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46th Annual Conference on Sail Training and Tall Ships

February 23, 2019 - February 27, 2019

Conference Session Agenda–  Click here for an updated schedule!  For more details on sessions, be sure to visit our blog site here.

Saturday, February 23rd – Workshop: Demystifying the Engine Room- An introduction to Marine Engineering for Tall Ship Sailors, Captain Jonathan Kabak, Doubletree Hilton Hotel

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.  Sunset Sail!  Onboard the Irving and Exy Johnson Brigantines, 6pm-7:30pm (light snacks, drinks will be provided).  Dinner on your own.  *Sail is optional and complimentary.  A sign up sheet will be provided the first day of the conference.

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

For a complete and growing list of speakers, please visit our conference blog – here!  

For a complete, current list of registered attendees click here!  FEB 12 attendee list

Please visit our conference blog here for a growing list of presentations!

Monday, February 25, 2019 Forums – 

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

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

THE SAFETY UNDER SAIL FORUM expands the dialogue among professional mariners by presenting case studies of actual incidents at sea, discussing emerging technologies, and sharing “best practices” so as to constantly insure a high level of safety and professionalism in the sail training industry.

THE ADMINISTRATOR’S FORUM is designed to address organizational sustainability. The forum covers a wide variety of topics including: organizational management strategies, establishing successful partnerships with communities and other like-minded organizations, marketing, fundraising, development and more. The Administrators Forum is for those responsible for the marketing, development, sustainability and community outreach of their organization.

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.


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



PLEASE NOTE –  THIS HOTEL IS NOW SOLD OUT.  If you still need to make reservations, we recommend the Crowne Plaza, in downtown San Pedro.




Planning to extend your stay or want to know what’s around?  Click here for some great information.

Check out the SS Lane Victory!  You will be stepping back in time when you board her for our Monday evening reception!

Many thanks to the Los Angeles Maritime Institute for hosting a sunset sail for our attendees on Tuesday evening.  What a treat!  Check out the ships and their amazing programs they conduct onboard in the Port of Los Angeles.

The Whale & Ale is a great local pub that will be hosting a local Chantey Sing on Tuesday evening!

Best ways to and from the Los Angeles Airport will be standard shuttle services to San Pedro or a ride share service.

While in San Pedro, we will be utilizing the hotel complimentary shuttle service, which can take you anywhere around town.   This service is on a need to go basis and can be arranged throughout your stay.  You can learn more at our registration desk and at the hotel concierge.   We will have these shuttles dedicated for our Monday Evening reception to take you to the SS Lane Victory.   The other main way, is Uber/Lyft.   A round trip into downtown will run you about 6 dollars.

The harbor is a nice walk and several small restaurants are scattered around the marina.  If you are here over the weekend, you can visit CRAFTED, which is a great weekend  local artisan market (11am-6pm, Friday- Sunday) on the far side of the marina.

We will also have a dedicated conference vehicle to assist in transportation as well.  Please visit us at the registration desk if you need assistance anywhere!

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

Sunday: Hotel welcome reception

Monday: Forums and NMEA summit sessions
Monday evening: 2019 TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Host Ports reception
Tuesday/Wednesday: Conference sessions and annual meetings, Evening sunset sail (Tuesday – optional)
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, sunset sail
Includes: breakfast, coffee breaks & lunch
Wednesday evening Gala Awards Dinner and all meeting materials

Member: 3 Day – $595,     2 Day – $550
Non Member: 3 Day – $695,   2 Day – $650

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.


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!   


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