46th Annual Conference on Sail Training and Tall Ships

February 23, 2019 - February 27, 2019

Raising our Sails, Raising a Workforce…

46th Annual Conference on Sail Training and Tall Ships
San Pedro, California – February 25th-27th, 2019

Tall Ships America’s Conference on Sail Training and Tall Ships is held annually and known for its high “take away value” in the industry, networking opportunities and camaraderie.  During the conference hundreds of ships’ masters, crew members, program administrators, educators, environmentalists, port representatives, festival managers and more gather for an information-packed three day conference.  Topics include vessel operations, regulatory issues, coast guard licensing, general administration and staff management, educational programming, and safety at sea, as well as media relations, marketing, funding, communications, and port event organization.  We will also be highlighting our impact and inclusion in the ocean science and environmental communities.

This year the conference will take place at the Doubletree Hilton Hotel, Via Cabrillo Marina, San Pedro, California.  The three-day conference will include the Safety Under Sail Forum, Administrators Forum, Port Forum and new this year a summit on ocean literacy and marine programming in collaboration with the National Marine Educators Association.

Holding our conference within the Port of Los Angeles emphasizes this year’s theme –how individual organizations and the sail training community at large can support the greater maritime industry’s workforce development needs, while continuing to offer meaningful and life changing experiences under sail.

Register Now!   Registration fees will increase after December 5th

More details coming soon!

Saturday, February 23rd – Workshop: Demystifying the Engine Room- An introduction to Marine Engineering for Tall Ship Sailors, Captain Jonathan Kabak, location and times TBD

Sunday, February 24th – Workshop: Riddle of the Strands – The Liverpool Eye Splice Revealed, Captain Jamie White, to take place at Los Angeles Maritime Institute facility, time TBD.  Conference check-in, evening welcome reception at hotel (hors d’oeuvres and drinks)

Monday, February 25th – FORUM DAY, morning welcome plenary, 2019 TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Host Ports evening reception onboard the SS Lane Victory (hors d’oeuvres and drinks)

Tuesday, February 26th – Day 1 of Full Conference sessions: Morning welcome breakfast and keynote speaker, lunch included.  Dinner on your own.

Wednesday, February 27th – Day 2 of Full Conference sessions: breakfast, lunch included.  Gala Awards Dinner.

Want to become a speaker?   Check out our 2019 TSA Call for Presenters!

Speakers soon to be announced!   You can still check out the guidelines and submit.

Check back here for full session details in the near future!

Forum:  Summit on ‘Ocean Literacy Under Sail: Lifelong learning for all…’

Monday, February 25, 2019
Join us as we connect the sail training experience on tall ships with the ocean, science and education. Throughout the day, we’ll be building on the international movement for Ocean Literacy leading up to the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030). This summit is for sail trainers, educators, employers and youth to learn and apply the Ocean Literacy Principles to life at sea and beyond. The summit continues throughout the conference, when we’ll be interacting with diverse programs in science, education, work and lifeforce opportunities related to ocean stewardship and sustainability.

In the morning, participants will delve into the Ocean Literacy 7 Principles, their history, and latest international, multi-lingual resources; and explore how this knowledge benefits sail trainers and students, and can be integrated into shipboard program and activities, especially related to ‘STEAMing’ under sail. We’ll then discuss how we- sail trainers, youth, educators and communities– can make informed and responsible decisions toward a sustainable future.

After lunch, we’ll spend the afternoon at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. We’ll start by exploring Southern California habitats such as salt marsh and sandy beach habitats through a “walk Cabrillo tour” that begins at the Doubletree Hotel and ends at the aquarium. Then, we’ll discuss topics such as plastic pollution, plankton, invasive species, and other themes that connect shore based schools with ‘Adventure and Education under Sail’. and, finally, share with other informal educators in order to identify commonalities, beyond content, that connect shore based and sea based educators, all as ‘ocean ambassadors’.

