Queens Regulations & Admiralty Instructions 1861
Queens Regulations & Admiralty Instructions 1861

Royal NavyPersonnelQR&AI 1861Previous section ◄► Next section

The Queens Regulations and the Admiralty Instructions - 1861




A Master when appointed to one of Her Majesty's Ships, is not only to be careful to execute, punctually and zealously, all orders he may receive from his Captain, or other his superior Officer, but he is, as far as in his power, to see that all on board, who may be subordinate to him, perform with diligence and propriety the several duties assigned them. He is to provide himself with a sextant, and a telescope, and with such nautical books and instruments as are necessary for the purposes of navigation, and as may not be supplied by the public service.


He is to have charge of all the compasses; and he is to be careful to act regarding them as directed in Article 23, at page 169, of these Instructions. He is to see that the compasses, the spare cards, and the hour and other glasses, be properly taken care of. He is to try them, and compare them with each other frequently; and he is to see the log-lines and lead-lines correctly marked, and at hand whenever they may be wanted.

He is also, under the control of the Captain, to have charge of the charts, barometers, chronometers, and all instruments that may be supplied for navigating the ship. When he is superseded, or the ship paid off, he is to forward, through the Captain, to the. Secretary of the Admiralty, - for the Storekeeper General and the Hydrographer, respectively, - an account, in the Forms given in the Appendix, of the receipt and disposal of the above-mentioned stores.


As the Captain will be furnished by the Superintendent of the Dockyard with the reports of the Ship's stowage and qualities or by the Controller of the Navy (if she be a new Ship) with certain particulars respecting her stowage and trim, the Master (who is always to attend to this important duty) is to take the same for his information and guidance, and is on no account to deviate from the plans or suggestions for her stowage without express authority. He is to be careful, also, that no chips of wood, nor dirt of any kind, be left amongst the ballast; that no injury be done to the water tanks or casks in stowing or removing them; that the screws in the tanks he attended to with great care; and that the screw in the bottom of each tank be loosened only when it may be indispensably necessary; and he is to take great care that the lids of all water-tanks shall be at all times properly secured so as to prevent any leakage and waste.


He is to stow away as much wood in the hold as possible; and if it shall appear to him that the quantity of wood and coals sent on board will not be sufficient for the time for which the Ship is victualled, he is to report it to the Captain.


If stores or provisions of any description should, on being received on board, appear to him to be defective in quality or short in quantity, he is to inform the Captain, in order that such stores or provisions may be immediately surveyed by the proper surveying Officers.


If any provisions are pointed out to him by the Paymaster as being older than the rest, he is to stow them so as to admit of their being the first to be expended; and on receiving subsequent supplies, he is to put the new provisions under the old. And he is, generally, to observe and follow all such directions and regulations contained in the Paymasters' instructions as may relate to him in his capacity of Master.


He is to be very attentive to the state of the Ship's holds, keeping them at all times as dry and as clean as the nature of the service on which the ship is employed will admit. He is to keep himself acquainted with the place of stowage of every description of store or provision, so that there may be no delay in finding them the moment they are required.


When the stowage of the Ship's hold is complete, the Master is to insert in the first pages of the log-book correct plans of the same, and a particular account specifying the quantity of ballast, the number and size of tanks and casks for water with their contents; the number of casks and other packages of provisions, with their contents; and the description and weight of every other article stowed in the hold and mentioned in the plans, similar to the report he will have to deliver to the Captain; adding, also, occasionally, in the log-book, notes of any alterations in the stowage. But if he find the hold already stowed, he is to satisfy himself that the plans of it and the account inserted in the log-book are correct. He is also to watch attentively, and to ascertain satisfactorily, the Ship's qualities at sea, that he may be able to suggest, if necessary, any alterations to improve them.


The keys of the after-hold and spirit-room are to be kept in the Master's cabin, in his custody, and, when wanted, are to be taken only by the Officer authorized to use them, who is himself to be present at the opening of either place, and is on no account to suffer a light to be carried into the spirit-room, nor to quit either place until he has seen it again properly secured, when he is to return the keys from whence he took them.


He is to see that the sails are properly fitted, and ready to be brought to the yards, according to the established plans. He is, moreover to take care that a sufficient number of spare points, gaskets, mats, plats, nippers, &c., arc at all times ready for any purposes for which they may be required.


