Top definition
One who works his way up to a Licensed Officer's position in either the deck or engine departments of the Merchant Marine after starting from the very bottom as either a Wiper or Ordinary Seaman. This is most commonly seen on tugs and barges nowadays, since the USCG decided that suddenly experienced sailors are too stupid to advance to these positions on deep sea vessels without college degrees.

Climbing the ranks is referred to as 'climbing up the hawsepipe.' A man or woman who achieved this feat is respectfully called a hawser, or hawsepiper.
Captain Johnson is a hawespiper. He started as an Ordinary Seaman at age 18 and eventually worked his way up to become an officer.
by DeepSeaSailorGuy May 14, 2007
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