Item NA31 - Sounding Lead & Line from Down East, Maine. 

 One of the principal, yet unheralded navigation tools for the coastal sailor has long been the sounding lead and line.  With a lead weight having a cupped end to hold tallow, soap or a similar stickysubstance, and attached to a line marked in fathoms, a captain—even in foul or foggy weather--can quickly determine the depth of water, and bottom type of the water in which he lies.  When this info is compared with a proper nautical chart (or his memory) his position can be readily determined, without Radar, GPS, Loran, RDF, or other fancy electronic gear.  This item is such a navigational “instrument.”  It came from a fishing schooner working on the rocky, island strewn coast of eastern Maine.  The rig consist of a typical heaving lead about 9 inches long, and 2 inches diameter.  The lead weighs 7 lbs (and is marked with a “7” at the top, which is cast with a hole for the line.  The bottom of the lead is in the form of a deep cup roughened with chisel cuts to better hold the grease or tallow.  When the lead strikes the bottom, it picks up a sample, sticking to the tallow—mud, fine sand, coarse sand, gravel, broken shell, etc--so it can be examined on deck.  The line (this one is 3/8” manila or hemp) is marked at 1 fathom (6 foot) intervals.  The markers on this one includes red and white tags inserted between the yarns of the line, and each marked with the fathom number of the depth.  The tags have been folded over and grommeted so they won’t work loose.  Additional smaller yellow tags mark the 1/2 fathom marks The line is over sixty feet long and is set to read depths up to 10 fathoms. This gear has seen plenty of use, the lead weight being dented and knocked, the line as some breaks in the yarn and some ravelings of the splice.  But this is a great example of a real well used traditional navigational tool.  Good+


         Price - $100.00

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