Boy's Manual Of Seamanship And Gunnery - Instructions For Boats' Crews for the Training Service

Boy's Manual Of Seamanship And Gunnery

Instructions For Boats' Crews for the Training Service

WHEN a boat is called away, the crew will man their boat, sit down on their thwarts, and wait for orders from the Coxswain.

The outer-bowman will cast off and coil down the painter, the inner-bowman holding on with the boat-hook.

The stroke-oarsman nearest the ship uses the stern boat-hook, and the remainder of the crew see their oars clear and in order by their numbers, the stroke-oars being nearest the boat's side, and, unless ordered to the contrary, unship their poppets.

Note:- The inner-bowman always holds on or attends the boat rope; the outer bowman fends off. Stroke-oar nearest ship's side attends boat-hook or stern-fast.

"Up Oars"

The crew get hold of their oars, and, watching the stroke-oarsmen, will toss them up together, placing the looms on the bottom boards between their feet, every oar upright, blades " bore and Aft," dressed by the after-oar each side, with the hand nearest boat's side just below the leather, midship hand as low as possible, body upright.

Note: - This is the position of " Tossing Oars."

"Shove Off"

The bowmen shove the, bow of the boat off, toss their boat hooks upright, wait a pause, boat them together, sit down on their thwarts, haul their fenders in, unship their poppets, and then toss their oars up together.

The remainder of the crew haul their fenders in at the order "Shove Off."

The stroke-oarsman nearest ship keeps stern clear, then places his boat-hook amidships, with head aft, sits down, and tosses his oar.


At the order "Down," lift the oar about a foot, and let it fall quietly into the rowlock. All oars to be horizontal, and blades feathered

Note:- This is the position of "Laying on Oars."

"Give Way Together:" (By numbers.)

"One" - Lean aft, straighten the arms, turning the knuckles down as the blade goes forward, bringing the blade square. All the oars to be parallel with the stroke-oar, the blade just clear of the water.

" Two" - Place the blade in the water, and pull the loom towards you, dropping the elbows and wrist as you arrive at the end of the stroke, taking the oar out of the water, and come to the position of "Laying on Oars."
" One," " Two" &c.,  &c.

Note: - A pause of about three seconds is to be made between each order, until all the crew thoroughly understand feathering their oars ; as they improve, the interval to be lessened.

Stand by to " Lay on your Oars. " (A caution.)

"Oars" - At the order "Oars," which will follow the caution, complete the stroke, and come to the position of "Laying on Oars:"

Stand by to " Toss Oars. " (A caution.)

"Oars." - At the order "Oars," the starboard stroke-oarsman looks over his shoulder, and, at the completion of the stroke, gives the word "Up," when all the oars are to be tossed together, placed and held in the position of " Tossing Oars. "

Note: - If oars are to be laid in, the caution will be "Stand by to lay in your Oars," and after the oars are tossed, " Boat your Oars," at which order they will be laid down quietly in rotation from forward, boat them, square the looms, and ship the poppets.

" Back of All " (By numbers.)

"One" - At the word "One," lean back a little, bring the loom close to the chest, blade clear of the water, and perpendicular.

" Two" - Place the blade in the water and push from you, bringing body upright, feathering the oar by turning your hands away from you, and return to the position of "Laying on Oars."

Standby to " Hold Water." (A caution.)

" HOLD WATER " - Oars to be held perfectly steady, all the blades the same depth in the water.

" Stand by Bows. " (A caution.)

"Bows" - The bowmen will look towards each other and toss their oars together; wait a pause, boat their oars, ship poppets, out fenders, stand up on head sheets, and then toss their boathooks up; remainder of the crew out fenders.

 " Way Enough. "

At the order "Way Enough," give one stroke after the order. Oars to be tossed together by the word " Oars" from the starboard stroke-oarsman, as in " Tossing Oars,"

Stroke-oarsman nearest ship will boat his oar and attend stern boat-hook.

25 feet, 10-Oared Cutter, fitted with Kynaston's hooks. rackstays from davits to water-line

First hands up slip gripes. Each man on entering the boat will put his cork jacket on, and take his place on his respective thwart as quickly as possible.

STROKE-OARSMEN see plug in, safety-pins out of after-hook, and attend after-lizard.

BOWMAN - Out safety-pins of foremost-hook, attend boat-rope, and see it ready for slipping, boat-hooks ready for use.

Second thwart attend lizard.

COXSWAIN.- Have whip clear for slipping; and ship "Tiller". The rest of boat's crew sit down and hold on to "Life-lines."

Single-banked boats (Galleys and Gigs), and all boats fitted with crutches "Lay on Oars." Double-banked boats (Launches, Pinnaces, Barges, and Cutters) "Toss Oars" to Admirals, Captains, and the Officer Commanding their own ships, in all other cases "Lay on Oars." When saluting, the Coxswain stands up and takes his hat off. Boats towing do not Lay on or Toss Oars, the Coxswain only stands.

Boat-keepers will stand up and take their caps off to all Officers ; and when boats are coming alongside or leaving the ship, go to the bows of the boat, ready to haul ahead out of the way.

When under sail or on a wind, ease the sheets; running, lower the sails.

Should a boat manned, but having her oars laid in, be passed by an Officer, the men are to stand up and take their caps off, the Order being given by the Coxswain if present. Silence is at all times to be kept in boats, and the crew properly dressed. Strict attention must be paid to this rule, as nothing shows a bad state of discipline more than a noisy and slovenly boat's crew. When a boat is required to be manned to leave the ship, the pipe will be 

"AWAY GALLEYS," or whatever boat is required, "AWAY (name of boat)," always means that the boat is going to leave the ship.

If the boat is to hook on or moor, the pipe will be as follows - 


" Second Launches Moor your Boat."

Never stand or sit on the gunwale, or stand on thwarts.

As a rule, masts to be got down before going alongside in harbour, at sea it should always be down. Oars are not to be tossed going alongside a ship at sea, but thrown out of the rowlock, blade forward, and boated at once; and on leaving, blades to be lifted clear of gunwale, and the oar brought aft into its rowlock at the order " Out Oars."

If a sail does not set properly, shifting the strop two or three inches in or out on the yard will often correct it. If carrying too much weather-helm, shift the weights further aft; if lee-helm, further forward. Never belay a sheet, and always keep halliards clear. Luff to the wind, and ease the fore-sheet in a squall ; and, in lowering the sail, always hauling clown on the luff.

Boat's crews learning to pull are to have their thwarts changed, so that they may pull as well on either the starboard or the port side, also that their acquaintance with the duties of stroke and bow-oars may be ensured ; and they are to be taught the names of parts of boat and oars.

No boy to be stationed in a boat until he has passed through these pulling instructions.

To ensure working together, the orders, with the previous caution, are always to be given as laid down hereafter

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