Awesome News For Crew!

Tall Ships America is pleased to announce that it has partnered with the Maritime Simulation Institute (MSI) to underwrite the Tall Ships America Professional Development Grant Program with the establishment of 30 grants for reduced conference registration fees for the upcoming 39th Annual Conference on Sail Training and Tall Ships scheduled to take place on January 30 – February 1 in Newport, RI. 

The conference theme is Crew Development: Awakening the Next Watch.  Projecting forward for maritime commerce as a whole, the International Maritime Organization, the U.S. Maritime Administration, and commercial shipping companies all agree that we will soon face a critical shortage of licensed and qualified mariners.  In our world of tall ships and sail training, we already feel the pinch:  licensing requirements and costs keep climbing, but program revenues, business opportunities and wages struggle to hold par in a down economy. The conference will explore how training, safety, public engagement, and youth enrichment can be harnessed to develop the crews, career opportunities, and business systems necessary to prepare the Next Watch and will offer a track of sessions aimed at working crew who desire to sustain a seafaring career. 

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 $550 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 employment as a 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 9 months within past 24 months. 

Applications should be submitted by email or fax as a written request to:  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. 

Applicants will be notified of the decision within seven days of Tall Ships America’s receipt of the complete application.  

Questions regarding the application process should be directed to Lori Aguiar, Tall Ships America Director of Operations, 

For more information about the 39th Annual Conference on Sail Training and Tall Ships visit 

For more information about the Maritime Simulation Institute (MSI) visit


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