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!



2017 Sail Training Awards: Call for Nominations!

2016 Sail Training Program- Marimed/MAKANI OLU

Each year at the Annual Conference on Sail Training and Tall Ships, Tall Ships America honors a select group of sail trainers and supporters for their outstanding contributions to the world of sail training. Candidates are nominated by the membership and the final winners are selected by the Tall Ships America Board of Directors and Staff.

Award categories are (descriptions are on our website):

Lifetime Achievement
Sail Trainer of the Year
Sail Training Program of the Year
Sea Education Program of the Year
Volunteer of the Year

All members in good standing are eligible to nominate candidates for the 2017 Sail Training Awards.  (Nominees must be current members of Tall Ships America)

Email your nominations with supporting documents to Lori Aguiar, Director of Operations, lori@tallshipsamerica.org

or mail to Tall Ships America
Attn: Lori Aguiar
PO Box 1459
Newport, RI 02840.

Deadline for submissions is December 31, 2017.

View past award recipients on our website

You can be a sponsor, too!


Snow at the Seaport

Raise your hand if you sailed in Harvey Gamage
Raise your hand if you sailed in Harvey Gamage

Our conference started off on a high note with the New England Patriots winning the Super Bowl. The low came during the middle of the week when Boston was hit by a doozy of a snow storm stranding several people at airports. But, and thank goodness for technology, we were able to Skype in speakers and shuffle around a few sessions to accommodate late arrivals. As long as there is coffee, sailors are nothing if not amenable to a few fluctuations in a plan.

And so, we gathered in snowy Boston to discuss that which we love best – sailing, sail training and tall ships. Once again, we were able to offer Crew Grants funded through the Liz Strojny Memorial Fund. We had people from as far away as Hawaii (sorry for the snow, guys!) make the trek to join us. You can view the agenda here and photos are posted on our flickr page.

On the last night of the conference, Prom Night, we had our annual TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE(r) Awards and Sail Training Awards. All of the winners were nominated by their peers. During some the presentations, it was hard to keep your composure as the accolades of the recipients were read out loud. Hearing how these people and programs have changed lives is incredibly inspiring and renews our passion for sail training and tall ships. Below is a list of the winners – Congratulations to everyone! Continue reading

Bring your game face and your useless knowledge


That’s right, nerds! Pub Trivia is BACK! Are you a fount of useless information and arcane facts? This night is for you!

Join us Tuesday, February 7th 9:00pm at the Tamo Bistro and Bar in the Seaport Hotel. Brian Holmen and Erin Short will be your quizmasters.  The grand prize will be the respect of your fellow sailors and bragging rights for the rest of the conference.

We are limiting team size to six people but there is no limit to how many teams we can have. You just have to have a witty name (make it good, people) and show up.  Help us kick off the 44th Annual Conference on Sail Training and Tall Ships!

Focus Session: Program Showcase – San Salvador, Oliver Hazard Perry

Program Showcase B

Presentations (PDF)
San Salvador Goes to Sea
Oliver Hazard Perry

Showcase 1: San Salvador Goes to Sea
Presenter: Dr. Ray Ashley

This presentation will cover the background of building the galleon San Salvador, including the construction, launching, rigging, certification, and training of the crew for the seven-week Pacific Heritage Tour.

Dr. Ray Ashley
Dr. Ray Ashley

Dr. Raymond Ashley is President/CEO of the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Growing up locally, he became director of the Maritime Museum of San Diego in 1995. He holds a BA in Anthropology from UCSD, a MA in Maritime History and Museum Studies from East Carolina University, and a PhD in History from Duke University, specializing in the history of science, technology and medicine. He has taught courses in history and archeology at UCSD and USD, has published papers in American Neptune and a number of other professional journals, and writes a column for the Maritime Museum’s peer reviewed journal Mains’l Haul.

Dr. Ashley has been sailing for most of his life since spending his senior year in high school on the schooner Westward and has sailed, built, restored, renovated and preserved ships for many years before he came to the Maritime Museum and in the years since. He is a licensed captain for sail, steam and auxiliary vessels of 200 tons domestic (500 tons international) registry, is the Star of India’s  navigator and sails as relief captain for the other vessels of the Museum’s active fleet including the State tall ship Californian, steam yacht Medea, Swift Boat PCF 816, Pilot and most recently, the galleon San Salvador.

