The Seaman's Vade-Mecum

The Boatswain, and Master Sailmaker.

  1. The Boatswain is to receive into his Charge the Rigging, Cables, Cordage, Anchors, Sails, Boats, &c. by Indenture from the Surveyor of the Navy, and to use great care in the Disposition of the same.
  2. He is not to cut up any Cordage or Canvas, without an Order in Writing from the Captain, and under the Inspection of the Master; and always to have by him a good Quantity of small Plats for Security of the Cables.
  3. He and his Mates, are to assist and relieve the Watch, see that the Men attend upon Deck, and that the working of the Ship be performed with as little Confusion as may be.
  4. His Accounts are to be audited and vouched by the Captain and Master, and presented to the Surveyor of the Navy; and until such Acounts are passed, he is not to receive his Wages.
  5. If he has Cause of Complaint against any of the Officers of the Ship, with Relation to the Disposition of the Stores under his Charge, he is to represent the same to the Navy-Board before the Pay of the Ship.
  6. He is not to sign any Accounts, Books, Lists or Tickets, before he has thoroughly informed himself of the Truth of every Particular therein contained.
  7. The Master Sailmaker is to be warranted from the Navy-Board, without which none are to rated in thet Capacity.
  8. He is, with his Mate and Crew, to examine all Sails that are brought on Board, and to attend all Surveys and Conversions of Sails.
  9. He is always, and in due time to repair, and keep the Sails in Order and fit for Service.
  10. He is to see that they are dry when put into the Store-Room, or very soon to have them taken up and aired; and see that they are secured from Drips, Damps, and Vermine.
  11. When any Sails are to be returned into Store, he is to attend the Delivery of them, for their greater Safety.

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.