Sailing the British Empire : The Voyages of The Clarence, 1858-73

Crew on the Ship

The deck boy (3 years to AB, 1 year to become OS). The deck boy had to do relatively simple tasks like clean the dishes or mop the floors and would usually be challenged by the boatswain to learn more difficult tasks such as those required by ordinary and able-bodied seamen.

The Able Bodied Seaman (difficultly defined, may be promoted to 1 of 3 quartermasters). The Able Bodied seaman must have passed a health examination and a skill examination determining if he understands nautical terms and how to perform common tasks on board the ship.

The Boatswain (killed by steamers, used to be known as the “bucko” mate). Highest rank beneath officers, answers to the first mate and is the “foreman of the ship” (foc’sle and gloryhole 23). Is responsible for giving directions to able-bodied and ordinary seamen.

The Third Class Steward (oversees foreign nationalities on board).

Tourist Class Stewards were in charge of overseeing the tourist section usually of steamers.

Saloon Steward (deft “white collar” first-class overseer).

Chief Steward (“system, order, and punctuality” takes care of the look and seamlessness of the boat).

Third, Second, and First Mates all responsible for helping the captain and navigating the ship. Also rank above and occasionally direct boatswain and able-bodied and ordinary seamen.

Master (i.e Captain) is in charge of the overall navigation of the ship and the journey and safety of the crew.