What is Seamanship


#1

Ok try again.

People speak of a “good display of seamanship” or lament the decline of seamanship. What does the word seamanship mean?

Here are some of definitions of seamanship found with google.

The first one, the meaning can be as narrow as skill in navigatiing.

Skill in navigating or managing a boat or ship.

This one expands to add knowledge which covers far more ground then skill. Also expands to mantaining.

skill in and knowledge of the work of navigating,maintaining, and operating a vessel

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The last one is similar to the second but adds management and safety.

knowledge and skill pertaining to the operation,navigation, management, safety, and maintenance of a ship.

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This one was interesting

[QUOTE=78BM98;163016]My own definition:

An art and a skill learned through practice which encompasses everything from a single person properly mooring a small boat to teams of maritime personnel including pilots, tugs, ship crews, rig crews and dock hands completing any maritime evolution in a safe and professional manner.[/QUOTE]

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Thought this was good.

[QUOTE=anchorman;163032]Seamanship - The practical application of learned skills, from a combination of experience and technical knowledge, in regard to the safe operation of a vessel.

“safe operation of a vessel” is just as broad as the term “seamanship”[/QUOTE]


#2

Here’s a thoughtfrom James Reason (the guy who developed the Swiss Cheese accident model) in his latestbook “The Human Contribution” (2008) on page 161:

“Let me begin by teasing out what I understand by’professionalism’. It is a fuzzy-edgedterm embracing a number of different qualities. Aviators call it airmanship; mariners call it seamanship. These labels describe abilities that go wellbeyond the competent deployment of technical skill. They imply a capacity to see the broaderpicture, to think ahead and to draw upon a wide range of knowledge andexperience so as to perform demanding work safely, elegantly andeffectively. It means having a deepunderstanding of all the various factors that can impact upon task performancefor good or ill. It also entails awillingness to engage in all aspects of the job - tedious or otherwise - to thebest of one’s ability.”

He then goes on to describe the next higherlevel beyond mere professionalism: “I have reserved the phrase 'sheer unadulterated professionalism’for circumstances in which the qualities described above are combined withskill, experience, courage, a cool head and ‘grace under fire’. In short, it involves coping with crises andemergencies.”


#3

[QUOTE=dforn;163047]Here’s a thoughtfrom James Reason (the guy who developed the Swiss Cheese accident model) in his latestbook “The Human Contribution” (2008) on page 161:

“Let me begin by teasing out what I understand by’professionalism’. It is a fuzzy-edgedterm embracing a number of different qualities. Aviators call it airmanship; mariners call it seamanship. These labels describe abilities that go wellbeyond the competent deployment of technical skill. They imply a capacity to see the broaderpicture, to think ahead and to draw upon a wide range of knowledge andexperience so as to perform demanding work safely, elegantly andeffectively. It means having a deepunderstanding of all the various factors that can impact upon task performancefor good or ill. It also entails awillingness to engage in all aspects of the job - tedious or otherwise - to thebest of one’s ability.”

He then goes on to describe the next higherlevel beyond mere professionalism: “I have reserved the phrase 'sheer unadulterated professionalism’for circumstances in which the qualities described above are combined withskill, experience, courage, a cool head and ‘grace under fire’. In short, it involves coping with crises andemergencies.”[/QUOTE]

That’s a good one. Not just the abiltiy to perform technical tasks competently but do so with while seeing the broader picture.


#4

I would say the practice of seamanship is something that cannot be taught in any classroom but can only be imparted by watching, understanding and emulating those who themselves have learned it through experience at sea. With the advent of technology to ships, the arts of true seamanship are disappearing just as true ships have vanished from the earth.

such is the sad reality that as much as mankind “progresses” it in fact “regresses” in its knowledge and abilities. Sure, we can devise all manner of automation for ships but who knows how to handle one under sail anymore? I say we lose more than we ever gain in the bargain.


#5

To insure safety at sea, the best that science can devise and that naval organization can provide must be regarded only as an aid, and never as a substitute for good seamanship, self-reliance, and sense of ultimate responsibility which are the first requisites in a seaman and naval officer.
~Admiral Chester W. Nimitz


#6

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;163061]To insure safety at sea, the best that science can devise and that naval organization can provide must be regarded only as an aid, and never as a substitute for good seamanship, self-reliance, and sense of ultimate responsibility which are the first requisites in a seaman and naval officer.
~Admiral Chester W. Nimitz[/QUOTE]

God Bless the good Admiral…

I don’t give Chester Nimitz enough praise here instead giving it all to Bill Halsey who while a true fighting admiral and an irrasible character had his lapses of judgement. Nimitz on the otherhand was the cool head behind the USN’s campaign to victory in the Pacific.


#7

Nimitz for President '52? I could see that had Ike decided not to run


#8

Every American should go to Fredericksburg, TX once in their life and see Nimitz’s town and museum. It is truly impressive and worth seeing.


#9

[QUOTE=Slick Cam;163079]Every American should go to Fredericksburg, TX once in their life and see Nimitz’s town and museum. It is truly impressive and worth seeing.[/QUOTE]
My Dad was a gunnersmate on the BB38 for almost 4 years. Was Nimitz flagship for a while. He was the first one interviewed by the museum about the various battles of the PENNSYLVANIA about 8 years ago. He also furnished them a list of sailors and marines that were still in contact.

