Safety Under Sail Forum Agenda

Safety Under Sail Forum

Sponsored by Pearsco Solutions

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Session 1: Safety Aloft: Recommended Best Practices

Captain Rick Miller, Professor of Marine Transportation, Maine Maritime Academy
Captain  Jonathan Boulware, President, South Street Seaport Museum

Safety Aloft Documents
Safety Aloft Regulations for Vessels (PDF)
Fall From Aloft Calculator (Excel)
Draft Guidelines for Safety Aloft Policies (PDF)

Aloft work carries with it a level of risk. An incident or accident aloft that results in a fall can have dire consequences. Recognizing this, the Tall Ships America Ship Operations and Safety Committee has undertaken a survey of practices and procedures and have been developing a document that summarizes the best of these. Using information, standards, and practices from sailing ships, professional climbers such as linemen and steeplejacks, and the technical rock and ice climbing world, this session will address key vulnerabilities aloft, provide useful principles for aloft safety, make suggestions on harness and lanyard types, and provide tools for organizations to develop suitable vessel- and program-specific safety aloft programs.

Captain Rick Miller
Captain Rick Miller

Captain Richard (Rick) Miller is a Professor of Marine Transportation at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine. His classes of instruction include Terrestrial Navigation (Coastal Piloting), Celestial Navigation, Seamanship, Meteorology, and Marine Weather Routing. Small sailing boats on Barnegat Bay New Jersey were the foundation for a career on the water. Rick earned his bachelor degree from Springfield College and a Master of Science in Education from Capella University. He has successfully blended his academic training as an educator with his passion for sailing for more than 30 years, sailing on a number of sail training vessels and with the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School. In 2008 he was master aboard Maine Maritime Academy’s schooner Bowdoin for a training expedition to the Arctic along the west coast of Greenland. Rick continues to be active as a mariner, most recently sailing seasonally as a master for Sea Education Association in both the Atlantic and Pacific. 

Jonathan Boulware
Jonathan Boulware

Captain Jonathan Boulware serves as President of the South Street Seaport Museum in New York City, where he leads a small and dedicated staff working to preserve a vital part of New York and US history. In this role, he oversees operational, programmatic, and logistical operations of the historic seaport buildings and fleet of ships, raises funds to support these missions, and interacts with many city agencies, citizen groups, and waterfront operators, developers, and enthusiasts. He has sailed in numerous Tall Ships America member vessels in nearly all capacities on both Atlantic and Pacific routes, has worked as a shipyard and building project manager, and has a background in technical rock climbing, which informs his current work with the Ship Operations and Safety Committee on aloft safety. He holds a 500 ton Ocean Master but his most common command is the tiny 1930 wooden tugboat W. O. Decker, which is cared for by the Seaport Museum. He lives in Branford, CT with his wife and son and does not own any boats. He does, however, have an embarrassment of bicycles, surfboards, and paddle boards, all of which get far too little use.

 Session 2: Bridge Resource Management for Our Ships: A Workshop-Based Session 

Captain Peg Brandon, President, Sea Education Association

BRM Documents and Presentations
New GAR Evaluation (PDF)
USCG Risk Operations Manual (PDF)
BRM Worksheet (PDF)


What is your bridge team? Is it one person or four? How can your daysail, overnight, offshore, or other program effectively employ the principles of Bridge Resource Management to increase operational safety? Join Captain Peg Brandon for a discussion and workshop on the use of BRM in our types of ships. Breakout groups will be formed by operational scope and complexity. Plan to contribute your own thoughts and expect to come away with new ones on BRM for our types of vessels.  

Captain Peg Brandon
Captain Peg Brandon


Captain Margaret “Peg” Brandon is the current President of Sea Education Association (SEA) the Woods Hole, MA-based educational institution. An alumna of SEA Semester® class W-48, Peg Brandon has extensive experience as a marine educator and leader both with Sea Education Association and other notable institutions. She spent the previous eight years (2006-2014) at Maine Maritime Academy where she held the position of Associate Professor of Marine Transportation. In 2010, Peg was awarded the Maine Maritime Academy Teaching Excellence Award. Prior to 2006, she worked as the Director of Continuing Education for Massachusetts Maritime Academy where she was responsible for professional training courses including Emergency Management Training. She has served as a member of SEA’s faculty, teaching Nautical Science and serving as Captain on numerous SEA Semester voyages from 1986-2002, and also as SEA’s Director of Marine Operations from 1998 through 2002. Peg has been a member of SEA’s Overseers for many years. She stepped down from her position as a Trustee to act as Interim President for SEA in 2013 and was named President in 2014. Peg has a Master of Marine Affairs degree from the University of Rhode Island and holds a U.S. Coast Guard license as Master of Vessels up to 1600 gross tons on all Oceans. She is a recognized maritime leader whose strengths are in leading complex operations on a global scale and building multidisciplinary teams that identify and focus on common goals. She is deeply committed to educating future decision-makers about global ocean issues and challenges, and building their skills in leadership and critical thinking.

