Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Good Seamanship Summed Up in One Word

- Photo is by Will Van Dorp aka tugster

What is the difference between a good seaman or ship's officer and a merely competent one? No doubt a good writer could sum up in a sentence or two. The 1961 edition of the Navy's Watch Officer's Guide does it with a single word - forehandedness. According to the Guide, while a good officer is technically competent, vigilant and has good judgment the superior officer has the faculty of forehandedness.

According to Merriam Webster forehanded means mindful of the future, prudent.

When I think about it all well run vessels have this in common, the crew is trained, procedures are in place, tools and materials are on hand before they are needed - forehandeness. Nice word, I'm taking it with me on my next trip.


will said...

i love learning new words that fill a need. this is a good one.

Kennebec Captain said...

Yes, I think "safety first" has worn out.

Anonymous said...