weather conditions, as the boat will not safety carry the
same number of people in bad weather as it will carry
in good weather.
BOW HOOKS AND STERN HOOKS
Bow hooks and stern hooks must acquire all the
knowledge necessary to operate the boat in the event that
one of them should be required to relieve the coxswain
in an emergency. When the boat is in operation, the bow
hook should always be forward acting as a lookout,
keeping watch for any floating object or hazard that
might damage the boat or result in a collision. Both bow
hooks and stern hooks should be ready at all times to
fend off the boat from contact with other boats, the
gangway, or the landing.
On approaching the landing, the bow hook should
be ready to spring ashore smartly with the bow line and
take a turn on the nearest cleat. Also, the bow hook
should be ready in the bow with the boat hook when
approaching a ship's gangway, to snag the boat line and
make fast. The bow hook should always have a fender
ready to drop over at the proper spot if a bump becomes
The stern hook, likewise, should be ready to jump
ashore at once to make the stern fast. Both the bow hook
and stern hook must be at their lines, ready to cast off
and jump aboard, when the boat is about to get
underway. They should never cast off, however, without
orders from the coxswain. The coxswain frequently has
to go ahead or back down on one of the lines to clear the
landing. Lines should be kept neatly flemish down and
the fenders rigged in when not in use.
Personnel assigned as boat keepers assume
responsibility for care of the boat in the absence of the
The boat engineer performs maintenance on the
engine as needed. Only the boat engineer should work
on the engine. The boat engineer must ensure that the
engine and the engine components are in good condition
and ready to run. The boat engineer also performs duty
as a stern hook on most boats.
During heavy weather and other times as deemed
necessary, an officer (sometimes a chief petty officer
[CPO]) is assigned to a boat as the boat officer.
A boat officer naturally has authority over the
coxswain. However, the boat officer does not assume
the coxswain's responsibilities nor relieve the coxswain
of his normal duties. The coxswain and the boat officer
are jointly responsible for the boat and the safety and of
the crew and the passengers. The situation is somewhat
like the relationship between the OOD and the
commanding officer on the bridge.
LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Describe the basic
principles of boat operations.
One of the duties you may experience as a Seaman
is as a member of a boat crew. You may be assigned as
bow hook, stern hook, or perhaps even coxswain. You
must know the nomenclature, characteristics, and
handling of small boats.
HOISTING AND LOWERING
The process of hoisting and lowering boats with a
crane primarily entails handling the slings by the safety
runner (fig. 5-8). The safety runner, a short wire
pendant, is attached to the bill of the hook on a boat crane
and is connected to a tripping line. A pull on the tripping
line causes the safety runner to dump the ring of the boat
slings off the hook.
When a boat comes alongside a ship underway to
be hoisted in, it first secures to the end of the sea
paintera strong line that hangs over the side of the ship
and is located forward of the spot where the boat will be
hoisted. The shipboard end of the line is bent securely
to a cleat or a set of bitts. The eye of the sea painter is
lowered to the boat and tended by means of a light line
called a lizard line. The bow hook secures the eye to the
inboard bow cleat, the cleat nearest the side of the ship.
The sea painter is never secured to the
boat's stern or to the side of the bow away from