He is frequently to inspect the sail-rooms, to see that they are dry, and that the sails are in good order; and he is to apply to the Captain to give directions for the sails being repaired immediately on discovering their defects; and if he should find them, or any of the stores, at any time likely to be damaged by damp, or other cause, he is immediately to represent it to the Captain.

He is also frequently to visit the Gunner's, Boatswain's, and Carpenter's Store-rooms to see that they are kept as clean and as well ventilated an circumstances will admit of; that nothing but the stores of the Ship is put into them; and that the stores are so arranged as to admit of any of them being readily found when wanted.


It is to be considered an important part of his duty to attend to the setting up of the rigging, and particularly to the staying of the masts, to prevent the lower mast-heads being crippled by over-staying, governing himself on this point by the directions he will receive from the Captain, in conformity to Article 10, at page 326, of these Instructions; and he is frequently to examine the state of the rigging, and to be careful that it is always kept well set up, and the running rigging in good order, informing the Captain whenever he finds any portion thereof to be defective or slack.


He is to be particularly careful that the inner ends of all the cables are properly secured; and when there is a probability of the Ship's anchoring, he is to see that the anchors and cables are perfectly clear for running, that the stoppers and ring-ropes are in good order, and that everything is ready for bringing her up properly.


When the Ship is at single anchor, he is to be very attentive that proper measures are taken to keep the anchor clear; and, when moored to keep the hawse clear; for which objects he is to make such requests to the Officer of the watch as may be necessary; and should the hawse at any time become foul beyond a cross, he is to represent the same to the Captain or commanding Officer, that it may be immediately cleared; and he is to see that the Ship is not girt by being moored too taut.


He is to inform the Captain whenever it is probable that rope of any description may be wanted in the Ship; and when the ropemaker is ordered to make it, he is to attend frequently to see that he is diligent, that the rope is well made, and that there is no waste of the yarns; and he is to receive from him every day an account of the rope he has made; and he is to see that the whole quantity made be duly taken on charge.


He is, under the direction of the Captain, to have the charge of navigating the Ship; he is therefore to represent to the Captain every possible danger in, or near, the Ship's course, and the way to avoid it; and if it be immediate, to report it to the Officer of the watch. Whenever the Ship is approaching the land or any shoals, he is to be upon derk, and is to keep a careful look-out, always sounding in good time on such occasions, and continuing to do so until the safety of her position be clearly ascertained and secured.


When the Ship is in pilot-water, although there may be a Pilot on board in charge of her, the Master is to be always attentive to the manner in which she is conducted: he is to see that the lead be constantly and carefully hove, though the Pilot should not require it; and that everything be prepared for anchoring at the shortest notice. If he perceive the Ship standing towards danger, or if he have reason to think the Pilot not properly qualified to conduct her, he is immediately to inform the Captain of his suspicions. His attention is directed to chapter XIX of these Instructions, relative to Navigation and Pilotage.


He is every day at noon, or as soon after as possible (and as often at other times as circumstances may render necessary), to deliver to the Captain an acount of the latitude and longitude the Ship is in, the variation of the Compass, and all other particulars regarding her position which the Captain shall require.


He is to have charge of the Ship's log-book; and is every day to compare it with the deck log-book, to see that every circumstance which has occurred is properly entered in it; and he is to send it immediately to the Lieutenants, that they may sign the initials of their names at the end of their respective watches, while that which happened in them is still fresh in their memories: and he is to present it, every day soon after noon, for the Captain's inspection.

