The Seaman's Vade-Mecum


  1. He is to repair on Board, and obey his Commanders Orders, for the Dispatch of what is to be done towards her fitting out.
  2. He is to inspect the Provisions and Stores sent a Board, and of what appears not good, he is to acquaint the Captain.
  3. He is to take care of the Ballast, and see that it be clean and wholesome, and sign the Quantity delivered.
  4. He is to give his Directions in stowing the Hold, for the most Room, Trimming the Ship, and for Preservation of the Provisions.
  5. He is to take singular Care that the Rigging and Stores be duly preserved; and to sign the Carpenter's and Boatswain's Expence Book, taing care not to sign to undue Allowances.
  6. He is to navigate the Ship, under the Directions of his Superior Officer, and see that the Log and Log-Book be duly kept.
  7. He is duly to obeserve the Appearances of Coasts; and if he discovers any new Shoals or Rocks under Water, to note them done in his Journal, with their Bearing and Depth of Water.
  8. He is to keep the Hawser clear when the Ship is at Anchor.
  9. He is to provide himself with proper Instruments, Maps, and Book of Navigation, and keep a regular Journal, nothing therein the going out and coming in of all Stores and Provisions; and when the Ship is laid up, he is to deliver a Copy of the same into the Navy-Office, together with his Log-Book.
  10. He is to be very careful not to sign any Accounts, Books, Lists or Tickets, before he has thoroughly informed himself of the Truth of every Particular contained in the same.

William Mountaine: The Seaman's Vade-Mecum, and Defensive War by Sea: containing the Proportions of Rigging, Masts and Yards Weight of Anchors, Sizes and Weight of Cables and Cordage, List of the Navy. The Exercise of the Small Arms, Bayonet, Granadoes and Great-Guns, Duty of Officers, &c. also Shewing how to prepare a Merchant-Ship for a close Fight. Chasing; … Defensive-Fighting; … Naval Fortification; … An Essay on Naval Book-keeping; …. W. and J. Mount & T. and T. Page, London, 1756. 12mo, 14×8 cm, (10), xii, 270 pp, ill., 4 plates.

First edition 1744.

Updated 1996-02-25 by Lars Bruzelius

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Copyright © 1996 Lars Bruzelius.