Vocational education as a harbour boatman at   HLM hamburg lines men GmbH

Apprenticeship for Boatmen


   Job Specification for Lines-Handler/Boatman

The Lines handler/Boatman is fulfilling one of the central tasks in the daily port business und belongs to the most traditional job profile in the port.

His task is to support Container vessels with the mooring and unmooring via land or via boat. The teaching profession for Boatmen exists since 2006 with the emphasis on Line handling and is promoted by the HLM GmbH.

Usually the Line handler works on the pier, on the dolphin or on Board a mooring-boat. From aboard the container vessel one heaving line per mooring-line is thrown to the Line Handler. This Heaving line is weighted with a so called “monkey-fist”, so that it is possible to throw that line far enough and – independently from any weather condition - in the right direction.
With the heaving line the Lines Handler pulls the bollard-loop (the “eye” of the mooring-line) to himself and lays it over the correct bollard.
Then it is the task of the crew of the Container vessel to retrieve the Mooring-line with a winch and fasten it on board.

A lines handler must know for his work which bollards are to be used in which sequence und were a stay would be dangerous to life, in case a mooring-line tears and becomes a deadly weapon.

For the practice of this profession the following qualities are important:
• Reliability and physical capacity (shift work and work in any weather)
• Physical health and good sensory perception
• Ability to work in a team, Flexibility and Empathy
• Proficient in the German language
• Driver´s License

Chamber of Commerce Certification


  • Highly qualified employees are very important to us!

  • Training as a social responsibility: We train young people for working life and in this way we create highly qualified employees for our company.

  • Since 2014 we are an officially acknowledged training enterprise of the Hamburg Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

    Based on what is referred to as the dual system, practical vocational training is given at work, backed up by theoretical training and general education provided in vocational training schools which are generally attended on one or two days a week.