More useful nautical information [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: More useful nautical information

01-09-2003, 04:13 PM
Yo Sailors & Wantabes:

In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannon fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. But how to prevent them from rolling about the deck?

The best storage method devised was a square based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of thirty cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one problem-how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling out from under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a "Monkey" with sixteen round indentations. But, if this plate was made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it.

The solution to the rusting problem was to make "Brass Monkeys.." Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannon balls would come right off the monkey.

Thus, it was quite literally, "Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey!"

There you have it guys, you can use that one in church. :)


01-09-2003, 04:36 PM
Great, I learn something every day on this forumn

Thanks Crusty.

PM Out

01-09-2003, 04:38 PM
I already knew that.:smokin:

And for Southern Oregon that was last Sat. morning about day break; had every stich of clothing I owned on (heavy gloves to boot) and still froze my ...

Sun over the canyon rim and the outside air temp went from the low 20's to 52 degrees in a bit over an hour. Then it was a pile of wool shirt, down vest, coat, and hat on the beach and I was fishing in a tee shirt by 10am.

Welcome to So.O.