What is a bosun?
A boatswain, otherwise known as bosun, is a ship-officer responsible for maintaining a ship’s hull immaculately. The bosun requires a profound knowledge of the yacht’s exterior, its maintenance, and repair.
History of the word: Boatswain or Bosun?
The term ‘boatswain’ dates back to the year 1450. It was originated from an old English word batswegen meaning a young man, follower, retainer, or servant. In modern Norwegian, it is translated as båtsvenn and actually called as båtsmann (boats-man). In years around 1968, it was pronounced as bosun. In 1611, the word ‘bosun’ was formally used by Shakespeare in his work ‘The Tempest’ It was then adapted as a modern-day English word.
What does a bosun do?
Supervisors: The managers of the ship
The Boatswain is an in-charge of the deck crew. He plans, assigns, executes, and assures the daily tasks to be done on the ship. Bosun requires intelligence and quick thinking. Often crew members seek guidance from the bosun. Having skill and expertise in this regard is essential for him.
Maintenance: The primary duty on the ship
The bosun is the maintainer of the ship’s exterior. They must acquire sound command on all the equipment and maintenance procedures on the ship. The boatswain inspects the exposed and all the veiled surfaces to ensure their optimum performance. They will allocate the tasks to the deck sailors such as cleaning and painting on the deck, caulking, or fiberglass repair. The bosun also holds the responsibility of stores and lockers on the ship or any other specific area assigned to him by the Chief Officer.
Mooring: The efficient mooring in-charge
The bosun is responsible for the mooring, anchoring, and vessel operations efficaciously. They manage the ropes, the anchors, and the chains of the mooring lines used to fasten the ship. The boatswain has a responsibility to ensure the proper securing of the dock. Succeeding the docking step, they supervise and scrutinize the setting and the safety of the gangway. Bosun signals the clearance of the gangway after a keen examination, allowing the crew to cross it.
Other responsibilities on the ship
Before the introduction of the GPS navigation systems, the boatswains were the navigators of the ship. It was vital for them to have technical knowledge of the ship’s geographical position and the subsequent navigation. At the time when the GPS fails, this skill of a bosun still yields benefit.
The bosun also fulfills the watchkeeping duties on the ship for the Captain and the senior officers. They are the link between the Officers and the crew. This allows the officers to carry out their duties efficiently without any added issues. The bosun is sometimes also the liaison on the ship. They cater to the guests and assure their comfort and needs.
How much experience is required to become a bosun?
It is a prerequisite to have two to three years of experience as a deckhand to become a competitive candidate for the job. They must acquire an appropriate license for the specific vessel and the program applying to.
How much does a bosun earn?
The salary of a bosun depends upon the size of the yacht and the experience of the bosun. The starting salary of a boatswain varies around $2000- $3000 and increases with the experience. Experience of more than 85 months secures the salary above $3500. (Source: Salary Guides on Nauticjobs.com)
The boatswain: An all-rounder on the ship
Playing various roles on the yacht, the bosun is essential for the ship. They ensure smooth functioning. They are the all-rounders without whom the efficiency of the ship may affect.