Why be a member of the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild?
Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild (PSPG) Members share a strong commitment to preserving Philadelphia's maritime tradition through the maintenance and operation of our vessels. As a Guild member you have access to skills classes, members only events, and sailing opportunities aboard our ships. You will become a part of our large and diverse community.
You can help by joining our active crew or as a supporting member. We rely on the time, effort and financial support of our members to keep our vessels seaworthy and operating. Whether you are sharing skills or learning new ones, you will find a niche in this diverse organization.
If you would like to be a member of the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild or would like more information, contact the Volunteer Coordinator at email@example.com or our office at 215.238-0280.
Crewing Aboard the Barkentine Gazela and the Tug Jupiter
Unlike most other tall and historic ships, Gazela and Jupiter are sailed by the people who preserve them. There are no Naval or Coast Guard cadets, and no paying trainees. The crew consists of hard-working, enthusiastic members of the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild, who put a lot of effort into maintaining the ships, educating the public and helping behind the scenes with administration (i.e., fund-raising, office work, board service).
The basic theory behind Gazela's or Jupiter's crew is that anyone is welcome if they are willing to contribute to the guild's mission. There are many opportunities to become part of this effort, whether your interests are woodworking, rigging, engineering, historical research, marketing or fund-raising.
Who are Gazela and Jupiter crew members?
Crews are made up of all kinds of people: students, artists, engineers, teachers, lawyers, of all different ages and from different places. They all share a common interest in sailing and preserving their vessels' maritime history. Must be 16 years old minimum, or 14 with a parent's participation.
What are requirements to crew aboard Guild vessels?
- Willingness and ability to participate in hands-on maintenance and operation of the ships
- Regard for the safety and well-being of other crew members at all times
- Good health, as certified by a doctor's signature
- Attend an Introduction to Guild Class
- Payment of Guild dues
- Purchase of Ship Uniform
- Ship Specific Safety Gear (see Sailing Requirements)
Once you are a crew member, Gazela and Jupiter are your ships. The contribution of your skills and ideas are essential to their continued existence.
This class is required for all new members within 1 month of them joining. Overview of the the Mission, History, and Operation of PSPG. The Intro class is great way to find out about all the different opportunities offered to help out. You may sign up for more information here or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
What does the crew do?
- Late fall: Down-rigging Gazela (dismantling, labeling, and storing sails and running rigging); covering ships for winter work; classes on seamanship and sailing skills.
- Winter: Maintenance and repairs, which includes woodworking; metalworking; scraping, sanding, and painting; overhauling blocks and lines; and more classes.
- Early spring: Removing winter cover; more scraping, sanding, painting; uprigging Gazela (making ready for the sailing season). As well as giving tours/open ships.
- Late spring, summer, early fall: Sailing, port visits on weekends, educational programming, dockside receptions and tours. By Coast Guard regulations, ten crew members staff all Gazela functions. Crew shirts are required. This is an opportunity to share Gazela and Jupiter's history as well as to recruit new members and much-needed donations.
- Year round: Fund-raising, public relations, office work.
The sailing schedule is made up during the winter and published in early spring. A minimum of 50 work hours are required before sailing. Hours are accrued doing work in support of the Guild's mission. Ship's maintenance, office support or dockside event are just some of the many options. Dues and medical forms must be up to date. Gazela sails with a maximum of 30 crew, so it's important to take part in training and open ship events.
Expenses are minimal; crew will need to provide their own straight-blade knife w/sheath and foul weather gear. For aloft work an appropriate climbing harness and marlinspike are also needed. Food and a bunk are provided free of charge. It is preferred that Level 1 Classes have been completed so all crew are familiar with the ship's nomenclature and systems. You may sail for the entire voyage, or you may join the ship at one port and leave at another, arriving on a Saturday and departing the ship the following Saturday. This ensures adequate crew on hand for working the important receptions and open ship tours.
What will I do while sailing?
Crew members stand regular watches, usually four hours on and eight off. While on watch you will rotate through lookout, runner/reporter, boat check, helm, and radio or utility positions. As a regular deckhand you will set and strike sail, climb the rigging (optional), scrub down the deck and below decks, polish brass, participate in emergency drills, wash dishes, and cook or help in the galley.
As on most ships, sleeping accommodations are tightly packed and privacy and personal storage space are minimal. Smoking is permitted on deck only. The crew quickly becomes a close-knit family that works well together in all situations, especially in case of bad weather or emergencies.