Francis Liardet: Professional Recollections on Points of Seamanship, Discipline, &c., 1849.



Anchoring with guns 1
Using an anchor on a dark night, &c. 2
On the best sail to bring a ship to anchor under 3
To remove a waist anchor to the opposite bow 5
To recover a vessel to an upright position 5
Remarks on three cables on end, on one anchor, &c. 6
At single anchor 7
To back an anchor with the buoy rope 8
Steadying a ship at anchor 9
Stowing stream and kedge anchors 10
Anchoring on a muddy bottom 10
On making alterations in masts, yards, sails, &c. 11
A sea-anchor. 12
Anchoring in rivers where fire rafts may be used 14
To prevent surprise at anchor 15
Sheet anchor 15
When obliged to anchor in a thronged roadstead in blowing weather 16
On anchoring broadside on to the wind in blowing weather 17
Night anchor watch in blowing weather 18
On coming to an anchor in blowing weather, with a leading wind 19
To recover an anchor by sweeping 20
Anchored in an open roadstead in blowing weather 21
Anchoring on a lee-shore, and cutting away masts. 22


Block ships 24
On using snatch blocks 25
Boats taking in water in bulk 25
Main buntlines 26
Boat tackles 26
On boats leaving the ship from the stern where other boats are in two 26
On boats leaving vessels at sea when hove-to 27
Topsail buntlines 28
Sister blocks 28
Bobstays carried away 29
Brailing up sails 29
Bobstays cap 30
On veering a buoy astern to pick up a boat 30
Hoisting out boats 32
On boats being sent to tow vessels when on fire 32
Boats going alongside a ship at anchor 33
On hoisting boats in or out with lower yards and topmasts struck 33
Towing boats 34
In getting boats out when all the masts are gone 35
Chain slings for boats 36
Bathing 36
Block-strops, pointing 38
Sea boats' crews 38
A strong box 39
Top-gallant buntlines 40
Boats with treasure 40
Boatswain's store-room 41
Leading-blocks 41
Exercising newly raised boys 42
Boys 43
Boatswain and his mates 44
Shifting, or taking out, a bowsprit. 44
Quarter and stern boats at sea 45
The order of a ship known by her boats 46
To get boom-boats out with lower yards carried away 47
Monkey-blocks 48
Backing or shivering the mizen-topsail by the wind 48
On steeving the bowsprit 49
Stopper abaft the bitts 50
Battle -- necessary arrangements for ditto 50
Boats assisting to launch themselves 53
Boats sent to cut out at night 54
To take out a waist or bower-anchor between two boats. 55
Hoisting up quarter-boats, when a ship has much rolling motion 56


Veering cables in a heavy squall 58
On using hemp cables 59
On coaling screw steamers 63
Courses 62
Taking in cables 62
To ascertain how the ship's hawse is, by a common compass 63
Wharping along shore in chase. 64
Courses single sheets 65
On ships of the line working their cables on the middle or main-deck 66
Coal tar 66
Commanders of ships of the line 67
Tarry canvass for stopping leaks 69
On the midshipmen's chests 69
Collision 70
Chasing an enemy 70
Jacob's ladders on lower caps 71
Bending a course in blowing weather 71
Cap shores 71
Club-hauling. 72


To take in a driver 73
How to make a dismasted vessel's hull useful in propelling her 73
Stoning decks 74
How to ascertain when the ship is driving in blowing weather 75
Weigh and make sail with danger, &c. 75
Down-haul tackles for topsail-yards 76
Working on main-deck 77
Top-gallant yards and masts sent on deck 78
Sanding and sprinkling deck before going into action 78
On disrating petty officers 78
On using the drum 80
Rainy day 80


Exercising midshipmen aloft, and in the duties of a seaman generally 83
Forenoon exercises, great guns, &c. 83
On general exercises 85
On the general exercises being more progressive than they usually are in ships of war 87


Some few remarks on the fire bill 90
Flags 92
On the fore-yard being carried away in narrow waters. 92
Taking in foresail in blowing weather. 94
Setting fore and aft sails 95
Heaving-to with the fore-topsail 96
Furling the sails on the mizen-mast when right before the wind 96
Fore and main-stays 97
Fishing from the ship 97
Futtock-shrouds 98
On the fore-yard not bracing well up 99


