Bosun School

Full Scholarships Now Available For Every Accepted Student

There is nothing better than real sea time under sail to gain experience and the skills of a mariner. But sometimes on these hard working ships there is little time to focus on particular advanced skills, such as wire work and sailmaking. And rarely does the opportunity roll around to actually help rig a ship from the keel up or lay a sail out with a professional sailmaker.

Advance your Skills without the Distractions of the Sea

The purpose of the Picton Castle’s Bosun School is to provide an opportunity to young dedicated mariners to advance their skills in a concentrated fashion without the natural demands and distractions of being underway at sea. Conducted by Captain Daniel Moreland and special guest instructors, the Bosun School allows you to significantly advance your skill level. Once signed aboard your next ship you will have that much more to offer and will be a greater contributor to helping the ship on her mission – which is, after all, what being crew is all about.

Build Skills and Tools 

bosuns chairJoin us for the next running of this highly valuable, unique offering. This particular session of the Bosun School will focus on small boat handling under sail, power and oar; sailing boats of various rigs including a small schooner; sail theory and practice; rigging; sending yards down and crossing yards the safe, efficient and traditional way without using a crane; advanced rope-work; wire seizings; wire splicing; basic sailmaking and sail repair; worming, parceling and serving; wooden boat repair; first-class varnish work; tar and oil mixtures; proper bosun chair work, engine room skills and more!

Dip your arms in Stockholm Tar, learn tons, have fun, become well acquainted with the excellent seaport of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, and meet marine artisans and craftspeople with generations of ship work behind them. When you join your next vessel, you’ll take with you an enriched set of skills and actual tools you made yourself.

Enrollment is limited

This program is designed for people with previous experience in traditional vessels or who have sailed in ships and vessels of some kind as either a student, trainee or crew member.  Students should arrive with some knowledge of what it means to be part of the team that sails a vessel.  

The lessons you learn at Bosun School will provide skills you can carry forward with you to your own boat or as crew on any vessel.  

Announcing Bosun School Summer 2021

We are pleased to announce that we are setting up for Bosun School for this coming summer of 2021 here in Lunenburg Harbour, at our wharf and warehouse at the east end of Bluenose Drive and Lunenburg’s working waterfront. All who sign up will get a chance to acquire and hone heaps of ship and boat skills and much else besides. 

This is a skills enrichment program for anyone who wants to get better at sailing ships, boats, yachts, working vessels and more.

Rigging skills such as rope and wire splicing, knots and seizings, sending up yards and topmasts, caulking ships and boats, coatings, mooring a ship, mooring a boat, anchoring theory, blocks, tackles, launching and retrieving small boats, prepping and launching small craft followed by lots and lots of small boat handling and sailing (oars, sail and power) in beautiful Lunenburg Harbour, Wednesday afternoon races with a small fleet of local enthusiasts, sailmaking, bending and handling sails, introduction to diesel machinery and engine room systems for those with keen interest. Meet area schooner and yacht owners and get the chance to crew in area pleasure craft and workboats.

This is some serious “messing about in boats”.

This Bosun School will be set up within the public health requirements in place in Canada and in the province of Nova Scotia. We will follow all recommended guidelines and restrictions designed to keep us all healthy.

- Captain Daniel Moreland

Dates and Details

sewing grommetThe next session of the Bosun School will run from July 14 to September 29, 2021, at Picton Castle's home base in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada.  Full scholarships will be offered to all accepted trainees. 

Applications are now being accepted from sailors of all nationalities, but current pandemic travel restrictions may prevent those from outside of Canada from attending.  For those requiring a visa to enter Canada, only a temporary resident visa is required, not a student visa.  We anticipate that COVID-19 regulations will require anyone coming from outside of Nova Scotia to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in our province, and this self-isolation will have to be done before arriving at Bosun School. 

In order to apply, please send your CV and a letter to that tells us more about you, your seagoing experience and your motivation for wanting to become a Bosun School student.  For more information on the School, please call us at +1 902 634 9984 or send us an email.    

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