In the log-book is to be entered, with very minute exactness, all the following circumstances as they occur, in addition to the particulars indicated by the several headings in the established form: - i. An occasional note of the angle of the Ship's inclination, ii. Every occurrence relating to the navigation of the Ship, and to dangers discovered; the setting and velocity of currents; the results of all astronomical and other, observations made to ascertain the situation of the Ship; and a track chart of each passage or cruize, specifying thereon, from day to day, the direction and force of the wind. The distances run under steam, must be marked in red ink, to distinguish them from the distances run under sail. iii. The loss of, or injury sustained by, masts, yards, boats, guns, and every other description of stores; the splitting of sails; the blowing away of flags; and all other accidents, with the quantity of each article lost, and the quantity saved, iv. Every circumstance relating to the receipt, supply, survey, and return of stores, and of provisions, casks, water, clothing, and bedding, specifying from whom they were received, or to whom they were supplied or returned, and by whose order. v. An account of the quantity of every species of stores or provisions purchased for Her Majesty's Service, or received from or supplied to any other of Her Majesty's Ships, or to any Merchant Ship, or any foreign Ship of war, or arsenal, vi. Every alteration made in the allowance of provisions, specifying by whose order such alteration was made; and the particulars of every extra or gratuitous issue, vii. The marks and numbers of every cask of provisions, bale or case of clothing, opened for the use of the crew; - only to be entered when the quantity it is said to contain is found to be different from the marked contents, viii. The time when any hired vessel is first employed, and the time she is discharged; the name of the vessel, of the Master, and of the persons from whom she is hired; her burthen in tons, and the number of men employed in her; by whose order, at what rate, and for what purpose she is hired; and the cause which makes it necessary to hire her rather than to employ the boats of the Ship or Squadron. ix. Full particulars of the hire of steam tugs, boats, wharves, or warehouses. x. An account of the number of any men employed on board, who are to be paid for the service they perform, whether hired or lent from other Ships; mentioning the day on which they began and the day on which they ceased work, and the number mustered every day. xi. An account of all exercises and evolutions performed, xii. An account of all powder, shot, shell, small arm ammunition, &c., expended in exercise or in action, xiii. All corporal and other punishments for which warrants are required. xiv. The entry and discharge of all Officers. xv. All general payments to the Officers and Crew. xvi. The embarkation and disembarkation of every passenger (male or female) specifying by whose order received, xvii. Births, Deaths, and Marriages on board, xviii. The manner in which the Crew and Artificers are employed; and every other circumstance worthy of note and proper to be recorded.

After the log-book has been signed by the Lieutenants, no alteration, however trifling, is to be made in it, without the approbation of the Captain and the perfect recollection of the Lieutenant of the watch that such alteration is proper, and to every such alteration the initials of the Lieutenant's name are to be affixed.

The notification which the Master will be directed to insert in the log-book whenever steam is used, is to be underlined with red ink, as enjoined in Article 11, at page 176, of these Instructions.

The height of the Barometer and Thermometer, and the temperature of the sea, are to be recorded at the hours of 4, 8, and 12 A.M. and P.M.;- except in stormy weather, when the height of the barometer and thermometer must be noted every hour.


At the end of every six calendar months, he is to transmit, through the Captain, to the Secretary of the Admiralty, a complete copy of the log-book, for those six mouths, with track charts of the passages or cruizing of the Ship, signed by himself; and, at the end of every twelve calendar mouths, he is to deliver the original log-book signed by himself, to the Captain, to be kept by him until the Ship is paid off, and then to be sent also to the Admiralty. If the Master be superseded he is to sign tho original log-book then in his possession, and to deliver it to his successor, who is to give him a receipt for it; and the Captain is to give him a certificate whenever he delivers a log-book to him; which receipt and certificate, with a copy of the Ship's log-book for the broken period up to the date of his being superseded, will be required at the Admiralty to entitle him to receive the residue of his pay.


Besides the log-book, he is to keep a remark-book, in which all the hydrographic information he can obtain is to be carefully inserted, as well as a decription of the instruments he may employ in any of the observations hereinafter mentioned.

He is to determine, as accurately as he can, the various particulars relating to navigation of every place which the Ship may visit, entering his remark-book under the following heads:-
1. Latitude.
2. Longitude.
3. Variation of the Compass.
4. Time of high water immediately following new and full moon.
5. Rise and fall of the Tide at springs and neaps.
6. Prevailing winds.
7. Periods of the year at which the wet and dry seasons prevail, if any.

The particular spot at the place visited to which the latitude and longitude refers, is to be carefully noted; also the number and nature of the observations, and the means by which they were made, whether the artificial or sea horizon was used; and with reference, to the longitude, if obtained with chronometers by means of meridian distances from another place, he is to state the number employed, their general character, the age of the rates used, or the interval since they were last rated, with the longitude he has assumed of the place measured from; he is not to lose any opportunity of obtaining lunar distances, both with the view of determining the longitude the Ship may be in as sea, as well as serving as a salutary comparison with his chronometers either at sea or in harbour.

