Bosun School

Announcing Bosun School in the Summer of 2022

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 

Join us for the next running of this highly valuable, unique offering. Learning at Bosun School is a hands-on experience. Topics will be introduced by lecture or demonstration, followed by extensive opportunities for practice. Often after you've tried it a few times, a second demonstration will follow so you can watch more closely with the background knowledge you've gained by actually practicing the skill yourself. As Captain Moreland likes to say, "practice makes permanent."

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 who have sailed in ships or boats 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.  

Bosun School Session in the Summer of 2022

Spend your summer in the beautiful seaport of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada, sharpening and building your marine skills! 

Bosun School was established and designed for people who already have some ship or boat experience and want to dive deeper into the skills you’ll need aboard a vessel.  Whether you’ve sailed on a tall ship, a tug, a yacht, or any other kind of vessel, Bosun School will help you build your competence and confidence with lots of hands-on practice. 

With the excellent summer weather, we’ll focus on small boat handling, which is an essential skill for any seafarer.  Lunenburg Harbour is a great place to learn and practice in boats under sail, oar and motor.  There’s an active boating community here, schooners everywhere, so you’ll get to know sailors of the local waters too. We have sloops, dories, dugouts, skiffs and a schooner at our disposal.

In this session, we’ll cover a wide variety of topics.  We’ll learn knots, splices and whippings in rope.  We’ll make rope seizings and learn to worm, parcel and serve.  We’ll learn the right way to scrape, sand and paint, and how to manage a paint locker.  We’ll splice wire.  We’ll throw heaving lines and lead lines. We’ll learn about how to caulk decks and boats.  We’ll handle heavy things and learn to work aloft securely and safely. 

The way we’ll learn these things is through a combination of demonstrations and lectures, followed by lots of practice.  Captain Moreland likes to say that practice makes permanent and that in order to truly understand how to do something, you have to do it a lot.  Wax on, wax off.

sewing grommet

This Bosun School session will run from Monday June 27 to Friday August 26, 2022.  We can accommodate late arrivals or early departures to work around school schedules.  The cost for this session is $6,000 Canadian dollars plus tax ($6,900 Canadian dollars total).  Significant scholarship funding is available, please don’t let the cost hold you back. 

Applications are now open.  To apply, please send an email to with your resume (including your sailing/boating experience) along with a cover letter that tells us more about you, your experience, and why you’d like to become a student at Bosun School. 

Both of these sessions of Bosun School will be instructed by Captain Daniel Moreland, captain of the sail training ship Picton Castle and holder of an Unlimited Master in Steam, Motor and Sail license. Captain Moreland has dedicated his working seafaring life to the preservation, enhancement and application of these skills in traditional sailing vessels, and passing them on to the next generation of sailors.

Bosun School Engineering Specialty #NEW#

From July 25 to August 26, 2022, join us in Lunenburg for a very unique specialty session of the Bosun School focused on engineering.  A very limited number of students will be accepted.  Students will learn diesel mechanics and how to commission engines and mechanical equipment that has been laid up for an extended period of time, with plenty of hands-on practice.  Some ship and/or boat and/or engineering experience is required, along with mechanical aptitude.  Please email us at for details.  Full scholarships will be offered to accepted students under age 35. 

Dates and Details

Bosun School is open to anyone who has some sailing or boating experience and wants to expand their skill set, whether that's for use in their own personal vessel or in their career at sea. Make no mistake, Bosun School is a physical, hands-on experience and students must be in good health and capable of participating fully. Students will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (or provide proof of a medical exemption). Applications are welcome from candidates of all nationalities.

Monday June 27, 2022 to Friday August 26, 2022

The fee for the summer 2022 Bosun School is $4,000 Canadian dollars, plus HST (total $4,600 Canadian dollars). The fee includes accommodations, food, instruction and all course materials. Scholarship assistance is available, we encourage you to contact us at for more information. ###UPDATE### All accepted students ages 35 and under are now being offered a full scholarship for this summer's session of Bosun School.

You can apply by sending your CV/resume that includes any sailing/boating experience you have, along with a cover letter that tells us more about you and why you want to join this particular session of the Bosun School to

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.

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