Traditional sailing

Guild members take part in helm training on Gazela's deck, under her winter cover
Guild members take part in helm training on Gazela’s deck, under her winter cover

The mission of the Guild not only focuses on the preservation of the historic vessels in our charge but also in providing education in traditional maritime sailing to all who wish to learn. Training classes start in the fall for all volunteers who wish to participate.

Students are tested and moved through different skill levels. Each level enables our volunteers to advance their sailing skills and take on greater responsibilities both dockside and when we are sailing. Through this training program we are able to pass on knowledge throughout our ranks. You must be a Ship Guild volunteer to participate in this program.

All Guild classes are listed on the Calendar. Download the Gazela training manual.

There are four levels of instruction for those Guild members who wish to sail on Gazela. Every training level is attained with a combination of classwork, readings, practical evolutions and capped off with written and practical exams.

  • Level 1 – introduction to nomenclature, watch positions, emergency gear location, line handling
  • Level 2 – advanced nomenclature, lines, watchstanding, emergency drills, small boat handling
  • Level 3 – watch leader training, navigation, rigging training
  • Level 4 – master’s mate training

Preservation education

Many participate in the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild to help to preserve the historic beauty of these hundred-year-old vessels. There is great personal satisfaction to be had in restoring and operating these ships. We encourage you to volunteer to work with the crews on the tall ship Gazela and the historic tug Jupiter to learn about preservation techniques by working beside skilled craftsmen. Volunteers share knowledge and teach techniques to new members so that the preservation and maintenance work can be continued.