SAILMAKER.-- Some ships of the largest class carry a
sailmaker, though usually the older seamen are sufficiently skilled in the
trade to make and mend sails, and the master or chief mate should know how to
cut them out. As to the sailmaker's duty on board, the same remarks will apply
to him that were made upon the carpenter. If he ships for seaman as well as
sailmaker, he must do an able seaman's duty, if called upon; and if he does
not so ship, he will still be required to assist in all-hands work, such as
working ship, talking in and making sail, &c., according to his ability; and
in bad weather, or a case of necessity, he may be put with a watch and
required to do ship's duty with the rest. In all-hands work he is mustered with
either watch, according to circumstances, and the station allotted to him will
depend upon his qualities as a seaman; and, as with the carpenter, if he is a
good seaman, he would naturally have some more important post assigned to
him. He is not expected to handle the light sails, nor to go above the topsail
yards. Nor would the inferior duties of the crew, such as tarring, slushing,
and sweeping decks, be put upon him. In bad weather, or in case of necessity,
he may be mustered in a watch, and must do duty as one of the crew, according
to his ability. Sometimes he stands no watch, and works at his trade all day,
and at others he stands his watch, and when on deck in the day time, and
during good weather, works at his trade, and at night, or in bad weather, does
duty with the watch. He usually lives in the steerage with the carpenter, and
always takes his food from the galley. He has no command, and when on deck,
belongs on the forecastle with the rest of the crew. In the work of his trade,
he is under the sole direction of the master, or the chief mate in the
master's absence; but in ship's work he is as strictly under the command of
the mate's, as a common seaman is.
Dana: The Seaman's Friend (1845), p 155-156.
Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius
Sjöhistoriska Samfundet | The Maritime History Virtual Archives.
Copyright © 1998 Lars Bruzelius.