Volunteer Crew

The Sultana Education Foundation offers a select number of opportunities to serve as volunteer crew onboard our flagship SULTANA, a replica of a 1768 Royal Navy schooner.   Volunteers learn the skills of 18th century seafaring as you help to operate the schooner, and to teach students of all ages about the history and environment of the Chesapeake Bay.   While previous boating experience is not an absolute requirement, volunteers must be comfortable on boats and be prepared for the rigorous physical challenges of working on an 18th century schooner.

Quick Facts

Program Manager: Captain Michael Fiorentino
Total Program Volunteers: 10
Volunteer Program Season: Late March – October
Required Minimum Annual Volunteer Days: 6

2017 Mandatory Spring Training Dates (must attend all three days)

March 29, 30 & 31 / 8:00-5:00pm each day

2017 Mandatory Fall Refresher Training

September 6 / 8:00-5:00pm

Additional Information

Initial/Annual Training: Individuals interested in becoming SULTANA Volunteer Crew must successfully complete a mandatory three-day training course held annually each March.   Working alongside the schooner’s professional crew, this course will introduce participants to the operation of the schooner SULTANA, focusing particularly on docking and sail handling. The goal of this course is to train participants to a level of proficiency where they can fulfill the basic boat-handling responsibilities of a professional SULTANA crew-member and meet the legal U.S. Coast Guard requirements to serve as crew on the vessel.   This training is an annual requirement to continue in the Sultana Volunteer Crew program.

Refresher Training: In addition to initial, annual spring training, SULTANA Volunteer Crew are required to participate in a refresher-training day each September.

Minimum Time Requirement: After completing initial training in the spring, each volunteer is expected to volunteer on at least six separate days during SULTANA’s operating season (March – October) in order to continue in the program.

Drug Testing Requirements: SULTANA Volunteer Crew must agree to submit to an initial drug screening test as well as participate in an ongoing, random drug-screening program.   This is a requirement of the USCG for all legal crew onboard the vessel.

Physical Requirements: Volunteering on SULTANA can be rigorous work. Prospective volunteers should be able to lift 30 pounds, tread water for 5 minutes, and swim at least 100 yards. Prospective volunteers must also be comfortable standing for long periods in the outdoors/sun. SULTANA generally operates rain or shine, so volunteers must be willing to serve even in suboptimal weather.

Special Sailing Opportunities: In addition to serving as volunteer crew for educational programs and public sails, certified SULTANA Volunteer Crew in good standing are eligible to participate in special non-public sails during the season including port-to-port transits.

Initial Fees: Volunteers accepted into this program are required to pay an initial fee of $200 to cover the costs of an initial drug test and a volunteer crew uniform (includes shirt and Patagonia fleece). The drug-testing fee is a one-time fee for volunteers who remain in the program, fulfill their minimum time requirements, and continue to participate in the random drug testing program. Volunteers will be expected to purchase new uniform items as needed.

Application to the Program: If you are interested in serving as SULTANA Volunteer Crew you are encouraged to fill out a Volunteer Application.   Once your application is received, your name will be added to a list of future prospective volunteers. Because the schooner SULTANA and her Captain travel regularly during the operating season (April through October), interviews for new volunteers are generally conducted in January and February.