Our 2017 Award Winners

Every year, Tall Ships America and our member community recognize those who have made a difference this past year. Here are our 2017 Sail Training Award Winners.

This year, we presented the Leadership Award for the first time. It is awarded to member of Tall Ships America who has made a significant contribution to sail training through the demonstration of leadership at executive or senior levels, and whose impact has been felt by the sail training community at large, beyond that of their own organization. For more information on the below awards criteria, go to our website.

Volunteer of the Year – Nelson Chin (award accepted by Captain Richard Dorfman)

Volunteer of the Year Nelson Chin 2017

Sail Trainer of the Year – Captain Jennifer Haddock

Sail Trainer of the Year Jen Haddock

Leadership Award – Captain Peg Brandon

Leadership Award Peg Brandon

Sea Education Program – NOAA Basic Officer Training Class aboard USCGC Eagle

Sea Education Program NOAA EAGLE

Sail Training Program – Bermuda Sloop Foundation and Spirit of Bermuda

Sail Training Program Bermuda

Special Recognition – Lori Aguiar

Special Recognition Lori Aguiar

Port of the Year – Sail Boston

Port of the Year Sail Boston

Lifetime Achievement Award – Captain Phil Watson, Schooner Bluenose II (photo credit Alan Creaser)

Phil Watson photo alan creaser


A Festivus miracle, just for you


Early Registration deadline has been extended to midnight (EST) on
Sunday, December 24

Happy Festivus! Go find your unadorned aluminum Festivus pole and give thanks. Early registration has been extended by ten days.

In leiu of donations to The Human Fund, we invite you to partake in this most sacred of made up holidays by registering for the conference. We won’t be requiring any feats of strength, just click on over to the registration form and fill ‘er out (airing of grievances might come a bit later though).  It’s a Festivus Miracle!


It’s a Wednesday! Register Early!


Early registration ends on December 14th at midnight! At 12:01 on December 15th, registration fees go up by $100.

Join the tall ship community in New Orleans, February 14-17. We’ll be gettin’ our learn on and our ya-ya’s out.

There is still time to submit your sail training awards nominations. Who inspired you this year? Awards nomination criteria.

Interested in becoming a sponsor? Click here.


Stay home this Black Friday

Black-Friday-Crowd Photo Forbes
Macy’s on 34th Street, NYC on Black Friday. Photo: Forbes

You got this. Avoid the crowds and sleep in. The easiest deal this year is the one you get by registering early for the conference. Register today and save $100 when the fees increase on Friday, December 15st.

Since you got so much sleep and are firing on all cylinders, you should also consider nominating a sail trainer or a sail training organization for our annual sail training awards.

Interested in becoming a sponsor? Click here!


Happy Turkey Day!

Happy Turkey Day Register Early

Wee! It’s the most magical holiday of all – a whole day of eating, drinking, and merrymaking. Why don’t you grab that leftover turkey sandwich, head over to the computer and register for the conference? Early registration ends on December 15 and then the fee goes up $100. Missing this opportunity would not be merry. Not merry at all.

You still have time to submit your sail training nominations, too!

General information is on our website.

Interested in becoming a sponsor? Click here!

Crew Grants are still available!


You get a crew grant! And you get a crew grant!

*UPDATE 11.27.2017: Crew Grants have been filled*

Just in time for Thanksgiving –  We have crew grants available!

Conference Professional Development grants are for the full 3-day Conference and Safety or Education Under Sail Forum, and will reduce the registration fee from $695 to $100. (Travel and accommodations not included).

To be eligible for a Conference Professional Development grant candidates must:

  • Be a Tall Ships America Associate Level or Crew Level member in good standing.
    (Not a member? Become one now!) 
  • Demonstrate that you have sailed as a student trainee, paid or volunteer crewmember (1st – 4th Mate, Bosun, Engineer, AB, OS, Deckhand, Educator) aboard a Tall Ships America member vessel(s) for not less than 6 weeks within past 24 months.

Crew grants will be awarded based on the following criteria:

  1. Date of Application
  2. Ensuring a geographic and demographic diversity of awardees
  3. Demonstrated commitment to continued involvement in sail training and sea education

No more than two grants will be given to applicants representing a single member organization (however more than two awardees may have sailed previously with a member organization).

Applications should be submitted by email or fax as a written request to: Lori@tallshipsamerica.org  Fax: 401-849-5400 and include documentation (letter from captain or employer, record of sea time etc.) demonstrating that the applicant meets the above criteria.

The deadline for applications is January 4. All recipients will be notified no later than January 6.

Questions regarding the application process should be directed to Lori Aguiar, Tall Ships America Director of Operations, lori@tallshipsamerica.org

Conference grants are funded through the Liz Strojny Memorial Fund. All proceeds donated go towards sending crew to our annual conference. Donate to the Liz Strojny Memorial Professional Development Conference Grants for Crew.

Additional information about the conference on our website.