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FAQ / Life on Pern / Craft Information / Sea Craft

Last updated 5th December 2013 by Suzee

Sea Craft Ranks

Article by: Chelle

General Ranks:


Apprentice: The lowest rank of an educated seacrafter.

Journeyman: A journeyman is usually going to be a lower officer on a ship, or a teacher at the Hall.

Master: The highest rank available. These men are knowledgeable, usually captains aboard ship or teachers and administrators in a hall.


Shipboard Ranks:


Captain-Officer in charge of the ship; Will be a master seacrafter usually or a senior journeyman on a smaller vessel

First Mate-Second-in-command of a ship; May be a master or a journeyman

Second Mate-In charge of navigation of the ship and charts; Will be a journeyman

Third Mate-In charge of the safety of the ship and crew; Will be a journeyman

Bosun-In charge of the deck crew and is usually a seaman of long service, but no formal education

Ship’s Cook-In charge of maintaining the galley, food stores, and feeding the crew

Steward-In charge of making sure quarters are clean, supplies are well maintained, stores are replenished

Seaman-Any man on board that does not hold rank and is usually not educated by the Hall, but has learned through experience would be referred to by this rank. However, unranked apprentices and journeymen without specific duties would also be seamen

Cabin Boy-A young boy whose responsibility it is to assist the officers and passengers of a ship, often running errands for the Captain or assisting the Ship’s Cook; Can be an apprentice or a nonranked young sailor

Ship’s Healer-This will be a journeyman healer assigned to the ship for medical purposes


Advancement in Rank


In order to advance from apprentice to journeyman or from journeyman to master, the seacrafter will have to demonstrate a working knowledge as well as spend a certain amount of time at sea. Each rank requires qualifications to be achieved. Seacrafting is more about skill and experience, than discovering a new invention or creating a new design.

An apprentice will be required to spend at least four turns at sea before they can be considered for journeyman rank as well as complete basic courses at the Hall including navigation and seaworthiness amongst others.

A journeyman will usually be required to spend at least five turns at sea before they can hope to attain master rank. This is in addition to the four as an apprentice, meaning a total of nine turns at sea before they can reach master. However, certain specialties may not require as lengthy a time away IE: shipwrights. They will also be assigned to study under a Master to learn more in their chosen specialty. Practical experience will be augmented by teaching courses and attending courses at the Hall.

Of course, while aboard ship, there are times when things can happen. This sometimes means there can be advancement in rank as the situation dictates. For example, if the Captain dies of dysentery, the First Mate would then become Captain and the others would advance in rank as well. In this case, he would be the acting Captain until formerly appointed by the Master Seacrafter. If the First Mate was a journeyman, then advanced to acting Captain, serving in that post for a turn before returning for confirmation, it is possible the Master Seacrafter would consider promoting the journeyman to Master and allowing him to continue as Captain instead of appointing another Master to captain the vessel. Cases of injury can also mean advancement aboard ship.


Specializations


Deck/Operations: These are the men that will be running ships. They will train to captain and serve as officers on an actual sailing ship

Navigation: This is a very necessary art of sailing. Navigation is the means by which a ship keeps its bearing. There are many ways of doing so with tools such as sextants and chronometers.

Supply/Quartermaster: These men deal with the cargoes and the necessary stores for sailing such as foodstuffs. They are responsible for seeing to provisioning, doling out the supplies as needed, and replenishing when needed.

Shipwright: This specialty encompasses more than one discipline. It includes the shipbuilders who design and build the craft’s pride. It also includes the men who engineer structures such as piers, docks, bridges, and other necessary apparatus. Ship carpenters who repair damaged ships or do the woodwork on a new boat as well as salvage work are also within this specialty.

Repair/Salvage: Repair operations are necessary since it is costly to replace a ship when only a few small repairs are needed. Salvage can mean the use of old parts to complete a repair, as well as the art of retrieving cargo and parts from the ocean bottom with the assistance of dolphineers. Scrapping old boats and/or dredging in the shallows is common.

Cartography: These are the chart makers. Cartography is actually an art as well. Most maps will include pictures as well as latitude and longitude. Better scales are continually being perfected as well as perspectives.

See Also: Useful/Common Nautical Terms

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