Great museum and Hill Country town. German food and micro-breweries are a bonus.


#10

This one is airmanship,

"Airmanship is the cornerstone of pilot competency. Competency has been defined as the combination of knowledge, skills and attitude required to perform a task well or to operate an aircraft safely — in all foreseeable situations.

It’s not in this one but I’m not sure what is meant by the word “art” as in the art and science of navigation (or whatever) seems to mean more or less the same as “deep understanding”


#11

All are really good examples… What do you all think good seamanship is for OS, or an AB… Those are all good for a Mate, Captain, and/or Master but what about the low dog on the totem pole…


#12

By no means trying to say anything harmful towards high ranked officers, but they actually do the “labor”.


#13

In a daily sense, being able to throw a line and hit a bollard it bitt first try. Stowing things orderly and secure, and with being told to. Knowing how to handle a line under strain safely, or lash a drum with out a come along. Knowing how to splice and tie some actual knots. That’s all marlinspike seamanship, and it should be a deckhands bread and butter.


#14

[QUOTE=josh.reid24;163102]All are really good examples… What do you all think good seamanship is for OS, or an AB… Those are all good for a Mate, Captain, and/or Master but what about the low dog on the totem pole…[/QUOTE]

Performing tasks in a seaman-like manner, keeping things shipshape. Keeping an eye on things.


#15

Just thought I’d get other guys perspective on that view… It’s rarely brought up an the shi**y hands need to read this to learn what it is… Just had to cent cause I work with a few idiots…


#16

150 years ago a person was considered to have good seamanship if they were proficient at ship handling and had an excellent ability to work with rope and sail, in the modern day someone is considered to have good seamanship if they are proficient at ship handling and have an excellent ability to work with Microsoft office.


#17

[QUOTE=follow40;163296]150 years ago a person was considered to have good seamanship if they were proficient at ship handling and had an excellent ability to work with rope and sail, in the modern day someone is considered to have good seamanship if they are proficient at ship handling and have an excellent ability to work with Microsoft office.[/QUOTE]

Yes, some truth there.

I’ve been thinking about a skill that we would think of as almost pure seamanship, say launching and recovering a boat at sea, particuly with any weather. Going back a bit in time, preparing the deck, or before that, planning, calling out the crew, breifing the E/R etc, no seamanship skills in using the phone, mostly organizing or management but still the task has a heavy element of seamanship.

Now on the other end of spectrum, a clerical job, say typing out a crew list, it’s on the management end of the scale. But that’s where the attitude or the big picture comes in. Even while sitting at the computer using Word or Excel you’re still aware of the general navigaion, weather and traffic situation. You can feel the motion and vibration of the ship. You can glance out the window. You can hear people carrying out the ship’s routine etc. You never get 100% fully engrossed in your crew list task. You alway multi-task, not a term I like but it fits, no matter what you do the other constant task is awareness of the ship.

The mix of seamanship and, say management are along a continuum, “a continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other, although the extremes are quite distinct.” Recovering a boat is nothing like typing out a crew list but aboard ship you are never free from the requirement to use seamanship.


#18

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;163301]Now on the other end of spectrum, a clerical job, say typing out a crew list, it’s on the management end of the scale. But that’s where the attitude or the big picture comes in. Even while sitting at the computer using Word or Excel you’re still aware of the general navigaion, weather and traffic situation. You can feel the motion and vibration of the ship. You can glance out the window. You can hear people carrying out the ship’s routine etc. You never get 100% fully engrossed in your crew list task. You alway multi-task, not a term I like but it fits, no matter what you do the other constant task is awareness of the ship.

The mix of seamanship and, say management are along a continuum, “a continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other, although the extremes are quite distinct.” Recovering a boat is nothing like typing out a crew list but aboard ship you are never free from the requirement to use seamanship.[/QUOTE]

Also on the management end of the spectrum, but also involving a bit of “forehandedness” (where was that thread?) – while sitting at the computer typing out the crew list, one also might be thinking of each crew member’s relative experience, strengths and weaknesses, assigning watch partners to compensate or teach … in essence, doing so with an eye toward the safe and efficient operation of the vessel.


#19

[QUOTE=Traitor Yankee;163104]In a daily sense, being able to throw a line and hit a bollard it bitt first try. Stowing things orderly and secure, and with being told to. Knowing how to handle a line under strain safely, or lash a drum with out a come along. Knowing how to splice and tie some actual knots. That’s all marlinspike seamanship, and it should be a deckhands bread and butter.[/QUOTE]

Seamanship for deck crew is knowing how things ought to be, and making them that way, without the captain having to tell them what they need to do and having to teach them how to do it. Its great working with a crew that knows what to do and how to get it done. Of course the mates need to doublecheck on the crew and the captain still needs to doublecheck on the mates.


#20

[QUOTE=follow40;163296]150 years ago a person was considered to have good seamanship if they were proficient at ship handling and had an excellent ability to work with rope and sail, in the modern day someone is considered to have good seamanship if they are proficient at ship handling and have an excellent ability to work with Microsoft office.[/QUOTE]

AND can navigate Grainger’s and McMaster-Carr with one hand while filling out a timesheet with the other