In the days before mechanical propulsion, a sailor was expected to be able to "hand, and reef, and steer." Training is more formal in modern merchant marines and navies, but still covers the basics.
The crew of a large ship will typically be organized into "divisions" or "departments", each with its own specialty. For example, the deck division would be responsible for boat handling and general maintenance, while the engineering division would be responsible for propulsion and other mechanical systems. Crew start on the most basic duties and as they gain experience and expertise advance within their area. Crew who have gained proficiency become "petty officers", "rated", or "mates" depending on the organization they belong to.
On smaller commercial craft, there is little or no specialization. Deck crew perform all boat handling functions. The officers of the ship are responsible for navigation, communication, and watch supervision.
Captains must pass formal examinations to demonstrate their knowledge. These examinations have a progression based on the size and complexity of the craft. In the U.S., the progression begins with what is known as "the six pack", a license that allows fishing guides to operate with up to six passengers.
Seafarers can be refer to ethnic groups living by the sea in Southeast Asia, and also other sea living ethnic groups in the world.
The seafarersPolynesian which the recent maternal mitochondrial DNA analysis suggests, including Tongans, Samoans, Niueans, Cook Islanders, Tahitians, Hawaiians, Marquesans and Maori, are genetically linked to indigenous peoples of parts of Southeast Asia including those of Taiwan.
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