Sail Training on the Lady Washington

Safe Harbor Pictures recently released a short video about sail training on the Lady Washington.   The Lady Washington is a replica of the first American ship to round Cape Horn.  The original ship sailed from Boston Harbor on October 1, 1787. She rounded Cape Horn and traded furs with the coastal Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest, before sailing to China and Japan to trade for tea and porcelain.  The modern Lady Washington sails from Grays Harbor Historical Seaport in Aberdeen, Washington.

Lady Washington – Safe Harbor Pictures

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7 Responses to Sail Training on the Lady Washington

  1. As many of you will know my big concern is maritime safety. In NAUTICAL LOG this issue is addressed regularly and free advice is offered. With that in mind and the tragic accidents that have taken place in sail training vessels their website was visited to see what was offered. It seems everything including sea shanties but nowhere was there a link to the resumes, qualifications and teaching certificates of the persons doing the training or the vessels Captain and Officers who one surmises are the same persons. Surely if they are offering K-12 education they must have teaching qualifications. Having two daughters who are teachers one in Hawaii and one in South Florida NAUTICAL LOG found this very disturbing. Also what is the Insurance coverage for these children while in the Port areas and on board ship.

    Good Watch.

  2. Rick Spilman says:

    I have never had the pleasure of sailing on the Lady Washington. I have chaperoned, however, on school trips on the Hudson River sloop Clearwater, which is somewhat longer than the Lady Washington. On the sails that I have attended, the class teachers always came along. As the sails were relatively short, they were considered “field trips” and the instructors aboard were not required to be certified as teachers, to my knowledge. In addition to volunteers, the Clearwater had the requisite crew aboard, who had appropriate training and certification.

    The programs on the Lady Washington are described as being three-hour educational sails and one hour dockside programs, so I am sure that they are similar to the programs run by the Clearwater and other traditional vessels.

  3. Ben says:

    Regarding your concern over licensure, Lady Washington belongs to a class of vessels that are governed by the USCG and the Code of Federal Regulations. In the case the Lady is classed a “T-boat” which refers the the chapter in the CFR that provides the rules for operating the boat (number of crew, random drug testing requirements, frequency and type of third party inspection, type & number of USCG licenses, number of passengers, number of life vests/rafts/radio beacons, frequency of emergency drills, the route she is allowed to sail for a few examples). She’s frequently staffed with around 14 crew (well exceeding the USCG minimum), two licensed officers, other six paid crew, and the rest are volunteers.

    If the recent accident you refer to is the sinking of the Bounty during Hurricane Sandy I hope I can clear up a few things. Bounty was for all intents and purposes a private yacht with no underway requirements for manning/licensure/route placed by the USCG other than that she carry no more than 6 (or 12 I can’t remember) passengers. She was significantly built in the 60s and had gone through several periods of severe neglect. The USCG hearing are available online, and are very enlightening in regards to the incident.

    Lady Washington offers 3 main educational programs, a three hour sail (usually 4th graders), a 1 hour dockside program (aimed at younger kids), and a 2 week like aboard volunteer program (18 and older). The crew are not certified teachers, and the program is regarded as a field trip by the schools as far as I can tell. The classes come with a combination of parent and teacher chaperones.

    I am not clear on the details of the insurance situation other than the fact the Lady Washington carries significant insurance to protect the crew, passengers, and vessel as is required by any documented vessel that is operated as a business (Lady Washington is owner and operated by a public non-profit).

    I hope this helps. I am happy to answer further questions if you have them.
    You can contact me directly by email. mylastname@gmail.youknowwhat
    -Ben Mckee USCG Licensed Master (3rd issue), Lady Washington crew since 1993

  4. Ben says:

    Another thought… I am sure the folks at the Grey’s Harbor Historical Seaport would be happy to address your concerns more specifically. Their number is 800-200-LADY.

  5. Indeed thanks Ben. However in their website they might want to correct “knots-per-hour” dear me! It is “nautical miles per hour ” or “knots”. Also in the Traverse Board instructions, which we used in Dead Reckoning (DR) plotting, it is vessels heading during the time period not bearing. Small things but gives a more maritime professional look to the website.

    Good Watch.

  6. Ben McKee says:

    Yeah… I will take responsibility for shipboard things but ghhsa is on their own when it comes to the website.