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The Bosun School

The Bosun School, Picton Castle’s shore-side marine technical skills development program, is quickly approaching. Starting September 1, young mariners will come to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia to advance their professional development by learning skills that are often difficult to master while at sea carrying out programs. An irony in modern sail training and sea education programs today is that it is often difficult to find the time at sea to learn those very skills that help us do our jobs better. During the course of this three-month School, students will learn and practice advanced techniques in rigging, carpentry, sailmaking and general deck and rig maintenance.

Designed for young sailors of traditional vessels who have some experience at sea, this program will build on the skills you already possess. It can be challenging, at sea, to see a project from start to finish, learning all of the required steps along the way. By removing the constant distraction of keeping the ship sailing, you will be free to focus on the task at hand. Skills will be taught by experienced instructors, then you will have ample practice time to put those skills into action.

The curriculum will include the following: fibre rope splices and seizings; parceling and serving; ratlines; running rigging; tackles; blocks; wire splices and seizings; large hawser splicing; handling heavy gear on deck and aloft; setting up, surveying, maintaining and repairing standing and running rigging; rigs and rigging theory; bosun chair work; coatings and mixtures; ship handling theory and techniques; introduction to carpentry; small boat building techniques; fiberglass and epoxy repairs; sail design and construction; patching sails; laying out and cutting new sails; hand seaming and machine seaming; tabling and grommets; reef bands; roping; cringles; welding; damage control; marine outboard engines; capstan and windlass mechanics; deck bilge pumps; marine heads; small boat handling, including boats under sail, oar and motor; plus any other interests of students enrolled in the School.

The Bosun School will be led by experienced seafarers with specialized skills in the areas they are teaching. Some are senior crew members of the Picton Castle, some are marine tradespeople from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, an area well-known for its shipwrights and other skilled craftsmen. Captain Dan Moreland will oversee the program.

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia is the setting for the School. A small port town rich in seafaring heritage, Lunenburg is the ideal place to explore and practice a variety of skills. From a daysail on the famous schooner Bluenose II to weekly small boat races, from studying small boat construction at the renowned Dory Shop to apprenticing with local sailmakers, there will be plenty of opportunities for hands-on application of the skills learned in the School.

Advancing your skills will make you a more valuable crew member on board any vessel. The Bosun School will give you an opportunity to add technical skills and proficiencies to your resume or CV, which will open doors to future employment. Each student will be given a certificate at the end of the School, along with an evaluation of your skills.

The Bosun School can help you take the next step in your development as a seafarer. For more information, click here  or contact our Lunenburg office.

Meredith helps Jason with whipping
Ollie and Dave splice wire
Rebecca repairs a sail
Roping a sail
sending down the main royal yard

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