Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
bowsman (plural bowsmen)
- (nautical) A sailor who works in the bow of a vessel.
1851, Herman Melville, chapter 72, in Moby Dick:
- “Being the savage's bowsman, that is, the person who pulled the bow-oar in his boat (the second one from forward), it was my cheerful duty to attend upon him while taking that hard-scrabble scramble upon the dead whale's back."