How Sail Training Transforms Lives
We learn through our experiences and activities. Sail Training offers a unique environment for new and challenging experiences through activities in an environment isolated from the normal day-to-day life, with different people from different walks of life.
- Intense/accelerated — sail training involves crewing a ship, there are no passengers.
- Real—actions are seen as having real consequences with real purpose, the ship can’t function without everyone playing their part.
- Risky—Being in the open ocean far from home, the ship needs to be self sufficient. While there is heavy machinery, the staff are well trained and minimise the risk of harm.
- Different—There are very few if any places on land that match the experience of being at sea.
- Isolated—being totally away from home, without the ability to walk away, builds self-confidence.
- Peak—the intensity of the experience creates vivid memories with a long-lasting impact.
1. Self-knowledge and personal development
Throughout the voyage, participants are set challenging but achievable goals sometimes taking them outside their comfort zone. This can generate a sense of achievement that increases levels of self-confidence and self-esteem. Participants learn about their ability to have control despite challenging weather conditions.
2. Knowledge and learning
During a voyage the crew learn about seamanship, as well as being part of a watch, or smaller team. The watch duties include domestic chores, which may be a first for some participants as well as keeping the ship in a tidy state.
3. Social skills
Being part of a watch means sharing living space, sleeping in the same room and eating meals together—is an intense social experience. Everyone needs to work effectively as a team facing common challenges to keep the ship sailing. Sharing feelings of vulnerability and mutual reliance can result in a stronger sense of belonging, part of a greater whole.
A longer version of this article is available for download here..