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The word seamanship is generally defined in dictionaries as "skill in the seaman's art." A seaman is defined in the same sources as a "mariner, as distinguished from 'landsman'." As used in this book, however, the word seaman is intended to apply only to one who, regardless of his actual rank, is versed or skilled in the art or science of seamanship. That art or science may be defined in a wide sense as the phase of the seagoing profession which lies wholly within the province of the deck forces: the deck divisions of the seagoing armed services; the deck watches of the merchant service; and the officers of all services who command ships, stand deck watches, or direct the operations of the deck forces. The attempt has been made herein to present practical basic seamanship in as interesting a manner as possible, using a narrative or lecture form wherever feasible. The vernacular of the sea is a language all its own, and that language has been used throughout; but any term which might be unintelligible to a novice at seafaring is defined or explained where it first occurs, and there is a complete glossary of sea terms at the back of the book. Nonessential material, archaic material, and extensive tabulated material have been omitted, in order to make really essential material clear and easy to remember.
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