What is the art of seamanship? The dictionaries define it as the skill or technique or art of handling a boat or ship at sea. It surely is that, but I think it’s a bit more.
Seamanship is certainly about having the sailor’s basic skills, but it must also be about judgement. Good seamanship isn’t just being able to steer a steady course or make a tidy splice. It’s knowing how and when to apply ones skills to keep the boat and her crew safe and sound.
It’s been said that the superior boater uses his superior judgement to stay out of situations that require his superior skills. That sounds like a good definition of seamanship to me.