Eric Dawicki established Northeast Maritime Institute in Massachusetts as the nation’s first private maritime college in the history of the U.S. Active in other industry activities, Eric Dawicki has also served on the board of the American Sail Training Association, now known as Tall Ships America.
Defined as vessels with classically rigged sails, these ships compete with each other and provide an opportunity for youths to learn the intricacies of operating them. Founded in 1973, Tall Ships America was intended as a parting salute to the excitement of sailing large ships, but public enthusiasm spurred its continuance.
The organization sponsors races and waterfront festivals around the globe, involving hundreds of tall ships. At least half of the crew of each ship must be between ages 15-25, serving on vessels ranging from 30-foot+ yachts to huge square-riggers.
In addition to the immersion into seamanship, Tall Ships America hosts safety forums twice a year. Onshore it educates the public about the teamwork necessary for nautical skills.
To learn more about tall ships, visit www.sailtraining.org/index.php.