Dr. Ashley is a member of many civic and professional organizations and serves or has served on the Boards of the Council of American Maritime Museums, Sea Education Association of Woods Hole, MA, the North American Society for Oceanic History, the Nautical Research Guild editorial board, the American Sail Training Association, Cabrillo Festival, the San Diego Port Tenants Association, the World Ship Trust, and is President of the American Ship Trust. In 2007, Dr. Ashley was Conference Chair for the Eighth International Maritime Heritage Conference, hosted by the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

In 2014 Dr. Ashley was recognized with lifetime achievement awards by both the Maritime Alliance in San Diego, and the International Maritime Heritage Alliance, for the construction of the Galleon San Salvador. He lives in Chula Vista with his wife Carlynn (with whom he once sailed a 25’ boat through the South Pacific).

 Showcase 2: Oliver Hazard Perry
Presenter:   Chris Dimock, Operations Manager

After a successful first season of programs in New England, America’s brand new Tall Ship Oliver Hazard Perry, will be broadening her route down the east coast of the US and setting her sights for the open ocean, heading to Florida, Bermuda and Cuba in the spring. With our 2017 route covering an impressive 14,000 nautical miles, SSV Oliver Hazard Perry will then sail north this summer, across the Arctic Circle and into the Northwest Passage. This voyage has many dimensions. Primarily to partner with the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography and David Clark Inc. (funded by the National Science Foundation) to conduct ground breaking research on the effects of climate change in the Arctic Regions of the Northwest Passage. There is also a prominent educational aspect to this with high school, undergraduate and graduate students joining the ship as our trainees to sail the vessel into the passage and build on leadership and communication skills, while also assisting scientists with their research. There is also a public awareness aspect through David Clark’s documentary and the live daily video feeds that will be relayed through the Inner Space Center at URI to museums. This is just 5 weeks of a 4 ½ month expedition. The ship will leave Newport on June 15 and return at the end of October. We are currently in the application process for recruiting our 17 professional crew. A minimum of 11 of our 17 professional crew will hold USCG licenses. 2017 is set to be a historic year for Oliver Hazard Perry.

Captain Chris Dimock
Chris Dimock


Chris Dimock learned how to sail at the age of 7 and has never looked back since. He raced competitive, modern sailboats in Rhode Island for years without ever seeing a tall ship. One day at a college fair, he ran across a poster of the schooner Bowdoin sailing offshore, which lead him to a degree from Maine Maritime Academy, and formal training in vessel operations. He has worked on tugboats, ferries, and yachts, but has always returned to the traditional sail training world. Chris has sailed on tall ships such as the Bowdoin, Harvey Gamage, Westward, Robert Seamans, Corwith Cramer, and AJ Meerwald.


Focus Session – Education Program Showcase

Education Program Showcase

Showcase 1: Falmouth Schools
Presenter: Jonathan L Radtke  

A representative from Falmouth (Maine) Public Schools discussing how sail training programs can provide high school credit for week-long programs 

Jonathan Radtke
Jonathan Radtke

Jon Radtke has been an avid sailor since college.   Jon was the founding partner of Maine’s first successful commercial assistance towing organization as well as the founding operations manager for Portland’s first amphibious tour operation.  In addition to his marine related pursuits, Jon has been a high school social studies teacher for 25 years and the assistant principal at Falmouth High School outside of Portland for five years.  A graduate of Colby College, Jon earned a master’s degree from Harvard University and currently holds a 100 ton near coastal license.

Showcase 2: Putting the Sea in Science: An Integrated Approach
Presenter: Pauline Dion

Boothbay Sea and Science Center (BSSC) is a community sea and science education center offering innovative, experiential and affordable education programs to youth ages 5 to 17. BSSC opens doors of opportunity in STEM fields through boating and marine sciences, creating career pathways and instilling lifelong skills. BSSC began in 2011 as a community collaboration, with local marine-based businesses, schools, social service agencies, state marine research agencies, museums, and community volunteers. A principle partner is Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences. The Boothbay Sea and Science Center has provided unique innovative programs for 4 years, carefully adapting as enrollment grew. BSSC is transitioning to a year-round program with new school-based programs.

Pauline Dion
Pauline Dion


Pauline T. Dion is a passionate lifelong sailor, Pauline is the Founder, President and acting Executive Director of the Boothbay Sea and Science Center.  Established in June of 2012, BSSC is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Pauline received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (with an emphasis in Adult Oncology) from Salve Regina College, and earned a Masters Degree with an emphasis in Nursing Education from Boston College School of Nursing. She has served as a Clinical Nursing Instructor at several hospitals including St. Elizabeth’s Hospital (Brighton, MA), Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, MA), and Maine Medical Center (Portland, ME). Pauline held nursing faculty positions at Westbrook Junior College, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital School of Nursing, Bosotn College and MGH Institute of Health Professions.