Taking the ground on a bold shore 101
Firing bow guns when in chase. 101
Double breeching the guns 102
Gaffs, instead of sprit-sail yards 103
For a ship to ride out a gale under the lee of a spanned spar. 104
Relative to the great gun exercise 105
On excercising the men at general quarters to fill up gun numbers, and take double duties quickly 106


Head sails 108
Floating hawsers 108
On heaving-to with the ship's head in-shore 108
Hailing aloft in blowing weather 109
On accidents to the helm. 109
Hatchway covers 110
Hooks used for the chain cables 110
Hove-to 111
Heaving the lead in shoal water 112
On the heads of ships of the line being raised 112
Extreme heeling a ship 114
Hauling all the yards together in tacking 115
Taut weather helm 115
On clearing hawse in blowing weather 116
Hawsers 116
Hauling up or lowering down things over a ship's side 116

I. J.

Idlers 118
On the action of the jib 120
To take in a jib when blowing fresh 120
Junk axes, and handy billies 120
Triangular cross-jack 120


Depth of keel 121
Kites for communicating with the shore 121
Upon the manner of kedging in the river of Ganges, Bengal. 122


Light houses 124
Look-out men aloft 124
Luffing to the wind in square rigged vessels in squally weather. 125
Securing lower yards. 126
Lee-helm 127
Luff-tackles 127
Leadsmen in the chains prepared for action in shoal water 127
On leaks occasioned by the sun in tropical climates 128
Senior of first lieutenant 129
On the better lighting of the lower decks of ships of the line 129
Leave 129
Striking lower yards 134
Lanterns and candles, issuing to the petty officers, for the various duties during their night watches 135


Moored with a swivel 137
Marline-spikes 137
On steam vessels having main-topsails 138
On the position of masts 139
Taut mooring 140
Mooring 141
Mates of the hull 141
Master's Assistants 142
Mizen-stays 143
A man overboard at sea 144
Spare messenger 147
Boatswains' mates 147
Mooring boats off from the ship 148
How to shorten the lower masts without taking them out 149
Taking out wedges for staying the lower masts 150
On the rolling motion with light winds, with yards square 151
Manning yards, and dressing ships with flags 151
On topmasts being struck for a lengthened period 152
Accident to main-topmast 153
With only two cables to moor, with nearly a cable each way 153
Fidding topmasts 154
Fidding top-gallant masts abaft all 155
Mustering ship's company by the open list 155
When lower masts are stripped 156
Magazines ventilating 156


Quarter-deck splinter-nettings 158
Boarding-nettings 158


Officers of the watch 159
Ordinary seamen 160


Main-deck ports badly secured against surprise 162
Going in or out of unfrequented ports 163
Lower mast-head pendants 163
Pointing, grafting, &c. 163
Parrel, or parrel-lashings, of top-gallant yards carried away 164
On the necessity of sounding the pump-well more frequently when at anchor 166
On leaving port when first commissioned 168
Prisoners 170
Having show-poles above the royal rigging 171
On the single whip and pendant 173
On using the word port, instead of larboard 174
In pilot-water, holy-stoning, washing, or cleaning decks before daylight 175


Close-reefing or furling, with the assistance of topmast studding-sail halliards 177
Reefing topsails 177
Relative wear of rope 179
To prevent rope from chafing on a rocky bottom 180
Setting up lower rigging, with rolling motion. 180
On standing rigging in tropical climates. 182
On turning in standing rigging in the winter. 183
Covering the eyes of rigging 186
Rattling the rigging 187


