It is indisputable that sail training has a powerful and enduring influence on young people’s personal growth. Our voyages last for for periods of time between 7 days and 6 months. They take trainee crew on a dynamic, testing, seafaring experience, where working effectively as a team is essential. Onboard the ship, experienced, professional crew give each young trainee the tools to overcome all the challenges they will encounter. The young people are a genuine part of the crew. They first learn essential theory including terminology, rope work and safety. Then it’s off to sea, where, as a team, they sail the ship, learning to tack, wear and brace the yards. There is no mechanical assistance onboard, sailing a tall ship relies on team muscle power, with up to 6 people hauling on one line to trim, set or hand the sails. To stow the sails, the young people climb the rigging, a height of over 30m up if they need to reach the top of the mainmast!
Our trainees helm, look out, and assist with navigation, and no sailing experience would be complete without good food and tidy cabins. Therefore, all our young people partake in 'happy hour' (cleaning the ship) and spend time in the galley preparing meals. Through this unique, intense, challenging, all weather, round the clock learning experience, young people rapidly build their self-reliance, confidence, resilience, leadership skills and a positive mental attitude which will help chart their futures.
Sail training covers all aspects of sailing, but its purpose goes far beyond. Sail training uses the experience of being at sea as a means to help people learn about themselves, discover hidden strengths and talents and understand the value of working as part of a team. No previous experience is required.
Our 2020 Development Plan outlines our aims and objectives for the next few years.
Crew and students share experiences with you on their Seas Your Future voyages with College Partners and Darwin200.