The carpenter is not an officer, has no command, and cannot give an order even to the smallest boy; yet he is a privileged person. He live in the steerage, with the steward, has charge of the ship's chest of tools, and in all things connected with his trade, is under the sole direction of the master. The chief mate has no authority over him, in his trade, unless it be in case of the master's absence or disability. In all things pertaining to the working of the vessel, however, and as far he acts in the capacity of a seaman, he must obey the orders of the officers as implicitly as any of the crew would; though, perhaps, and order from the second mate would come somewhat in the form of a request. Yet there is no doubt that he must obey the second mate in his proper place, as much as he would the master in his. Although he lives in the steerage, he gets his food from the galley, from the same mess with the men in the forecastle, having no better or different fare in any respect; and he has no right on the quarterdeck, but must take his place on the forecastle with the common seaman.
In many vessels, during fine weather, upon long voyages, the carpenter stands no watch, but "sleeps in" at night, is called at daylight, and works all day at his trade. But in this case, whenever all hands are called, he must come up with the rest. In bad weather, when he cannot well work at his trade, or if the vessel becomes short-handed, he is put in a watch, and does duty on deck, turning in and out with the rest. In many vessels, especially those bound on short voyages, the carpenter stands his watch, and, while on deck, works at his trade in the day-time, if the weather will permit, and at night, or in bad weather, does watch duty according to his ability.
Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius
Sjöhistoriska Samfundet | The Maritime History Virtual Archives.
Copyright © 1998 Lars Bruzelius.