Picton Castle Bosun School
Posted by Tall Ships America on September 7, 2016
This fall, at the Bosun School session scheduled, we will be using Picton Castle to teach and practise a large range of critical rigging techniques, sailmaking and wooden boat building. Also we will be taking advantage of our large wooden boat collection of dories, longboats, skiffs, sloops, cutters and small schooners to teach and get lots of practice in small boat handling here in Lunenburg Harbour.
To be a competent mariner a seafarer needs to be skilled at many things. The sea is a demanding place which is not particularly forgiving. Today there has been a welcome insistence on basic and advanced safety and marine emergency training for professional mariners resulting in mandated Basic Safety Training (BST). Training in firefighting, PFDs, exposure suits, this is all to the good and is to be applauded. It is important basic familiarisation with what to do when things go wrong. This is, however, quite different from the broad seamanship training a mariner needs to be both useful aboard a ship and to also seriously contribute to the reduction of the likelihood of things going wrong. This is where Bosun School comes in.
Too often young mariners who seek to advance in marine trades have little chance to build and grow the key technical skill sets pertaining to their craft. But this does not make these skills any less desirable. On the contrary.
At the Bosun School, without the distractions of standing watches at sea, we set out teach, and get a lot of practice in:
- History of rigging and sailing ship technology
- Going aloft safely and use and abuse of harnesses
- Safety drills
- Wire rigging; splicing, seizing, worming parcelling and serving
- Knots, and whippings
- Fibre rope splicing in manila, dacron, polypro and in large and small diameters
- Stoppers and their use
- Basic sailmaking and repair
- Small boat and big ship caulking; the basics
- Sending yards up and down using the ships gear
- Sending topmasts using the ships gear
- Wooden boat repair and building
- Coatings and preparations in wood, steel and varnish
- Goops and goos
- Training, exercise in small boat handling in all manner of small craft
- Visits to shipyards, block shops, sail lofts
- Discussion of vocational opportunities
- Assistance in placement for the mariners next berth