Job Application - Northwest Maritime Center

Job Posting OPEN

Longboat and Keelboat Captain - Spring & Summer (SEASONAL)

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This seasonal position (early April to August) is made for you if you love working with students exploring the ways of the sea through activities like tying knots, geeking out on points of sail, and elucidating on the finer points of rowing enlightenment. As the Longboat and Keelboat Captain, you’ll work with elementary, middle, and high school students and adults. In the Spring seasons, you will provide leadership and instruction for on-water and on-land school programs, covering maritime skills training and team-building opportunities. Then you’ll spend your summer teaching adult sailing classes on keelboats, getting paid to sail during the best weather of the year.


We love working with team members who:

  • have a proactive work ethic– willing to jump in and help in any aspect of programming when necessary.
  • love to create a fun, inclusive and safe atmosphere for learning.
  • work well both individually and as a team member, as well as independently with small groups of students.
  • communicate clearly, work collaboratively, and are flexible in dynamic situations.



  • Teach maritime skills on water and on land in a hands-on and engaging way to elementary, middle, and high school students, and adults
  • Work collaboratively with the Education Program Managers, students, and other instructors in delivering a high-quality maritime learning experience
  • Accountable for inventory and proper usage of all NWMC gear
  • Complete required documentation, reporting and paperwork in a timely manner
  • Work with the Programs Operations Coordinator to support logistics and maintenance needs of the program gear and boats as needed
  • Follow all Safety and Risk Management Protocols
  • Other duties as assigned



The Longboat and Keelboat Captain (Captain) is a role model for program participants and seasonal staff and is expected through clear communication and leadership to foster safety, teamwork, inclusion, and superior experiential learning opportunities. We strive to meet the needs of and serve all learners including youth-at-risk, special needs learners, and other underserved populations. The Captain is responsible for the vessel and equipment, and the people on board. In this role you will provide maritime skills training, team-building opportunities, and both on-land and on-water instruction. Programs take place aboard 26-foot historic longboats, and other small boats as well as at the NWMC facility.



The Captain is responsible for teaching US Sailing Certified Basic Keelboat courses to adults. The Learn to Sail program is a key part of our summer programming. We teach up to 4 students per class on board our 2 keelboats (Cal 20 and Cal 25). Each student graduates with a US Sailing membership, a logbook, and a certification. Adult Instructors are expected to be strong leaders, good listeners to the needs of the adult students, and outstanding role model for the participants.



While this position’s primary responsibility is in maritime instruction, the Longboat and Keelboat Captain will work as part of the NWMC team to ensure smooth operations for the organization as a whole. This could include providing information to visitors to the Maritime Center and helping out in projects and events that require all-hands-on-deck, to helping tie up a vessel coming into our dock because you happen to be standing there. We all pitch in for the heavy lifting now and then—sometimes this is metaphoric; occasionally we all have to actually help lift something heavy.



  • Current 25-ton (or greater) USCG Captains license
  • Current US Sailing Keelboat Instructor Certification (certification course available at the NWMC in April)
  • Maritime education experience on both the water and land, especially working with a variety of youth in experiential and alternative learning environments
  • 2 + years of experience teaching in a sail training environment
  • Outboard engine experience
  • Basic first aid/CPR certification or training plan
  • Valid driver’s license
  • CDC “Heads Up” online concussion training or training plan
  • Work offers are contingent on a satisfactory pre-employment background check and drug test. The NWMC boat-based programs are drug, alcohol, and tobacco free. Throughout employment with the Northwest Maritime Center, certain boat-based program employees will be enrolled in a random drug testing program administered by the Maritime Consortium, in compliance with the Coast Guard mandatory drug testing regulation, as contained in 46 CFR part 16.



  • Relevant experience in local waters of Puget Sound, San Juan Islands, or program area
  • Sailing Endorsement on USCG Captain’s License



  • Submit resume with online application
  • Deadline for applications: Open until filled, application review begins January 23, 2023
  • One application submission could be used for multiple positions, if interested in additional positions please note that during the application process



  • Position is seasonal, dates & locations:
    • Spring, based on the Port Townsend Campus: Early April to Mid-June 2023 – schedule varies based on needs of the program, averaging 50 to 100 hours per month
    • Summer, based on the Port Townsend Campus: Mid-June through August 2023 – up to 40 hours a week
  • Main NWMC Campus is located at 431 Water St., Port Townsend, WA 98368
  • Reports to: Education Program Co-Managers (Spring), Waterfront Programs Manager (Summer)



  • $23-25.50 per hour, paid semi-monthly
  • Sick time accrued at a rate of 1 hour for every 25 hours worked
  • Employee discounts on classes and in NWMC-run retail stores
  • Subsidized housing (you pay $250/month in rent). Housing option includes a bed in a shared room in the crew house in Port Townsend. There is a shared kitchen, 2 bathrooms, and laundry facilities.
  • Season completion bonus: $500 payable at the end of the successful completion of the Spring and Summer seasons



  • Following all local, state, and federal guidelines to keep everyone safe
  • All education staff are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 including booster or have a medical exemption, verification is required



There are rare moments when organizations have the combination of a talented and motivated staff, an engaged board, a healthy and productive work culture, are executing well on existing programs but still innovating and looking for the next step—we’re in that moment, and it’s exciting.


The NWMC is dynamic, making a difference in our community, and taking an increasing role in the region. We serve individual students and program participants, but we also work to help solve community problems like systemic improvements in our public schools, economic development, job training, and working regionally to pair the opportunities in the maritime industry with the need to address systemic oppression in communities of color. Plus, all of the fun stuff like kids’ programs, festivals, and adventure races. Our waterfront campus is vibrant with a multitude of compelling activities, and all of them done to meet or advance industry best practices. In the words of a board member: “We don’t do B work.”


On top of it all, you’d get to work on the water in Port Townsend: natural beauty, heritage buildings, arts community, wooden boats, zero traffic jams. The Northwest Maritime Center’s relative scale to our small town means that the effects of our success can be observed in the success of our community. You’ll be doing meaningful work for the place you live and your efforts will make a tangible difference.


Right team, right moment, the right momentum, and the chance to move the needle for the prosperity of an entire community: That’s why we get excited to come to work in the morning, and that’s why we think you should want to be here too.


The Northwest Maritime Center is an equal-opportunity employer that welcomes and encourages individuals of all cultures and communities to apply. Read our Anti-Racism & Inclusion statement here.