Participants will leave the summit with a deeper understanding of the definition of an ocean-literate person – one who understands the ocean’s influence on us all and our influence on the ocean- that they can bring alive with their own team and beyond…

When you register – let us know if you will be attending this forum on Monday

Saturday, February 23rd –  Demystifying the Engine Room- An introduction to Marine Engineering for Tall Ship Sailors

Led by Captain Jonathan Kabak

This one day workshop will introduce three key areas of marine engineering to attendees:  Propulsion Mechanics, Electrical, and Plumbing Systems, with the goal that participants will emerge with a greater understanding of the relationship between the three and an ability to complete basic trouble shooting.

Topics will include:

Propulsion Mechanics

Diesel Engines  —  Outboard Engines — Transmissions — Propeller

Electrical Systems

Basic Electrical Theory —Direct Current (DC) Systems —Battery Types and Battery Charging —Alternating Current (AC) Systems Electrolysis


Saltwater Systems — Freshwater Systems —Pumps —Hydraulics

Captain Jonathan Kabak is the Director of Marine Operations for the USMMA Sailing Foundation, which operates and maintains a fleet of over sixty vessels ranging from high performance race boats to luxury motor yachts. He is responsible for vessel surveys, planning and implementing major maintenance periods as well as regular upkeep of the fleet. In addition to his USCG Master’s License, Jonathan is an American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) certified Marine Electronics Technician and has completed the National Marine Manufacturers Association Basic Installer Training.

Sunday, February 24th – The Riddle of the Strands – the Liverpool Eye Splice Revealed

Led by Captain and Master Rigger Jamie White

“Every finger a marlinspike, every hair a rope yarn and blood of Stockholm Tar!” is the traditional description of the ship’s bosun. In this workshop, master rigger Jamie White will lead you through the mysteries of the Liverpool Wire Splice. This is a handy skill for any sailor, and a must for any bosun, with more applications than you might think. Good for standing rigging, stropped blocks, and running rigging gear, to name a few. Seemingly mysterious and yet amazingly simple once you know the tricks, this is a hands-on chance to wire splice with a master rigger who has taught wire splicing from Scotland to Australia.

Learn the basic principles and practical hands-on techniques in turning in a Liverpool wire rope eye splice in a rigging vise, machinist vise, or in your hand when a vise is not available.

Wire rope splicing is a maritime craft rich in tradition and functional beauty that can be intimidating and mysterious to the novice. Jamie will help to take the mystery out of the Liverpool splice with hands-on instruction.

Captain and master rigger Jamie White began working in the traditional rigging and square-rig sail training industry in 1982. He has sailed over 30,000 miles as bosun, mate, or master on many square-rigged & traditional vessels including: HMAV Bounty, the three-masted barque Elissa, topsail schooner Californian, galleon Golden Hinde, barque Star of India, brig Pilgrim, schooner Adventuress, 3 masted split-topsail schooner Jacqueline, square-topsail ketch Hawaiian Chieftain, brig Lady Washington, schooner Atlantis, and the brigantine Soren Larsen. He served as Chief/Master Rigger on the three-masted barque Glenlee, the four-masted barque Moshulu, the three-masted ship Balclutha, and the three-masted schooner C.A. Thayer. Captain White has served as a rigging consultant on the four-masted ship Falls of Clyde, the three-masted ship Discovery, and the three-masted barque Polly Woodside. Most recently he spent much of 2016 supervising and directing the $3.5 million rigging restoration of the largest wrought iron commercial sailing ship in the world, the full rigged ship Wavertree, launched 1885. Jamie crossed the Equator three times under square-rig and had the good fortune of working on several Hollywood movies as a consultant, sailor, or rigger, including two Pirates of the Caribbean films among others.



Click this document for more guideline information  – 2019 TSA call for presenters

If you would like to be considered please fill out the form below or email your submission to manager@tallshipsamerica.org

  • If applicable, please enter your affiliated organization, school, business or other
  • Drop files here or
    Please submit a 500 word (or less) summary of your presentation idea that includes your objectives, the intended audience, and the “take-away” value for the audience. We encourage proposals that address the conference theme, but this is not required. Your submission must include the following: 1. A working title 2. A concise paragraph of 150 words or less describing your proposed session, to be printed in the conference program. (Tall Ships America reserves the right to edit submissions.) 3. The format you envision (panel, individual presenter, co-presenters or interactive workshop) 4. Your name, contact information (email and phone number) and that of any co-presenters. 5. A brief biography (150 words or less) for each presenter. Photo preferred with biography. 6. Special requests regarding room set-up. 7. Any audio-visual requirements in addition to the standard room set-up mentioned above.

