He is, as Swinburne says, helmsman and chief: he is literally the Man at the Wheel.
The helmsman warned them that they were approaching another shore.
Cain stood at the bowsprit, giving his directions to the helmsman.
His offer was accepted and so far he had proved a competent and able helmsman.
"I 'll make straight for the harbor of Kilkieran," replied the helmsman.