Pauline Dion is a champion of non-profit advancement, having held fundraising chairmanships for a number of organizations including Daylight Children’s Center, American Cancer Society, Little Red Schoolhouse, Williamstown Elementary School, Leukemia Society, Boothbay Region YMCA, Boothbay Region Land Trust, Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club Junior Program Foundation, Boothbay Region Student Aid Fund, Boothbay Region Community Resources Council, Camp Sunshine, Boothbay Harbor Rendezvous.

She is currently serving on the boards of First Radio Parish Church of America/Daily Devotions, Maine Preservation and the Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library. Pauline chaired the Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club Junior Sailing and Tennis programs from 2005 to 2012. Pauline, born and raised in Minot, Maine as one of eight children, currently resides in East Boothbay, Maine.

Showcase 3: US Sailing
Presenter: Jessica Servis

US Sailing’s REACH program, and how they were able to integrate it into the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Series during the summer of 2016 in the Great Lakes.

Showcase 4: “Welcome to the  US Power Squadron Neighborhood!”
Presented by: Don Stark and Shirley Heald

Cooperative education opportunities aboard and ashore with United States Power Squadrons.


Don Stark
Don Stark


Donald Stark, United States Power Squadrons Liaison to Tall Ships America is a life member of USPS and a life time boater.  In his professional life Don spent 32 years in secondary and adult education. He has 3 sailboats including a gaff-rigged catboat and sails on the waters of the Great Lakes and Coastal North Carolina. Don is a member of the National Safe Boating Council.  Don is a Past Commander of the South Hills Power Squadron (Pittsburgh),  Past Commander of District 7(Ohio and Western Pennsyvania) and a Past Staff Commander of the Safety Committee.

Shirley Heald
Shirley Heald


 Rear Commander Shirley D. Heald, Advance Pilot, United States Power Squadrons R/C Shirley D. Heald, AP is currently Chair of the USPS National Program Partner Relations Committee.  She has also served on a National Level as Staff Commander of the National Leadership Development Committee and as a Committee Member of the National Safety Committee. Shirley served as District Commander of District 21 in 2009-2010, and as Commander of the Dallas Sail and Power Squadron in 1996-1997. She currently holds the grade of  Advance Pilot and Coastal Navigator in the new USPS on the water certification program. Shirley lives in Dallas, TX where she is a member of and boats with the  Dallas Sail and Power Squadron.  As a sailor, she has chartered and sailed in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Maine, Chesapeake Bay, and the Texas Gulf Coast.  Shirley is currently retired from a long career in sales in the transportation and logistics industry , with Sea-Land and Ryder Transportation Services and enjoys sailing, playing golf, kick boxing, traveling, and playing bridge and Mahjong.


Safety Under Sail Forum: Examining the Impact of Fatigue Beyond Watchstanding

Examining the Impact of Fatigue Beyond Watchstanding

Fatigue is a reduction in efficiency or a developed weakness due to over-exertion.  Aboard ship this can occur not just as a result of the physical demands we place on our bodies and lack of rest, that are a result of 24/7 underway operations,  but can develop when we fail to recognize when we create working environments that don’t promote sustainable lifestyles, be it aboard multi-sail daysail boats, or educational coastal voyages that anchor every night.  This session will provide exercises for small group work for similar program type operators, that will facilitate the identification of fatigue trends and work toward developing strategies for mitigation.

Presented by
Captain Virginia Land McGuire Ed. M, Associate Dean for Financial Aid and Student Services, Associate Professor of Nautical Science, Sea Education Association
Captain Rick Miller, Associate Professor of Marine Transportation, Maine Maritime Academy

Captain Virginia Land McGuire
Captain Virginia Land McGuire

Captain Virginia Land McGuire, Ed M, is the Associate Dean for Financial Aid and Student Services, at Sea Education Association, where she has also served as Associate Professor of Nautical Science since 2000.  She holds a 1600ton Ocean Master’s License for Steam, Motor and Auxiliary Sail Vessels and is a certified Emergency Medical Technician with wilderness designation.  Prior to her appointment to the faculty, she served as Master of a number of Tall Ships including TOLE MORE, LIBERTY CLIPPER and OCEAN STAR. Her professional areas of research include Medical Care in Remote Environments, Meteorology and Teaching and Learning Styles.  She resides on Cape Cod with her family.

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.