Session 3: On Board Risk Assessment: Best Practices Work Session.

Captain Andy Chase, Professor of Marine Transportation, Maine Maritime Academy
Captain William Sabatini, US Brig Niagara

On Board Risk Assessment Documents and Presentations (PDFs)
Prep for Sea Checklist
Risk Assessment Matrix

Captains Andy Chase (Maine Maritime Academy) and William Sabatini (US Brig Niagara) will lead a discussion of risk assessment practices that are either in place, or not, aboard sail training and/or sail passenger vessels.  The goal of the session will be to develop a system of G0/NO-GO decision making that will involve the whole Bridge Resource Management Team, and that will be effective enough to be useful while being simple enough to actually get used.  Attendees should bring with them any such system that is used (or not used) aboard their vessel.  The intent is to draw the best ideas from whatever systems are already in use, and weed out those that are either to complex or too restrictive and thus render the system unworkable.

Captain Andy Chase
Captain Andy Chase

Captain Andy Chase is a Professor of Marine Transportation at Maine Maritime Academy, in Castine. He grew up sailing on the coast of Maine in summers, and began his professional sea-going career at the age of 16 as deckboy aboard a Norwegian Bulkcarrier. He is a graduate of Maine Maritime Academy (class of 1979-Deck), and holds a U.S. license as Master, unlimited, for power vessels, and Master of Auxiliary Sail Vessels of up to 1600 tons. He has sailed aboard many types of merchant vessels, including tankers, container ships, Ro-Ro’s, ITB’s, tugs, barges, break-bulk freighters, and LASH. He has sailed as deckboy, AB, Bosun, Third, Second, and Chief Mate. Captain Chase began his professional sailing career with the Maine Windjammer fleet, where he sailed on the Adventure, Mary Day, Mistress, and Nathaniel Bowditch. He then moved on to the Sail Training vessels offshore, including the Regina Maris, Westward, Gazela Primeiro, Bowdoin, and Elissa. Under sail, he has sailed as deckhand, mate, and master. As master of the Schooner Bowdoin for Maine Maritime Academy, he led a group of MMA students north for the Bowdoin’s first return trip to the Arctic since her career with Admiral MacMillan, which ended in 1954. In 1991, under Captain Chase, the Bowdoin voyaged to the West Coast of Greenland, reaching 70 degrees north latitude.  He lives in Castine and Brooksville with his wife, Lauren Sahl, also a teacher at Maine Maritime Academy, and their daughter Lily.

Billy Sabatini
Billy Sabatini

Captain William Sabatini grew up in southeastern Massachusetts, on Cape Cod, and so has been around water his entire life.  He began sailing tall ships in Newport, RI, before attending Tabor Academy, an academically rigorous high school in Marion, MA.  While at Tabor, Billy sailed for four years on the Schooner Tabor Boy; he also crewed on various other schooners during his summer breaks.  In the latter half of his senior year, he restored a 1939 Alden Coastwise Cruiser, Luau, which he sailed throughout New England after graduation.  The following year, he sailed Luau to Maine Maritime Academy, where he spent the next four years earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Small Vessel Operations, with a concentration in Sail Training.  While at Maine Maritime, Billy worked his way up to the position of Chief Mate of the Academy’s schooner Bowdoin, where he designed and implemented Bowdoin’s student run sail training program.  During his college career, he also assisted in the development of a supplemental seamanship program, applicable to both traditional and modern vessels, for students in all majors at the Academy.  Billy began his time with the US Brig Niagara in 2005, as 3rd Mate, advancing to Chief Mate in 2008 and Captain in 2014.  During the winter months, he has served as Mate or Captain on a number of tall ships on every coast of the United States.  Over the last two decades, he has sailed the East coast from Nova Scotia to Venezuela, the West Coast from Alaska to Mexico, and the entire Great Lakes system, as well as crossing the Atlantic twice.  As Billy enters his eleventh season on Niagara, and his second season as Captain, he is very much looking forward to the opportunity to share his love of sailing and sail training with the crew and trainees of Niagara once again. Billy lives in Erie, PA with his wife Megan, a high school art teacher at Union City Elementary School, their dog Bruin, and their cats Commodore and Dory.

 Session 4: Moderated Open Forum: What’s On Your Mind?

Moderated by: Jonathan Boulware

This time is dedicated to discussing maritime issues that are on your mind with fellow mariners and panelists from today’s presentations.  Post topics you would like discussed on the flip chart stationed outside the room before 1415.



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