The Officers get a great deal of their training during the Winter Program. Participants in the Winter Program have sailed on at least one summer course. The Program itself consists of training, lectures and work on the ship. Depending on the level of training obtained by the Officer, training includes such things as basic seamanship, first aid, emergency duties, and navigation. Work during the winter program involves the necessary winterizing, de-rigging, and re-rigging of the ship as well as painting, varnishing, and repairs.
The winter program begins in October following the completion of the summer sailing season and continues through to the next summer sailing season. Training and maintenance generally is on Friday evenings and Saturdays.
Participation in the winter program is required for promotion to one of the youth officer positions aboard Playfair. Each participant in the winter program maintains a log book, and trainees that contribute the requisite number of hours in the winter program and have completed the required basic training may be promoted to petty officer. A petty officer will sail on several summer courses, responsible for one of the three watches of trainees. Participants that have sailed for a summer as a petty officer maybe promoted to the wardroom where they are assigned to either Pathfinder or Playfair. Officers include the cook, bosun, three watch officers, and an executive officer or mate. In this capacity they sail the entire summer contributing to the sail training courses offered by TBI.
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.
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.
For more information about the winter program contact us at: email@example.com