Observations and Instructions

Particular Orders to the Officers Respectivily.

[p 47]

9. - Orders to the Boatswain.

The keys of the boatswain's store-room will be always hung on the outside of the first lieutenant's cabin; and the boatswain, for whatever he may want, is to apply to the officer of the watch, who will direct a midshipman to go with him.

Liquor is, on no account, to be put into the store-room, sail-room, or passages; and the greatest care is to be taken of the lights, which are never to be taken out of the lanthorns.

No article belonging to the ship is to be converted to the use of another; nor any expense of stores, without the express directions of the commanding officer, and the knowledge of the master, who is to order the alteration of sails or rigging.

The boatswain is to pay the greatest attention to the conduct of his mates, and to prevent them from inflicting any punishment with their sticks or canes, unles ordered by their superior officers.

After the storm stay-sails have been used The custom, in some ships, of keeping the storm stay-sails always bent, appears a very bad one, as they must thus be exposed to much wet, without the possibility at all times of drying them. This will render them unfit for their proper uses, by soon becoming rotten, whilst it cannot be offered, as an excuse, that the want of time prevents getting them ready; for, with precaution, they may be always bent before they can be required. It seems to be a good practice to use the storm stay-sails as substitutes for the fore and main-top-mast stay-sails, and the fair-weather mizen-stay-sail, and to bend them only when the others cannot be set. the first opportunity is to be taken to dry them, to unbend them, and keep them the uppermost sails in the sail-room. Before day-light, at sea, the captains of the tops, forecastle, and after-guard, and the gunner's mate, are to report that every thing is ready to make sail; as, for example, the jewel and royal-sheet-blocks on the top-gallant-yards; the royals and studding-sails ready to set. If the top-gallant-yards are down, the yard-ropes are to be clapped on, and the yards ready to be sent up. The top-sail-sheets are always to be bowsed close home, and the jib and stay-sails hoisted taught up every morning; and no rope ever suffred to hang slack about the ship. This is so essential to the proper appearance of a man of war that it must never be negelected.

The people, in their respective stations, are to report the state of the rigging to the boatswain every morning, which is, as soon afterwards as possible, to be made known to the officer of the watch.

No clothes are ever to be suffred in the fore rigging, or on the bowsprit, when in harbour. Should any person wish to dry his wet clothes, permission will be granted for clothes-lines to be rove, by applying to the officer of the watch. When at sea, every measure is to be adopted, in order to prevent the use of fresh water for washing clothes, or other improper uses.

Any hammocks found lying about the decks, or without numbers, are to be reported to the officer of the watch, that proper measures may be taken to punish the men who are so negligent.

The sail-maker is to be directed to preserve the pieces of canvas, not serviceable for any other use, to make patches for the numbers of the hammocks; he is to cut them of one size, and of as white canvas as possible.

The establishment of two hammocks to each man, so conducive to the preservation of health, is always to be complied with, if it be possible; but the boatswain must be vigilant and attentice to see that this regulation is not perverted, and the hammocks appropriated to other uses than that of sleeping in.

The utmost attention must be always paid to keeping the yards square, when in harbour; and, when at sea, if going before the wind, or lying-to, to see that nothing is ever suffered to hang overboard; and, once a day at least, the boatswain is to apply for a boat to go round the ship, and always after the sails are furled from having been loosened.

When coming from sea, the guess-wharp-booms are to be ready to get out as soon as the ship is moored, and always to be gotten in when the ship is unmoored for going to sea.

After the braces have gotten to their proper stretch, they are to be moused; and, when in harbour, after wet weather, every precaution is to be taken to loose sails at the usual hours. The harbour-sheets to be kept on each side of the top, in readiness to carry out; the pins taken out of the clamp of the boom-irons; bunt-lines, clue-lines, leech-lines, clue-garnets, and down-hawls, over-hawled for running; the people stationed to go aloft, to loose sails ready to go up; the top-men uppermost, and lower-yard-men last; and none but the captains of the tops, and the men stationed to rig the upper-yard-arm of the top-gallant-yards, to be permitted to quit the deck before they are ordered,

The boatswain must always have a correct watch-bill, hammock-list, and station-bill of the people forward, about him.

The mats, points, robands, and gaskets, are always to be kept complete for two ser of sails.

The hammocks, when all up from below, are always to be reported to the forst lieutenant and officer of the watch; and also, when the yards are squared; the store-rooms and passages being clear at the time of returning the keys.

When the ship is tacked, wore, or any particular service happens, in the night, the boatswain's mates are to have directions to call the boatswain in sufficient time, that he may attend.

Observations and instructions for the use of the commissioned, the junior and other officers of the Royal Navy, on all the material Points of Professional Duty. Including also, forms of general and particular orders for the better government and discipline of His Majesty's Ships: Together with a variety of new and useful tables; among which are, General Tables for Watching Ship's Companies in all Rates; &mdash. For shewing the Stations of the different Officers at Quarters; &mdash. For the General Appropriation of Men at Quarters, in Ships of every Class; &mdash. For Furling Sails; &mdash. Mooring and Unmooring; &mdash. Making and Shortening Sail; &mdash. Tacking Ship, &c. &c. With an Appendix; being a complete set of forms for watch, station, and quarter bills for ships of war. By a Captain in the Royal Navy.
P. Steel, London, 1804 (1st). 8vo, 17,5×9 cm, (2), iv, (2), 80 pp, 7 fold. plates.

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

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Copyright © 1995 Lars Bruzelius.