Fox wrote:How does this apply in a naval context?
I'm thinking particularly in the context emerging from the GAoP, where clearly many nautical captains are famed eponymously for their facial hair.
When you say "many" you mean "one" don't you?
Aside from Blackbeard, whose fuzz was so noticeable he got a nickname from it, beard wearers seem to have been in the minority amongst seafarers too.
A scan through contemporary pictures of seamen from 1680-1750 shows almost no facial hair except on the French. A quick look through a random selection of notices of 56 runaway seamen from 1700-76 reveals only one bearded man.
On the other hand, in his satirical "The Wooden World" Ned Ward noted that "If you find [a seaman] with mouthacho's, he is certainly a size above ordinary in his own Conceit; ay, and is fansy'd so too by the Women, who wisely infer, that a stiff Pair of Whiskers must needs spring from some secret stiffening Cause or other"
Some might argue that at sea things would be different, however the number of razors mentioned in seamen's probate inventories of the period, and the numerous references to barbers aboard ships would suggest that shaving was as common at sea as it was on land.
In reenactment terms this all probably means:
Clean shaven preferably (or with a dusting of stubble)
Moustache if you're French or have a large belaying pin
Beards not impossible, but uncommon.
Fox, wearer of facial hair since 1992.
Foxe, wearer of facial hair since 1996.
(and who would be interested in the progress of a GWC unit)