Return of the Obra Dinn Wiki
Return of the Obra Dinn Wiki

The boatman is the first non-player character the inspector meets in the game. He is also the only living character besides the inspector who appears in the real time of the narrative.[1] The boatman takes the inspector to the Obra Dinn to perform their insurance inspection.

The boatman wears a cap and has a beard. He sits in a rowboat the whole game and moves with it as waves rock the boat. He is otherwise immobile, just like all NPCs in the game.

Story and fate

Woken up by one company man, then verbally abused by another.

An East India Company employee orders the boatman to take the inspector to the Obra Dinn in a rowboat. As they get to the ship, the boatman says that their arrival is a bit late, implying that the ship has been at Falmouth for a while already. They bring a heavy box with them, and the inspector asks the boatman to haul it on board.

A little later, the boatman complains that the box is too heavy and tells the inspector they should open it in the rowboat or haul it up on their own. As the inspector climbs back down, the box has moved, implying that the boatman at least tried to move it. The inspector takes a catalogue and a pocketwatch from the box and climbs back to the Obra Dinn to conduct their investigation.

Later, it starts to rain, and the boatman tells the inspector they should head back to Falmouth before a storm hits. The two then leave the ship, the Obra Dinn sinks in the storm,[2] and the epilogue sequence starts.


Arrival to Obra Dinn

  • [boatman] "Company man woke me up.
    Said you'd need ferry to the Obra Dinn.
    Not many eager for that job.
    Seems a bit late if you ask."
  • [inspector] "I didn't."
  • [boatman] "What's in the box?"
  • [inspector] "I don't know.
    Hoist it up in a few minutes."
  • [boatman] "Eh? How?"
  • [inspector] "Carefully."

Once the inspector is on board

  • [boatman] "Hoy!
    It's too heavy!"

If the inspector does not climb down to the rowboat

  • [boatman] "It's too heavy!
    Lift it yourself!"

Once the inspector climbs down

  • [boatman] "It's too heavy. Take it yourself or open it here."

Once it starts raining and the inspector is on deck

  • [boatman] "Hoy!
    You in there somewhere?
    Storm's comin!
    Finish your business and climb down here!"

Once the inspector has climbed back down

  • [boatman] "We should go.
    Storm's nearly about so we won't be coming back."

Once the inspector has decided to leave

  • [boatman] "Finally.
    Sit down so you don't fall out."


  1. The maid of the inspector is heard but not seen in the epilogue.
  2. Mentioned in the final insurance assessment after the two leave the ship.