Scudding. 188
Unbending sails in blowing weather 189
Stay-sails 189
Sudden shifting squalls 189
Ship on shore with the wind free, or right aft, in moderate weather 190
Ship on shore, nearly on the top of high tide, night approaching, barometer falling, and every appearance of squally weather 190
Ship on shore on a beach, without the slightest chance of saving her, wind on the land 191
Ship on shore by the wind 192
Ship in shore on a falling tide, no chance of getting her off until high tide, with weather fine 192
Shifting a topsail while the other sail is still set. 194
Topmast-stay shot, or carried away 195
Making sail from a spring on the cable 196
Scrubbing sails 107
Making sail from a spring laid out by another vessel 197
Taking in top-gallant sails 198
Taking in square-sails by the wind. 199
Wearing ship. 201
Setting square-sails in blowing weather. 202
On trimming the sails. 203
To take in a lower studding-sail, blowing fresh 205
Setting topmast studding-sails 205
On keeping a ship's head the right way in light airs or calms, &c. 206
On signals, calm 207
On bending sails 209
Fore top-gallant and royal stays. 210
After-swifters on the lower-masts. 211
To shift a bowsprit by the spars of the ship 212
On every ship helping to make her own seamen and riggers 215
On sailing along a coast with high land and deep ravines 216
Spring used, attached to the anchor or cable 217
Steering with stern-way in making a stern-board 218
Stopping-in running gear 219
On the sails to steer by when close-hauled 221
On station bills 222
On having the rating of seamen's shoemaker, for repairing the seamen's shoes 222
On making show-ships of vessels of war 224
Scrubbing hammocks and washing clothes at night 225
On steamers 227
Men going on immediate service 228
On sails being too taut up in rainy weather 229
On not carrying sail in proportion as the gale decreases 231
On ornaments to ships 232
Sunday 234
On giving the young gentlemen every opportunity of working the ship 234
Painting ship. 237
To make sure of casting the ship the right way, by slipping or cutting the cable 238
On steering. (By Gower.) 238
Spars sending on deck, and striking guns, or other weights below, during blowing weather 239
On taking the wives of seamen belonging to the ship to sea, to attend on passengers 240


Crossing top-gallant yards 242
On tacking 242
To strike topmast when the ship is rolling heavy 244
Topsail carried away under sail 245
Tye-blocks 246
Fidding top-gallant masts in a sea-way 246
Bending a topsail in a gale of wind 246
Sending down top-gallant yards and masts 247


Unmooring 248


On vessels running foul of each other 249
Attraction of vessels to each other 249
Vessels are generally supposed to sail faster while new, than after they have seen much sea-service 250
On using stream or spare cables to attach floats to, for floating vessels off shore 251
Upon hauling a vessel off a steep shore, in a calm. (From Gower.) 252
Safety to vessels 253
On vessels cruising in pairs 255


How to kill the Auger-Worm. 257
By the wind 257
Watering 258
On relieving wheel, lead, look-out, &c. 258
Water-line 259
On the working one watch against the other, or one part of the ship against the other 260
On weighing with a free wind 260
Weighing with a heavy head-sea 261
Meeting a wreck at sea, and blowing too hard for any boat to live on the water 261
When rolling heavy, with the wind right aft 263
Wearing or staying. (From the Nautical Magazine.) 264


Yards squaring 267
Yard-tackles 267


Black list 268
Discipline 269
Police of a ship of war 270
System 274
Corporeal punishment 276
Drunkenness 284
Difficulties incidental to men paid off in large ships 285
Gambling 287
Unguarded language at the mess-table 288
Making use of threats of punishment 289
Taunts, after punishment received 291
On officers smoking 291
On investigation of complaints 292
Smoking 293


Ridicule, if well applied, will save much punishment 296
To save numerous reports 297
Look-out men 297
On the arrangements of the watches by the watch-bill 298
On the petty officers messing by themselves 299
On wearing medals in the navy 300
On touching hats 301
On holydays in port 301
On the sleeping of the watch on deck 304
On the hands being turned up to dance, or to skylark 305
Pigs. 306
Sick men 306
Amusement 308
Remarks on the working room on the upper deck of a ship of the line 309
The dirty work of a ship 311
Every ship should be her own dock-yard as much as possible 312
Sprinkling decks 314
On giving certificates 314
Clothes found lying about the decks 315
Upon dead-eyes, hearts, and thimbles 316
For a boat to ride out a gale under the lee of a spanned spar 317

Francis Liardet: Professional Recollections on Points of Seamanship, Discipline, &c.
William Woodward, Portsea, 1849. 8vo, frontisp., (6), x, 319 pp, 1 col. plate of signals.

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

Sjöhistoriska Samfundet | The Maritime History Virtual Archives.

Copyright © 1998 Lars Bruzelius.