The initial Outward Bound courses, conducted at Aberdovey, Wales, were run
in conjunction with the Blue Funnel Shipping Line, and the courses were
largely for young merchant seaman, and took place mostly aboard the
Garibaldi, a tall ship.
To this day, several Outward Bound schools have a strong sea and sailing
theme. The Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, for example, uses
cutters (or pull boats), for example.
There are also Hahn-inspired sail training organizations, such as the
International Challenge of
Seamanship, which involves building and sailing 18th-century style gigs,
yoles and longboats.
A typical mission of sail training schemes today is that of the Sail
Training Ship Leeuwin:
"To challenge and inspire the education and
development of our youth and wider community in terms of leadership, team
skills, community spirit and environmental awareness"
Sail training research studies
Here's are some brief overviews of sail training research studies:
doctoral thesis examined the effects of the Semester at Sea program on
students' moral development; results showed minimal change. The
Semester at Sea program is conducted aboard a powered ship, rather than a
sail training ship, and focuses on university-level studies and cultural
engagement with various countries visited.
the early and mid-1990's, three studies of the effects of two sail training
vessels in Australia were conducted (the
Young Endeavour Youth Scheme and the
Training Scheme Leeuwin), with the assistance of Outward Bound Australia
(Neill & Richards, 1994a,
Neill & Seidel, 1992).
Overall, the results were positive, however there were some notable
differences between the life effectiveness outcomes of the two tall ship
training schemes, with one producing results approximately twice as strong as
- A 4th
year honours thesis by Crane, supervised by John Hattie, was later published
in the Australian Journal of Psychology (Crane,
Hattie, & Houghton, 1997). The study examined the effects of a sail training
program on long-term unemployed people's goal setting, and found that those
who set more goals at the start of the program tended to benefit more
through the program. The study also found that goal setting skills
improved as a result of the program, and participants had more clear and a
greater number of goals through the sail training program.
was a doctoral thesis about ocean cruising through Murdoch University, Western Australia, on sail
training ~mid-1980s. I haven't been able to track it down.
- Joanne Finkelstein, Susan Goodwin, Naomi
Berman, and Margaret Powell conducted a
sociological study of the development of social capital through Young Endeavour Sail Training Scheme
voyages, titled "Sailing into the Future: Training Australia's digital
generation for the future demands of the new economy". The study
was funded by an
Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant (2002-2004). The study
used telephone interviews with past participants and ethnographic
observations on a voyage. The findings were supportive of the claim that
YEYS programs enhance the social fabric of young people's lives, but also
made suggestions for improvement (Berman,
Finkelstein, & Powell, 2005; Billson, 2006; Finkelstein,
Sail training research in progress
- Pete Allison & Ken McCulloch will be giving a 30 minute presentation
on "International study of sail training experiences" at the forum to be
held at Trinity College, University of Wales, on Wed 14 March, 2007
- Andrew Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Greg Tonnison (from
STS Leeuwin) are currently writing a paper on program design aspects of sail training programs.
- Chris Biggins
(email@example.com) is doing an MBA, focusing on sail training as
an aspect of Outdoor Development Training. Chris is from the UK
and has been conducting sail training programs for 20 years in Oman.
- Neill (in progress) is reporting life
effectiveness outcome data about Outward Bound Australia's combined
sea/land programs, which used a tall ship, the Challenge of Outward
Berman, M., Finkelstein, J., & Powell, M.
ships and social capital: A study of their interconnections.
International Journal of the Humanities, 2(2).
Billson, B. (2006).
New study confirms social benefits of Young Endeavour Youth Scheme.
August 30, Defence Direct.
Finkelstein, J. (2005). Final report on
ARC Linkage research project 2002-2005 between Young Endeavour Youth Scheme
and the University of Sydney. Sydney: University of Sydney.
Gordon, S., Harcourt-Smith, K., Hay, K., & Priest, S. (c.1995). Case study
of 'Blue Watch' on STS [Sail Training Ship] Leeuwin. The Journal of
Adventure Education and Outdoor Leadership, 13(1), 4-8.
McCulloch, K. (2002). Four days before the
mast: A study of sail training in the UK. Unpublished doctoral
dissertation, University of Edinburgh, UK.
Norris, R. M., & Weinman, J. A. (1996). Psychological change following a
long sail training voyage. Personality & Individual Differences,
Redmond, C. S. (2001).
Diversity in sail training programs: The effect of captains' and directors'
racial identity attitude stages. Unpublished honors paper.
Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA.