About Sail Training

“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than those you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Mark Twain

Welcome to the world of seafaring adventure. Sail Training is your portal to the Age of Sail in the 21st century.  You will find magnificent sailing ships from North America and the World, each offering its own unique way for you to sign aboard and experience the excitement, the challenge, and the wonder of life at sea.

“Ships are the nearest things to dreams that hands have ever made,
for somewhere deep in their oaken hearts the soul of a song is laid.”

Robert N. Rose

We call this experience Sail Training, out of respect for the ancient traditions of hands-on learning aboard ship that made able-bodied seamen out of landsmen, officers out of seamen, and captains out of officers.  Today, when you set sail in a Tall Ships America member vessel, you will indeed learn the arts and skills of traditional seamanship and you will experience so much more.  The voyage is about facing the unknown with courage and confidence, being part of a team that inspires your very best, exploring the vastness and beauty of the ocean world and living simultaneously with the glory of your sea-borne strength and your inescapable humility at the awesome power of the sea.

“There is little man has made that approaches anything in nature, but a sailing ship does. There is not much man has made that calls to all the best in him, but a sailing ship does.”  

Allan Villiers

These are the core experiences of the ships and programs of sail training. Refreshing indeed, when compared to the noise and distraction that so often dominate life ashore.  Going to sea ­- whether for a day, a week, semester or a lifetime – offers a sound alternative and invaluable life experience in how to find a course and hold it.

“It is not that life ashore is distasteful to me. But life at sea is better.”

Sir Francis Drake

So, we hope you will explore this world of sail training with building excitement, until you find the ship and program that best fits your interest, your schedule, and your needs.  Then make your voyage, cross your horizons and take your place among shipmates. Join the unbroken fellowship of seafarers that began with the first reed rafts and sails today for people like you.

“I wanted freedom, open air and adventure. I found it on the sea.”

Alaine Gerbaul

"Among the infinite array of factors and events that influence the course of a person’s life there are a few “windows of opportunity” that are particularly open to outside intervention. One of these is adolescence, that period when most youths first question and challenge authority, when newly discovered causes are most passionately embraced and the human need for exploration and adventure is most easily fulfilled. That is, if you are growing up in an accepting, nurturing, loving family and society that can afford the luxury of cultivating its next generation."

~Jim Gladson, Founder LAMI/Topsail

“No, we don't just teach sailing; we foster opportunities for intensive personal development -- intensive life experience in order to advance leadership development, an utter reverence for nature, a sense of time and place, an appreciation for history and teamwork ability. Sail training really teaches the qualities of stewardship, resourcefulness, pride, humility, bravery, strength and grace. And we learn to sail, too."    

~Tall Ships America