Work and Teach Aboard the Schooner SoundWaters

Shipboard Employment Opportunities

If you would like to work aboard an 80-foot, three-masted schooner in a fast-paced educational environment, a seasonal position aboard SoundWaters might be right for you. SoundWaters seeks energetic, qualified applicants for all shipboard positions.

Our programs

Floating Classroom

Educator/deckhands work with students to set sails, haul in the trawl net and experience the wonders of Long Island Sound. Most floating classrooms are environmental science-based where students examine first hand the rich diversity of life above and below the sea. Other programs focus on the physical sciences to explain how and why a 32-ton steel boat can float. All programs impart a sense of respect for Long Island Sound’s ecosystems, an awareness of human impact upon them, and a challenge to participants to act to preserve the Sound. Programs offered throughout the sailing season.

In addition to the above programs, SoundWaters sails with adults, community groups, private charters, and groups wanting custom programs. Her sailing season runs from April to November.

The Crew

The SoundWaters crew consists of a Captain, Mate, and 6 educator/deckhands. Each position has different professional and educational criteria, but all share several important qualifications. SoundWaters works with a diverse group of young people from all over the Long Island Sound region. On any given day we might sail with inner city youth who have never seen Long Island Sound; later that day with students from an affluent middle school, followed by an evening sunset sail. Enthusiasm, flexibility and the demonstrated ability to work with all types of groups is critical. Prior experience sailing or teaching in experiential education is recommended. Training in Wilderness EMT, First Responder, Life-guarding and skills such as woodworking or welding are advantageous, but not required.

Living Aboard

SoundWaters makes a comfortable home for her crew of eight. Sleeping arrangements are in the main cabin. The galley and saloon are located in the same compartment. Be prepared to live in close quarters with others and to work together to make life aboard enjoyable. All crew share in cooking and cleaning responsibilities, ship maintenance and other onboard duties. Each crewmember has a bunk and small storage area. Showers, laundry and other facilities are available in all the ports we visit. New York City is only an hour’s train ride from SoundWaters’ home dock. During time off crew often go running or hiking in local parks, bicycling, or explore the local New England towns.


Working aboard SoundWaters offers hands on experiential learning and teaching opportunities. After having worked with a broad range of groups, educators leave SoundWaters with the confidence to address groups anywhere. Past crew have continued on to earn their AB’s, captain’s license or to direct educational programs. Two weeks of intensive training starts out the season. Training covers all aspects of shipboard curricula including: plankton, salt marshes, water quality testing, benthic communities plus instructions in sail theory, sail handling, navigation, fire fighting, safety and more. Crew receives Red Cross First Aid and CPR training. During the season there is in-service training to add to or refine the skills acquired at the beginning of the year.

Application Process

The SoundWaters season begins with an intensive outfitting of the schooner in mid-March. A full crew is in place by the beginning of April. Some of the crew will stay with us straight through the end of the season in November; others will stay for 4-5 months and new crew will be hired.

The application consists of:

  • A completed SoundWaters application form, with supporting documentation (copies of mariner’s documents, licenses, CPR/First Aid/Lifeguard cards, etc.)
  • A cover letter and current resume
  • 2 completed reference forms or letters of recommendation

SoundWaters seeks energetic, qualified applicants without preference to race, color, religion, sexual preference, national origin, gender, age, disability, or veteran status. All people are encouraged to apply.

Click here for job descriptions.

Mail to:

Captain Justin Cathcart  

SoundWaters   1281 Cove Road  Stamford, CT 06902

phone :203-406-3310

fax: 203-967-8306