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There is a body of independent academic research validating the power and value of sail training in the personal development of young people.

A selection of these studies can be downloaded here.


Skippers’ Beliefs about Young People’s Personal and Social Development through Sail Training – A Dewey and Hahn Informed Perspective

Dewey and Hahn’s educational philosophies and existing literatures on personal and social development (PSD) through outdoor adventure education (OAE) offer several different but overlapping explanations of the process young people undergo to enhance their social skills, promote personal wellbeing, and successfully engage in wider society. Teachers’ beliefs literature, although providing scientific rigour and well-researched empirical […]

Missing the Tide? Workplace Cultural Differences as a Barrier to Seafarer Mobility in the U.S. Workboat and Sail Training Sectors

While previous research details the psychological and social benefits of sail training programs for amateur “trainees,” much less is known about the value and transferability of sail training work experience in terms of professional development for seafaring careers. This article reviews the current state of scientific knowledge on sail training and presents the findings of […]

Marine Citizenship within the International Sail Training Industry

It can be suggested that the marriage between Marine Geography and Experiential Education on board Sail Training Vessels [STVs] laid the foundations for Marine Experiential Education. To support this; focus is brought to the key concepts behind Marine Environmental Education [MEE] with an explanation of its evolution are introduced; including the idea of shared responsibility […]

Fulfilling Careers in the Sail Training Sector: Charting a Course for Professionals and Volunteers – it’s not About the Boat!

Sail training has emerged from the work and leisure sailing traditions as a particular sector focused on ‘training through the sea’, or personal and social development. This paper is focused on those drawn to work in this sector as either volunteer or paid workers. It explores the socio historical context from which sail training emerged […]

Exploring Factors Influencing Outcomes of a Five-Week Youth Expedition in the Himalayas Using the Sail Training Programme Self-Assessment Toolkit

Much evidence to link youth expeditions and gap years with a range of outcome benefits for participants exists, but to date, there have been relatively few insights into what exactly brings about these reported outcomes. A modified version of the Sail Training Voyage Toolkit (2011) was used to evaluate outcomes of a five-week British Exploring […]

Effects of a Tall Ship Sail Training Experience on Adolescents’ Self-Concept

This study investigates the impact of a sail training education programme on the self-concept of a group of 147 adolescents. The Competence and Social domains of Bracken’s self-concept scale were assessed by a quasi-experimental design in three phases: before commencement of the activities, on the last day of the voyage, and three months after completion […]

Does Sail Training have the potential to change a young person’s life or behaviour in life?

It can be suggested that the Sail Training experience is the flagship model for Marine Experiential Education; particularly in relation to Youth Development. For some time it has been suggested by many Sail Training operators that “sail Training is a life changing experience”. However; other providers suggest that the experience can change attitudes and provide […]

A Deweyian Framework for Youth Development in Experiential Education: Perspectives from Sail Training and Sailing Instruction

From the Association for Experiential Education, this piece puts forth a Deweyian framework for youth development activities in outdoor and adventure education programs, and shows how such a framework may be exemplified by activities in sail training and sail­ing instruction. The paper begins with a discussion of the theoretical fea­tures of Deweyian educational experiences and […]

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