Focus Session: When to call in the pros

When to call in the Pros

Todd Kosakowski, Boothbay Harbor Shipyard
Marc Cruder,  USCG
John Koon, Tradewinds Marine Services
Captain Jonathan Kabak, United States Merchant Marine Academy

While our Captains and Crews are fully capable of handling our vessels at sea, the murky waters of shipyard haulouts and refits often have us asking our personnel to perform tasks that are not part of their everyday jobs. Whether it’s the newest deckhand learning to caulk or the captain submitting design drawings for plan review, there is often an opportunity to call in experts and trade professionals, not without significant cost to assist with the process. This session will discuss the utilization of traditional maritime tradespeople both historically and in contemporary contexts. A panel of riggers, shipyard managers, captains and project managers, as well as USCG Marine Inspection staff will discuss when and how to integrate these individuals with shipboard staff to maximum advantage both economically and practically.

Todd Kosakowski

Todd Kosakowski
Todd Kosakowski

Having sailed aboard many cruising and sail training vessels for years as deck hand and mate starting in 2000, Todd Kosakowski then turned his career towards the construction and maintenance of large historic vessels. Todd attended a two year apprenticeship at the Apprenticeshop of Rockland Maine and soon found a job as shipwright at Boothbay Harbor Shipyard in Maine. Quickly rising to foreman, project manager, and now Shipyard Manager, he has managed restorations in steel, wood, and, composite.

Leading restorations of vessels such as Ernestina, Friendship of Salem, and many others in his eight years there, Todd has also been asked by museum vessels to act as owner’s representative for restorations and large projects providing budgeting, project planning, and project tracking for vessels. Todd has experience managing large crews combining professional shipwrights, sub-contractors, and ships’ crew on both large restorations and routine maintenance for non-profit, government, and private projects alike.

Todd was asked by Husson University to revive their wooden boatbuilding program in 2007, and was lead instructor for two years teaching lofting, building, and sailing of small wooden boats. The sudden end of this program gave way to his participation in an advisory board, starting a new program through the shipyard focusing on science and sailing in BoothbayHarbor and the Maine coast.

Also a small craft naval architecture student at the Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology, Todd has started to focus on the design of vessels under 200 feet, and been recognized as an associate member of the Royal Institute of Naval Architects. Now a USCG licensed master, holding membership in the ABYC, and application into the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors, Todd also provides marine survey, design, and owner’s representative services to clients with wooden vessels being a specialty.

Todd now primarily sails the coast of Maine with his family in a 60 year old wooden sloop that he has restored with his wife in the last six years.

Marc Cruder

Marc Cruder
Marc Cruder

Marc Cruder graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1979 and holds a current U.S. Coast Guard license with STCW endorsements as Chief Engineer (Limited-Ocean), Motor- Any Horsepower and Second Assistant  Engineer, Steam or Motor – Any Horsepower.  He is also an Accredited Marine Surveyor in Yacht and Commercial Small Craft with SAMS and Affiliate with NAMS. Marc retired from active duty after over 21 years of service  focused in Marine Safety and specifically Commercial Vessel Inspection. Following retirement he worked for Hornblower Marine Services, an international marine management company as their Corporate Director of Vessel Construction, Compliance and Safety before returning to the Coast Guard as a civilian. Marc is currently a Traveling Senior Marine Inspector with the Headquarters Traveling Inspection Staff in Washington, D.C.  His areas of emphasis include: Small Passenger Vessel Plan Review; High Speed Craft; Wood and Composite construction/repair; Historic Vessels including Sail, Steam and Riveted Construction; Subchapter W Safety Assessments and the Coast Guard’s Streamlined Inspection Program. Marc was a primary author of Navigation and Inspection Circular 7-95: “Guidance on Inspection, Repair and Maintenance of Wooden Hulls;” Interim Project Manager for Small Passenger Vessel Inspection and Certification Rulemaking (Subchapter T and K); and contributing author to Honolulu Inspection Note #13: “Inspection of Sail Rigging and Masts on Inspected Small Passenger Vessels.” He was also assigned as a technical consultant to the Coast Guard’s lead investigator for the BOUNTY sinking. The Headquarters Traveling Inspectors support the U.S. Coast Guard’s Marine Safety field missions, programs and policy by being on call for technical consult to field commanders and their marine inspectors on a range of issues from repair to policay implementation and regulatory compliance. The Travelers also provide direct feedback to guide Marine Safety Program policy and direction while overseeing program effectiveness. They are regularly tasked to handle issues of particular concern and advocate for the marine industry to broker their concerns to solution. In his free time, Marc sails a gaff-rigged catboat on Chesapeake Bay.

John Koon

John Koon
John Koon

John Koon’s scope of professional maritime experience is both extensive and diverse. Since 1977 he has logged many thousands of trans-oceanic miles aboard a spectrum of sail-rigged vessels ranging from 25′ to 155′, serving in the post of Licensed Master, Mate, Boatswain/Rigger, Celestial Navigator, Ships Carpenter, Educator, Research Associate and Single Hander. John began his professional career in the maritime trades in Southern California 1973 in a formal, five year, apprenticeship with a master woodworker specializing in custom yacht interiors,  pattern making, hull restorations & fine furnishings. With a Mariners license, sextant and wood tools in hand, landing a  paid-berth aboard the wood-built, classically rigged vessels transiting the south pacific proved fairly easy during the late 70s and early 80s. He eventually found himself landed in Hawaii and established his company Tradewinds Marine Services which he has been operating since 1988.

Rigging, spar building & repair work was an obvious trajectory as John is very capable and at ease while working aloft. Over the past 25 years John has developed the self-proclaimed title of “Rig-Smith” and currently works full time in this realm on both, contemporary and classically rigged vessels in the roles of designer, builder, repairman, surveyor, consultant and educator for the private sector and the USCG Marine Prevention Dept. His well developed and diverse  skill development in these roles remain in demand in Hawaii, on both US seaboards and in Mexico.

As a public speaker, John has made presentations on this subject to numerous audiences all over the country including:  National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMS) Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS) International Boat-builders Exposition (IBEX) USCG Prevention Dept, Inspectors in training seminars in five states including the USCG Academy in New London CT.

Captain Jonathan Kabak

Captain Jonathan Kabak
Captain Jonathan Kabak

A native of New York City, Captain Jonathan Kabak has worked in the sail training industry for over two decades.  Since starting as a young volunteer at SouthStreetSeaportMuseum he has sailed on over a dozen Tall Ships America member vessels. He holds a 500ton Ocean Masters License for Steam, Motor and Auxiliary Sail vessels.  Graduating from FranklinPierceCollege with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a focus on education, Jonathan’s career at sea has focused on developing and implementing marine education and nautical science programs under sail for all ages.

Currently he serves as the Director of Sail Training at the United States Merchant Marine Academy where he is also Adjunct Faculty.  In addition to his work at the Academy, Jonathan works as a consultant, developing and delivering STCW and Maritime Safety curriculum and providing marine operations services.  He is a member of Tall Ships Americas’ Board of Directors, where he serves on the Ship Operations and Safety and Membership Committees.  He lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife Jennifer and young daughter Olivia all of whom are members of Tall Ships America.


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