Brigantine, Inc. is a volunteer-led charity which owns and operates the Sail Training Vessel St. Lawrence II out of Kingston and Bath, Ontario, Canada. Located on Lake Ontario, we provide a traditional, liveaboard sail training program for teenagers 13-18 aboard our square-rigged brigantine. No previous sailing experience is necessary and the program's vision is ro assist teenagers to empower themselves through accepting responsibility, working as a team, learning significant skills, and shared adventure. We were the first program of the kind in North America, and our 35 ton, 60-foot vessel was expressly designed for youth sail training. Over 20,000 alumni have crossed her deck and many have gone on to successful careers in marine industries.
Each summer the ship and crew voyage to different destinations -- in the past we have visited New York, Boston, Chicago, Halifax, Quebec City and Montreal, among others. Summer trainees who are keen and commit to further training and volunteer activities can be promoted to Petty Officers, who sail free. If they continue through the program, Brigantine, Inc. will facilitate licensing exams and training, and promote successful candidates to Watch Officers, who receive annual honorariums.
The ship is officered by a professional Captain, Mate and Bosun who are licensed under strict Transport Canada regulations for passenger and Sail Training Vessels. The ship is equipped with modern safety and navigation equipment including watertight bulkheads, radar and GPS, with sufficient emergency liferaft and lifeboat capability for double her crew capacity of 28.
The trainees are typically supervised by experienced officers and petty officers in a ratio of approximately 3 trainees for each summer trainee. The vessel has a spotless safety record over the 60 years since she was launched in 1953.
Typically the ship will sail during the day and anchor overnight in a place that allows interesting excursions or swimming off the boat.