Saturday, November 30, 2013

It would be great to find some very old copies of Chapman's "Seamanship", especially something affordable from 1922 through the early 1930s, or even one of the 1917-1921 original "Practical Motor Boat Handling...." several editions. Does anyone know of any floating around?

Charles F. Chapman was the original author of the boating textbook that has been maintained through many editions of what is now the Chapman Piloting, Seamanship, and Small Boat Handling compendium, with the 2013 67th edition outweighing some small boat anchors.

It started out as more modest 6x9" book of 144-ish pages or so in 1917 when then-Secretary of the Navy Roosevelt asked the editor of MoTor Boating and Sailing for an instruction manual on small boat handling as the US's involvement in WW I neared. It was then titled "Practical Motor Boat Handling, Seamanship and Piloting: (A Handbook Containing Information which Every Motor Boatman Should Know. Especially Prepared for the Man who Takes Pride in Handling His Own Boat and Getting the Greatest Enjoyment Out of Cruising. Adapted for the Yachtsman Interested in Fitting Himself to be of Service to His Government in Time of War)"

From what's published about the book, that original book went through six editions until 1922, when it was renamed (A Course In) Piloting, Seamanship, and Small Boat Handling.

Original are rare; there is a supposedly cheesy, hard-to-read modern print on demand reproduction of the 1917 book, and I've seen the 1917 book as a download (Google books). I'd love to find some of the very old editions that are affordable.

p. 98: "It is not permissible to fly more than one flag from the same hoist, nor a flag with a name spelled out thereon. This is a most terrible breach of etiquette for which there is no excuse."

p. 101: [An open boat] "shall fly the owner's private signal at the bow staff, while the boat is underway, and the club signal while she is at anchor."

pp. 131-132. A well-equipped boat should have provisions such as "jars of sliced bacon, smoked beef, and codfish", miscellaneous supplies such as "fire arms", a "graphaphone and records", "hatchet", and "caulking irons", and china and glassware service for eight, including "One cream pitcher", "twelve high ball glasses" and "three decanters".

p. 133, The galley should have a "fireless cooker", "One large and one small preserving kettle", "Six pie plates", and a "Cocktail shaker".

Following a page and a half of tools are the Navy's recommendations for Medical Kit on p. 134, including, "Lead and opium tables", "Cathartic tablets", "Mustard plasters", and "Whiskey".

And in Navy Signaling, p. 137, K is for "Kink" and L is for "Love". Of course, S is for "Sail".


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