The term sailor generically refers to those who sail the seas of Azeroth and their practices range from benign to despicable. Humans are well known for their sailing prowess, but many races have proficiency on the waters of Azeroth.

The basic sailor, sometimes called a crewman, performs all the basic duties aboard a ship that usually don't involve cooking food or maintaining machines aboard. The head cook on a ship is usually called the galley chief. The engineer maintains machines and mechanisms. The leaders of most sailors and the boats they serve on are called captains. The more skilled among them are usually called mates and navigators who serve their captain and act as the captain's lieutenants. The second in command is usually called "first mate". Often ships carry soldiers called marines who specialize in battle at sea or from a ship. Marines may or may not have specific sailing skills.

They tend to operate under standard five-year contracts when signing on with a new crew as evidenced by the crew of the Wavestrider.[1]

During the Burning Legion's third invasion, the Hatecoil naga have been capturing sailors off the coast of Azsuna on the Broken Isles, and forcing them to work for the sea giants of the coves.[2]

Sailor and crewman are neutral terms, whereas buccaneer, freebooter, and pirate tend to have negative connotations.


Common titles among crews are as follows, ranked in order of power:[3]

  • Ship's Captain
  • First Mate
  • Second Mate
  • Third Mate
  • Quartermaster
  • Boatswain
  • Helmsman
  • Ship's Surgeon
  • Ship's Cooper
  • Ship's Carpenter
  • Ship's Blacksmith
  • Ship's Cook (or Galley Chef)
    • Ship's Cook Assistant
  • Lookout
  • Deckhands (or deck hands)
  • Cabin Boy

The average crew and ship can operate just fine with one person in each of these positions, excluding deckhands which require around twelve.[4]

Other positions
  • Navigator