Topman was the name of a position on sailing ships. It refers to an able seaman with enough experience to work up in the rigging, mostly furling, unfurling and moving sails during manoeuvres. Topman is not a rank, but more of a job description. Usually, the mast a sailor was assigned to would be included in the appellation (f.ex. a foretopman works on the foremast etc.).

Aboard the Obra Dinn

The Obra Dinn’s crew included ten topmen, a rather small amount for a three-masted full-rigged ship, on which more than ten topmen would usually be needed per mast. They were:

None of them survived.

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