Book Review - BIMCO Bulletin

Central to change

BOOK REVIEW | eSSential SEAMANSHIP November 2017 Essential seamanship By Michael Grey, BIMCOs correspondent in London i n an age when everyone is discussing autonomous shipping, it is tempting to suggest that seamanship is likely to become a redundant skill-set. Nothing could be further from the truth and the multiple skills which can be classified under the term seamanship are, if anything, continuing to develop with marine technology. Knowing ones way about a ship knowing the ropes- it was once called, understanding the terminology and developing important but basic skills remain the business of a competent sea-person , whether he or she is an officer or a rating. Developing an affinity with life and work aboard ship, is to build a whole range of different skills, some specialised for the ship type, others which are universal. An able seaman remains a very relevant job description. Michael Grey Michael Grey is BIMCOs correspondent in London. He is a former editor of Lloyds List and a regular contributor to many maritime publications. The Boatswains Manual was written by William A. McLeod in 1944 as a sourcebook for aspiring seamen, describing the rudiments of seamanship as it was practised on the ships of that era. Remarkably it has remained in print, revised every ten years or so and retains all of its practical utility, even if nobody these days might send down a telescopic topmast and rarely has to lay out a stream anchor! But ratings still have to fulfil the international requirements of the STCW Code and demonstrate a wide range of competencies. They still have to work with the sea and their ship, with ropes and wires, with materials and techniques for the maintenance of their ships in a corrosive and often violent environment and they have to do all this with due attention to their own safety and that of their shipmates. All these skills still matter. A useful reference for any ship operation discussion Revised by Captain Cormac Mac Sweeney, this book of basic but important knowledge might have been written for deck ratings, but the knowledge it contains ought to be valuable to a far wider range of people ashore and afloat. As a primer for seamen and women, it should be on everyones book shelf, and as a useful book of reference it really ought to be in every shipping office or anywhere matters of ship operation might be discussed. Knowing the ropes- it was once called, understanding the terminology and developing important but basic skills remain the business of a competent sea-person While the format has remained true to its traditions established by its original author, beginning with a description of general ship equipment and guidance on manual seamanship, the content has been updated to include the contemporary. Indeed, the first colour plate in this attractive volume is of E-Ship 1, the Flettner Rotor equipped vessels designed for the carriage of wind turbine parts. Chapters cover deck stores and gear, cargo operations, which describe container and RoRo techniques, in addition to conventional vessel equipment and lifesaving appliances, equipment that has been the cause of considerable concern in recent years. Two chapters are devoted to maintenance techniques, in some respects timeless and while washing and scrubbing the decks might be rather different to when Bosun McLeod was afloat, keeping a ship clean and rust free is as important today as it ever was, even with expensive modern coating systems. The knowledge it contains ought to be valuable to a far wider range of people ashore and afloat Other elements include the basics of anchor work, the not entirely redundant business of flags and signals, an understanding of navigational equipment and a great deal of information on general safety regulations. Firefighting, life-saving, how to put on an immersion suit it is all laid out for the readers reference. It remains a well-illustrated book, with clear diagrams, whether a seaman needs to identify a chipping hammer or understand the piping system of a product carrier. Competence may come only with practice, but this book offers a great deal of useful knowledge. Where to buy the book The Boatswains Manual, author William A Mcleod sixth edition revised by Captain Cormac MacSweeney, ISBN 978-0-85174-736-1 is published by Brown, Son & Ferguson, Glasgow www.skipper.co.uk Connect with BIMCO Facebook Twitter Linkedin YouTube