New maritime training program now enrolling

The Seafarer Collective, the professional workforce development program of Grays Harbor Historical Seaport, is accepting students for Entry-Level Merchant Mariner Course by open enrollment

The Seafarer Collective (TSC) is now enrolling students for its new Entry-Level Merchant Mariner Course. Staring June 17th enrolled students can begin one of two different self-paced course options.

TSC is the new workforce development program of Grays Harbor Historical Seaport, which owns and operates the tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain. Building on GHHS’ track record of creating pathways for maritime careers, TSC was launched in 2018 to professionalize these efforts. Today TSC offers low-cost alternatives for aspiring mariners to gain trade skills, mentorship, and licensing support as they enter and advance through a variety of maritime career pathways.

Hawaiian Chieftain       Photo courtesy of Grays Harbor Historical Seaport
Hawaiian Chieftain
Photo courtesy of Grays Harbor Historical Seaport

The Entry-Level Merchant Mariner Course is aimed at those pursuing an Ordinary Seafarer (OS) credential. Phase One of this online course utilizes a blended curriculum that begins in TSC’s digital classroom Eliademy, accessible from each student’s own computer. From there, students can choose to continue on to Phase Two, where they schedule a time to be placed aboard the tall ships of GHHS or another organization and serve as volunteer crew, allowing for practical application of new skills learned during Phase One.

In addition to the Entry Level Merchant Mariner Course, TSC also offers a Recreational Marlinspike Seamanship Course that serves as the prerequisite training program of GHHS’s volunteer crew program Two Weeks Before the Mast. TSC also offers a Coast Guard approved online-only Able Seaman (AB) course for those who have already attained 180 documented sea days. Mariners who pass their TSC AB exams will be presented with a certificate of course completion for their Able Seaman (Domestic), which can be presented to the USCG National Maritime Center upon application for a merchant mariner credential.

Scholarships are available for students wishing to enroll in the Entry Level Merchant Mariner Course. Awards are need based. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, enrolled tribal members, and residents of Pacific maritime communities are strongly encouraged to apply.

For more information about The Seafarer Collective and its offerings, please visit

Entry Level Merchant Mariner Course Details

Phase 1: Online Coursework – 8 Weeks

With the support of an online instructor, students complete eight online modules of entry-level maritime education

Course topics include introductory deckhand skills, basic engine room lessons, professional development exercises, and more.

At the end of this phase (depending on timing), students will submit the necessary paperwork for their Merchant Mariner Credential with an OS rating, have developed a maritime resume and will have already investigated jobs in the maritime field.

Phase 2: Volunteer Crew – 2 – 8 Weeks

After completing their online coursework, students receive a formal evaluation from their instructor.

If ready to continue their education, students are then encouraged to join a GHHS vessel or alternate tall ship as Volunteer Crew for 2 – 8 weeks to gain hands-on experience and apply newly-learned skills.

Students serve as crew members on their assigned vessels, and participate in the daily activities and responsibilities of a working ship.

– The Seafarer Collective

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