Doubletree Hilton – Port of Los Angeles

This San Pedro hotel is located just minutes from the Port of Los Angeles, a leader in International trade and home of the World Cruise Center. Exquisite dining, museums and historical attractions, the craft marketplace, and beautiful marinas and beaches are just a few miles from our San Pedro hotel. Nestled between picturesque Cabrillo Marina and peaceful Cabrillo Beach, the Doubletree San Pedro-Port of Los Angeles hotel is central to many attractions in the San Pedro and Long Beach areas.

• Situated on the Port of Los Angeles near the World Cruise Center
• 2 blocks from Cabrillo Aquarium and family-friendly Cabrillo Beach
• Large heated outdoor pool and whirlpool
• Spacious guest rooms with private balconies and marina views



A block of rooms has been set aside for REGISTERED conference attendees at the special group rate of $149 for double rooms.  Triple and Quad rooms are also available for $159 and $169.  Hotel room rates are subject to applicable state and local taxes.   CLICK HERE FOR RESERVATIONS. 

For Hilton booking questions please email direct –  Ms. Randa Soliman, Reservations Manager at randa.soliman@hilton.com

The block is for Thursday, February 21st through Friday, March 2nd. Rates will be offered on a space-available basis.

Reservations by attendees must be received on or before, Friday, February 1, 2019 after which time we cannot guarantee the special rate and/or availability.

All sleeping rooms shall be subject to an Early Departure Fee of $50.00, in lieu of any non-actual room nights, plus applicable fees, taxes and assessments.

Should the block of rooms fill in advance of the release date, Tall Ships America will make every effort to block additional rooms at the above rate, however that may not be possible – our advice is to register early for the conference so that you may reserve your room well in advance.

The DoubleTree by Hilton San Pedro is proud to be 100% Smoke Free Hotel. Non Smoking areas include all Guest rooms, public space including outside patios and courtyards.

Planning to extend your stay or want to know what’s around?  Click here for some great information.   We will add more information about some of our event locations coming soon!


Full Conference and Forum, Feb. 24/25/26/27

Monday: Forums and NMEA summit sessions
Monday evening: 2019 TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Host Ports reception
Tuesday/Wednesday: Conference sessions and annual meetings
Includes pre-conference Evening Welcome reception scheduled for Sunday, February 24th, breakfast, coffee breaks & lunch (25/26/27),
Wednesday evening Gala Awards Dinner, and all meeting materials

2-Day: Conference, Feb.  26/27
Tuesday/Wednesday: Conference sessions and annual meetings
Includes: breakfast, coffee breaks & lunch
Wednesday evening Gala Awards Dinner and all meeting materials

Member: 3 Day – $495,     2 Day – $450
Non Member: 3 Day – $595,   2 Day – $550

Cancellation Policy: All cancellations must be in writing. Email is acceptable. Substitutions are accepted at any time, but must also be in writing. Cancellations will be refunded up until 5PM EST January 21st, 2019, minus a $50 cancellation fee. After January 21st, 2019 no refunds will be issued.

Registration fees will increase after December 5th


Call for Award nominations!

December 14th deadline

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:

Lifetime Achievement: Awarded to an individual who has dedicated his/her life’s work to getting people to sea under sail and who has worked to preserve the traditions and skills of sail training.

2018 Sail Trainer of the Year: Awarded to a member of Tall Ships America who has made a significant contribution to sail training through the demonstration of leadership by means of empowerment and inspiration.

2018 Sail Training Program of the Year: Awarded to a current member program that significantly contributes to the development of seamanship, navigation skills, teamwork, and leadership skills.  The program must be offered aboard a USCG (or national equivalent) inspected vessel, must be offered by certified/qualified personnel, must have clear training goals and a curriculum which is compatible to the Tall Ships America sail training logbook and must offer students the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge at sea by participating as active trainees in the running of the vessel.

