Sail Training

Sail training is an outdoor adventure activity which requires participants to confront many demanding challenges, both physical and emotional. It is an activity that inspires self-confidence and the acceptance of personal responsibility.  It promotes an acceptance of others whatever their social or cultural backgrounds, and develops a willingness to take controlled risks. For most who undertake sail training on Tall Ships it is a positive life-changing experience.

Most sail training vessels are owned and operated by charities or foundations, schools or universities, governments or other institutions. They generally seek to reflect the breadth of social backgrounds in society at large in the crews they attract. Many have funding program to subsidise the participation of those who could otherwise not afford it. Some also run special programmes for those with physical, mental or social difficulties.

Sail training takes place all over the world and in many different types of vessel. Voyages on small vessels benefit from the intimacy of working on board within a small team. Different challenges confront those who undertake sail training on the huge and glamorous square-rigged ships, with much demanding work aloft as well as on deck. Sail training is an adventure activity for the young and old everywhere, with a record of considerable success in developing men and women of character and ability for the challenges of life.

Sail training is an adventure activity for people of all ages and abilities. It includes instruction in all aspects of sailing but its purpose goes far, far beyond this. Sail training uses the experience of being at sea principally as a means to help people learn about themselves, discover hidden strengths and talents and understand the value of working as a team. In some programmes today it forms the setting for much wider aspects of education at sea.

There is a body of independent academic research validating the power and value of sail training in the personal development of young people. A selection of these studies can be downloaded from Sail Training International here.

The cost of sail training differs from one organisation or ship or country to another, and many vessels embark crew of all nationalities. Bursaries are available through Sail Training International and Tall Ships Australia and New Zealand.

Visit our Tall Ships page for details of Tall Ships looking for trainees and volunteers during the next twelve months, or check out benefits and research into sail training.