Focus Session: Planning an American Young Adult Council

Planning an American Young Adult Council

Jessie Floyd – Tall Ships America Young Adult Representative
Captain Billy Sabatini, U.S Brig Niagara

Our tall ship community offers people leadership skills, adventure, and hands on educational experience in STEM, environmental protection, and history. How do we work to expand the reaches of the American tall ships community so more young people know about the opportunities available to them and have access to making them a reality? Join this interactive workshop as we discuss forming a Young Adult Council in the United States that will help to support young people’s passion for sail training and crewing on tall ships. We’ll discuss grant research, creating and maintaining travel stipends, and connecting students and tall ships for both work and volunteering. Want to see more young people on the water? Bring your ideas and be prepared to share them.


Speaker Bios

Jessie Floyd

Jessie Floyd was introduced to the tall ship community when she did a high school internship with the South Street Seaport Museum through the New York Harbor School. Since graduating from Harbor School, she has worked as crew on various tall ships across the country and is currently attending Bard College studying Spanish and Gender and Sexuality. Jessie recently got her 100 ton Inland Master’s license and is currently the American Representative for the Sail Training International Youth Council. Jessie has worked with the Youth Council to achieve goals such as including the youth voice in sail training, strengthening ties with the international sailing community, and helping young people all over the world get connected with, and realize the opportunities, of sail training.

‎Billy Sabatini

Captain William Sabatini grew up in southeastern Massachusetts, on Cape Cod.  He began sailing tall ships in Newport, RI, before attending Tabor Academy in Marion, MA.  While at Tabor, Billy sailed for four years on the Schooner Tabor Boy.  Billy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Small Vessel Operations, with a concentration in Sail Training from Maine Maritime Academy and he 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, Captain in 2014 and Executive Director/Fleet Captain in 2018.  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 fifteenth season with the Flagship Niagara League, and his first season as Executive Director/Fleet Captain, he is very much looking forward to the opportunity to share his passion for sailing and sail training with the crew and trainees of the Flagship Niagara League for years to come.

Billy lives in Erie, PA with his wife Megan, an elementary art teacher at Grandview Elementary School, their dogs Bruin and Queen Charlotte and their cats Commodore and Dory.


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