Here, an officer is a blanket term ascribed to commissioned officers, general mates, petty officers, and tradesmen.
The Captain and the First to Fourth Mates can be distinguished by their elaborate headgear, and mainly play significant roles in the narrative. They are relatively easy to identify.
The petty officers and their mates, and the tradesmen have the most varied outfits. The Purser and the Surgeon are 'gentlemen' who are dressed similarly to the officers and the midshipmen, while many of the tradesmen wear clothes appropriate to their profession.
The book defines a captain as:
Head officer in command of the ship. Responsible for directing the other officers and ensuring the success and safety of the ship's voyage.
The book defines a bosun as:
[Alt. Boatswain, Bos'n] Foreman in charge of general crew operations and the equipment required to sail the ship.
The book defines a gunner as:
Military officer in charge of weapons and military procedures on the ship.
The book defines a purser as:
Administrative official. Accounts for all cargo value and trade transactions. Manages a small items store for crew.
The book defines a surgeon as:
The ship's doctor, in charge of crew health. Capable of general care and medical procedures as required.
The book defines a carpenter as:
Tradesman responsible for maintaining the integrity of the ship's wooden structures.
The book defines a helmsman as:
Rated seaman in control of the ship's wheel and general moment-to-moment navigation.
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