2018 Sea Education Program of the Year: Awarded to a program offered by a current member of Tall Ships America which has significantly contributed to the educational credibility of programs under sail.  The program must be offered in conjunction with a school, school system, school group or other recognized educational institution, must have a clear curriculum of educational goals which are compatible with curriculum goals of traditional schools and must have qualified instructors on a certified vessel.

2018 Volunteer of the Year: Awarded to an individual member of Tall Ships America who has significantly advanced our overall mission.

2018 Young Sail Trainer Award:  Awarded to a dedicated and passionate trainee and/or crew member under the age of 25.

2018 Leadership Award:

Please describe in letter format (approx. 500 words) how the individual or organization meets the award criteria and why you feel they should receive the award for which you are nominating them. Additional information can be attached to support your nomination if appropriate (e.g. brochure about organization, additional references, supporting letters or emails etc.)

  1. All members in good standing are eligible to nominate candidates for the 2019 Sail Training Awards.
  2. Nominees must be current members of Tall Ships America.
  3. Members are permitted to nominate their own organizations/programs.
  4. With the exception of Lifetime Achievement Award, individuals/ organizations/ programs can be nominated even if they have received the award in prior years.

Please email your nominations and supporting documents to: tracy@tallshipsamerica.org

or mail to:

Tall Ships America
Attn: Tracy Kirby, Director of Communications
PO Box 1459
Newport, RI 02842

All nominations must be received no later than December 14th, 2018.

Tall Ships America will once again provide low cost conference registration fees to crew through Professional Development Crew Grants funded through the Liz Strojny Memorial Fund. The grants are for the full 3-day Conference including Safety Under Sail Forum or Educators and Administrators Forum, and will reduce the registration fee from $495 to $100. (Travel and accommodations are not included).  Grants are very limited!

To be eligible for this Professional Development Conference Grant candidates must:

  • Be a Tall Ships America Associate Level or Crew Level member in good standing. (Not a member? Become one now!)
  • Demonstrate that you have sailed as a student trainee, 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 6 weeks within past 24 months.

Applications should be submitted by email or fax as a written request to: tracy@tallshipsamerica.org  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.


February 23, 2019
February 27, 2019


Tall Ships America


Doubletree Hilton – Port of Los Angeles
2800 Via Cabrillo Marina
San Pedro, CA 90731 United States
(310) 514-3344


Unlimited available
Member - 3 Day$495.003 Day registration includes: Hotel Welcome reception Sunday evening, Forum day, 2019 TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Host Ports reception, and all conference sessions, breakfast, lunches and Gala Awards dinner.

Please fill in all required fields

Unlimited available
Member - 2 Day$450.002 Day registration includes: Tuesday and Wednesday conference sessions, breakfast, lunches and Gala Awards dinner.

Please fill in all required fields

Unlimited available
Non-Member - 3 Day$595.003 Day registration includes: Hotel Welcome reception Sunday evening, Forum day, 2019 TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Host Ports reception, and all conference sessions, breakfast, lunches and Gala Awards dinner. For Membership information please contact office for immediate service or go to www.tallshipsamerica.org to review membership information

Please fill in all required fields

Unlimited available
Non-Member - 2 Day$550.002 Day registration includes: Tuesday and Wednesday conference sessions, breakfast, lunches and Gala Awards dinner. For Membership information please contact office for immediate service or go to www.tallshipsamerica.org to review membership information

Please fill in all required fields

Unlimited available
Guest - Gala Awards Dinner, Wed. February 27$100.00Allows one guest to attend Wednesday's Gala Awards Dinner only

Please fill in all required fields

Unlimited available
February 23 Workshop$50.00Demystifying the Engine Room- An introduction to Marine Engineering for Tall Ship Sailors. An all day event, Location TBD. Led by Captain Jonathan Kabak

Please fill in all required fields

Unlimited available
February 24 Workshop$50.00Sunday Workshop - Riddle of the Strands - The Liverpool Eye Splice Revealed led by Captain and Master Rigger Jamie White. Location: Los Angeles Maritime Institute, time tbd.

Please fill in all required fields

Unlimited available
Saturday and Sunday Workshops$75.00Special rate if both workshops are purchased.

Please fill in all required fields