Winter Program - Crew

Winter Program

The Brigs Winter Program consists of extensive classroom, training and maintenance activities.

Each participant in the winter program records attendance and training in their personal Sail Training Logbook. On committing the necessary hours and receiving the required endorsements, Winter Program participants are eligible for promotion to Petty Officer and further ranks on board our vessels.

Participation in the Winter Program is by application. Information is sent out to summer program participants in September of each year. 

For any questions about the winter program contact us at: [email protected].




A large part of the winter program involves maintenance of the ship. This includes de-rigging in the fall, winterizing before freeze-up, and reactivation and re-rigging Playfair in the spring. There is also a great deal of painting, varnishing, woodwork, repairs, and modifications to be done to make the boats sea ready for the next season.

Gaining an intimate knowledge of the ship is an important part of preparing for the summer season and the winter program plays a big role in achieving this.



The training provided in the winter program depends on the level of the individual. Trainees learn basic seamanship, principles of sailing, anchoring, and vessel rig and construction. Trainees also learn principles of heavy weather sailing, emergency response and first aid. In addition to the course material covered by trainees, the youth officers learn navigation and the principles of the shipboard systems.



In addition to maintenance and training courses, the winter program offers participants the opportunity to gain sail training experience beyond that of the brigantine.  The overall consequence is that our youth officers learn self discipline and self reliance, leadership and organizational skills, how to work together and take the initiative, and far more about themselves than can be put on these pages.