadeyes attached to shrouds or other large ropes, the deadeyes are sized by the shroud they will be attached to – the diameter of a deadeye is 1.5 times the circumference of the shroud.[1]  I have not found any particular guidance for the sizing of deadeyes attached to chains.

 

The thickness of a deadeye is half the diameter of the deadeye. The size of the lanyard used with a deadeye is half the size of the shroud the deadeye is used with.[2]

 

 

 

Rigging:

            The shroud is wrapped around the deadeye in a clockwise direction if the shroud has a left twist such as a cable-laid rope and in a counterclockwise direction of the shroud has a right twist such as a common hawser-laid rope has.  The tail of the rope lies alongside the shroud after it goes around the deadeye. Note that in both cases the tail of the shroud passes to the inside, relative to the center of the ship, of the shroud as it passes the shroud.[3] See the following figure:

 

 

            The result for rope with a left twist is that the tail is on the side of the shroud closest to the bow for those deadeyes that are on the starboard side of the vessel and on the side of the shroud closest to the stern on the port side.  The reverse if true for rope with a right twist.

 

            A throat seizing is used to bind the shroud around the deadeye and two seizings are used to bind the shroud tail to the shroud.  Finally, the end of the shroud is seized to prevent it from unraveling.  See the following figure:

 

           

In many cases the holes in the deadeye have groves in them to relive the path that the lanyard will take when running through the deadeye.  For the lower deadeye, all three holes have groves on both sides of the deadeye.  But on the upper deadeye the sides differ.  On outboard side of the deadeye all three holes have groves but on the inboard side only two of the holes have groves.  The third hole, the one on the left as you face this side of the deadeye does not have a grove.  This is because the lanyard starts at this hole with a knot in the lanyard to keep it from going through the hole.  Having a grove on this hole would be superfluous and the flat surface of the deadeye without a grove provides a better footing for the knot.  The following figure shows both sides of the upper deadeye.

 

The following figure shows the sequence of steps to set up a pair of deadeyes for a shroud with a left twist. The figure shows a pair of deadeyes on the starboard side of the ship.  The I figures show the deadeyes being viewed from inside, i.e. onboard, the ship and the O figures show the deadeyes from outboard.  The red line is the part of the lanyard being added at a particular step. I only show the parts of the lanyard that are on the side of the deadeye that the step involves.

 

            In step A a lanyard with a knot in it is fed from the inside of the upper deadeye through the hole that does not have the grove.  In step B the lanyard is run to & through the corresponding hole in the lower deadeye on the outside of the deadeyes on the inside of the deadeyes. In step C the lanyard is run from the hole in the lower deadeye to and through the center hole in the upper deadeye on the inside of the deadeyes.  In step D the lanyard is run from the center hole in the upper deadeye to and through the center hole in the lower deadeye on the outside of the deadeyes.  In step E the lanyard is run from the center hole on the lower deadeye to and through the remaining empty hole on the upper deadeye.  In step F the lanyard is run from the hole in the upper deadeye to and through the corresponding hole in the lower deadeye on the outside of the deadeyes.  In step G the lanyard is run from the lower deadeye to and through the gap above the upper deadeye between the parts of the shroud on the inside of the deadeyes. In step H the lanyard is looped around the shroud on the outside of the deadeyes.  In step I the lanyard is looped under the lanyard placed in step G on the inside of the upper deadeye.  In step J the lanyard is run along the outside to the shroud to above the lower seizing.  In step K and L the lanyard is looped around the shroud and the shroud tail a number of times.  In step M and N the lanyard is laid along the inside of the shroud and the end of the lanyard is seized to the shroud. 

 


 

 


            The final configuration of the deadeyes for a shroud with a left twist is shown in the following figure:

 

 

 



[1] Ainsley, The Examiner in Seamanship – 1864, page 10. See also, G. S. Nares Seamanship – 1868 page 57

[2] Ashleys Book of Knots, page 537.  See also, Nares Seamanship - 1868 page 57 and The Examiner in Seamanship, page 10

[3] Anderson, Rigging of Ships in the Days of the Sprit Topmast, - 1927, page 94