Boatswains stores on board USS Congress, July 24, 1800
Boatswain and the boatswain’s mates were responsible for the maintenance and repair of the ship’s rigging. This included repairing or replacing large amounts of rigging that might be damaged by battle or weather while at sea. In order to meet these demands at any time, the boatswain kept an extensive supply of materials on hand for repairs. This inventory of boatswain’s stores to be carried on board USS Congress highlights both the complexity of the rigging and the scale of the work the boatswain and his mates were expected to perform underway. This supply, and the boatswains’ skills, allowed ships like USS Congress and USS Constitution to effect repairs both during and immediately after battle or bad weather.