He is to observe the variation of the compass by amplitudes or azimuths, at least once every day, whether at sea or in port, excepting only when refitting in harbour. The bearings of the Sun are to be taken by the standard compass, whenever possible; if not by the azimuth compass, which is to be always placed, when practicable, in the same precise situation amidships, marking the point where each of the tripod legs stands; and he is to take care that the direction of the Ship's head at the time of observation shall be recorded, as well as the difference between the standard or azimuth and the steering compasses, by which precaution alone can the real course of the Ship be regulated. These variations arc to be daily inserted in columns at the end of his remark-book, along with the Ship's place and the direction of her head at the time of observation.

The local attraction is to be determined before the Ship leaves England, by swinging the ship on at least eight points, as well as after any material change of latitude, and is then to be tabulated by him for every point of the compass, so that the corrections on each course may be readily applied in working the Ship's reckoning.

In all places which are not well known, he is to ascertain the direction and velocity of the currents; the set and strength of the tides, with the limits of their rise and fall; and the time of high water of the tide which immediately follows the periods of new and full moon. He is to describe, as particularly as he can, the appearances of foreign coasts, pointing out the remarkable objects by which they may be distinguished, so as to render a stranger certain of recognising his land-fall.

He is to apply to the Captain, whenever the service will admit of it, for boats to sound and survey any shoals or harbours which have not been correctly laid down in the charts, and the results are to be projected on a large and intelligible scale.

In his remark-book he is carefully to note all inaccuracies in any of the charts supplied to the ship, but especially in those published by the Admiralty, so that the requisite alterations may be presently made; but for this purpose his remarks should be so distinctly expressed as to admit of no ambiguity; and they should be accompanied by a written explanation of the amendments he proposes to make, either in the configuration of the coast, or in latitudes and longitudes, or in the soundings, or in the position of dangers, with the mode he has employed of determining that position, with their bearing and distance from some fixed point. If the position of these dangers be materially altered, or if he should discover any new dangers, or if the inaccuracies he may have detected in the charts be of importance, he is to report them immediately to the Captain, in order to their being transmitted to the Admiralty, by the very first opportunity, so that no time should be lost in applying the necessary corrections. He is frequently to present this remark-book to the Captain for examination, and on the 1st of January in every year he is to deliver it to him accompanied by all the charts, plans, and views of the coasts and headlands which he has made during the past year, an well as by his proposed corrections for the engraved charts, and by all the sailing directions he may have drawn up; all which the Captain will transmit by the first safe opportunity to his Commander-in-chief, to be forwarded to the Admiralty (For the Hydrographer); or, if he be not under the orders of one, it is to be sent direct to the Secretary of the Admiralty (For the Hydrographer); and when the Ship is paid off, or before he leaves her at any time, he is to deliver to the Captain similar documents for the broken period, in order to their being forwarded in like manner.


To the Second Masters, and Masters' Assistants, he is to afford all the information in his power in pilotage, and in the theory and practice of navigation and seamanship; and he is to see that they attend constantly on deck on going into or leaving harbour, - that they also attend in mooring and unmooring, in boat anchor-work, in the stowage of the hold, and in making the several nautical observations required in navigating the Ship, - it being considered as his special vocation to instruct those Officers in all the branches of a Master's duty. He is frequently to examine their remark-books, logs, and journals, which he is from time to time to lay before the Captain, with a report of the progress they may have made, as well as of their general diligence, character, and abilities.


He is to make himself thoroughly acquainted with the regulations respecting navigation, &c., contained in Article 20 [should be 19], at page 165, of these Instructions, so as to be able to act on them at any moment in case of emergency.


He is to keep a book for the special purpose of working out the results of all observations and calculations connected in any way with the navigation of the Ship. This book is to be examined by the Captain whenever he may think fit to call for it; and it is invariably to be produced at any inquiry that may be instituted relative to the grounding or wreck of the Ship.


The senior Second Master in Ships, where no Master is borne, or the person on whom the duties of the Master may devolve in the absence of that Officer, is to observe and follow the foregoing instructions.

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