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Tall ship managers offer ‘Bosun School’

The Ocean State Tall Ships Festival is coming July 6-9 to Newport, R.I., and here is a new opportunity to get into the tall ships experience even before the event starts: the bark Picton Castle, a flagship of the festival, announced that it will offer its Bosun School for young adults (ages 16-30) from June 24-July 3 in Bristol, R.I.

Picton Castle’s Bosun School attracts both experienced sailors and novices from around the world to live and work on board and learn the time-honored skills and arts of traditional seamanship.

“This is not your typical summer adventure or camp experience. Instead, it is a rare opportunity to learn and live the world of traditional seamanship in one of the world’s premier sailing ships,” said Tall Ships America executive director Bert Rogers, whose organization coordinates the annual Tall Ships Challenge race series, responsible for assembling the fleet that will be part of the Ocean State Tall Ships Festival.

Picton Castle operates year-round as a sail training vessel and it will make its sixth voyage to the South Pacific in the fall. Some of its 26 crewmembers will be trainees, with no previous experience on tall ships, and according to Picton Castle’s Captain Daniel Moreland (Lunenburg, Nova Scotia) they will learn the same skill set being taught at the Bosun School this summer.

"Mariners need skills that make them one with their ship and resourceful in all areas,” said Moreland, who conducts Bosun School classes with help from his crew and guest instructors and who also won the 2011 Sail Trainer of the Year Award from Sail Training International for his programs on board the Picton Castle. “They must be competent at small boat handling, splicing, rigging, sail repair, pumps, and should have some familiarity with engines. This is what the Bosun School seeks to provide.”

For information about the Bosun School and how to participate please contact Maggie Ostler at, (902) 634-9984 or visit