Setting Sail for Success: How Sail Training Boosts Educational Performance

In an age where screen time often dominates our lives, Sail Training is a unique, thrilling, and educational extracurricular activity that creates life-changing results. It's a gateway to the past, a connection to a rich maritime heritage, and an avenue t

Setting Sail for Success: How Sail Training Boosts Educational Performance

  • 7 min read

In an age where screen time often dominates our lives, Sail Training is a unique, thrilling, and educational extracurricular activity that creates life-changing results. It's a gateway to the past, a connection to a rich maritime heritage, and an avenue towards skills and knowledge that reach far beyond the sea.

Sail Training is an exhilarating experience with a hidden treasure trove of educational benefits. Students learn the art of mathematics as they navigate offshore and away from the sight of land, deciphering distance with precision, using charts and compasses as their guides. They hone their communication and teamwork skills in a setting where the elements are as unpredictable as any exam question.

Science comes to life as they scrutinise the mechanics of wind, currents, and tides, applying scientific principles to control the sails and the vessel's course and speed. And, of course, technology, where using GPS, Chart Plotting, and weather forecasting tools provides practical lessons that transcend the confines of a classroom.

The Link Between Sail Training and Education

The modern Sail Training Movement, which emerged in the mid-20th century, represents a global effort to use Sail Training for personal development, education, and preserving maritime traditions.

Gaining momentum in the years following World War II, many traditional sailing vessels had become obsolete in military and commercial roles, but there was a growing interest in preserving these ships and their unique skills.

Initially focused on preserving historic tall ships and using them as educational tools, there is now a wide and varied fleet of vessels providing training, allowing them to serve as floating classrooms to teach people about maritime history, navigation, and seamanship.

A core aspect of Sail Training is its focus on youth development. Many programs, including ours, aim to empower young people by instilling confidence, leadership skills, and a sense of responsibility. These skills are valuable on board and can be applied to various aspects of life.

Sail Training is a fascinating example of "learning by stealth." As participants engage in the thrilling sailing world, they absorb knowledge and skills almost without realising it. The practical application of mathematics, science, and navigation becomes integral to daily life, making complex subjects more accessible and memorable. Its education woven seamlessly into adventure, where the thrill of the journey conceals the fact that valuable learning is taking place. This immersive approach equips individuals with practical expertise and instils a lasting appreciation for the interconnectedness of education and real-world experience.

Improved Mathematical Skills

Sail training offers a captivating and hands-on approach to learning practical math concepts that can seem abstract and complicated to understand in a traditional classroom setting. Sail training transforms mathematics from an abstract subject into a practical tool. Participants learn that math is not confined to textbooks but is an integral part of daily life at sea. By applying mathematical concepts in real-world scenarios, sail training fosters a deeper understanding of these principles and equips students with a skill set that extends far beyond the confines of the boat, making math both relevant and engaging.

Enhanced language and communication skills

There is no better extracurricular programme for fostering effective communication and teamwork among participants. Sail Training is a challenging, dynamic environment where individuals must work together seamlessly to ensure the safety and success of the voyage.  Sail Training provides an immersive environment that compels participants to develop effective communication and teamwork skills as they navigate the complexities of living together and sailing the boat. Sail Training significantly impacts a participant's English language proficiency, including vocabulary expansion, enhanced writing, and improved reading and oral communication. Participants emerge from a voyage with a newfound ability to express themselves clearly and work collaboratively, traits that serve them academically and in their future endeavours.

Nurturing Scientific Curiosity 

Sail Training provides a unique and immersive platform for students to interact directly with the natural world, fostering a deep interest in science. The act of sailing itself is intertwined with various scientific principles, making it an excellent medium for exploring and understanding the natural environment. By integrating scientific concepts into the practical experience of sailing, students develop a profound appreciation for the natural world and the sciences that underpin it. Sail Training ignites curiosity and a desire to learn more about the Earth's intricate systems, from wind patterns to the properties of electrical generation. It shows that science isn't confined to textbooks but is a tangible, real-world adventure waiting to be explored on the open seas.


Modern sailing has evolved to incorporate various technological tools, from GPS navigation to advanced weather forecasting systems. Sail Training programs provide participants with valuable technological proficiency by exposing them to these tools and teaching them how to use them effectively. Through exposure to these technologies, participants gain and build on existing skills and knowledge. They become proficient in leveraging GPS data, interpreting weather forecasts, using chart plotters, and employing modern tablets for navigation. This technological expertise enhances their effectiveness as sailors and prepares them for roles in various maritime careers that rely on these essential tools.

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Sail training is an adventure filled with unpredictable challenges that test participants' problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. On the open sea, participants encounter a wide range of scenarios that require quick thinking and resourcefulness. In sail training, challenges aren't just part of the journey; they're opportunities for participants to develop vital life skills. It's a dynamic, ever-changing environment that hones critical thinking, problem-solving abilities, and resilience. These skills go beyond sailing; they empower individuals to navigate the unpredictable challenges life may throw at them with confidence and adaptability.

Research and Studies

Don’t take our word for it. Sail Training has featured in notable academic studies, which have increasingly demonstrated a positive connection between sail training and enhanced educational performance. A study by Hume, Richardson, and Morris in 2019, published in the "Journal of Experiential Education," found that students who participated in sail training programs exhibited notable improvements in mathematics, problem-solving abilities, and overall self-confidence.

Another research article published in the "Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning" in 2016 by Lubans and Morgan, emphasised the impact of sail training on enhancing teamwork, leadership skills, and fostering a deep appreciation for the natural world. The study highlighted that these skills not only had a positive influence on academic performance but also personal development.

These academic studies underscore that sail training programs offer a multifaceted educational experience, improving traditional academic subjects and fostering personal development and a holistic understanding of the world. The real-world application of math, science, and problem-solving, alongside developing teamwork and leadership, collectively enhance students' educational performance and life skills.

Morvargh Sailing Project: Where Education Meets Adventure!

At Morvargh, we believe that education is about embracing challenges and experiencing the world beyond the classroom. Our youth scheme offers students a unique and immersive educational experience where they'll learn to navigate the open sea and foster resilience, teamwork, and adaptability.

We thrive on challenges and are passionate about working with schools and educators to craft innovative programs that align with academic goals. Let's collaborate to provide students with life-changing opportunities that go beyond textbooks and into the realm of real-world adventure. Join us in shaping the future of education through the thrill of the open sea!"

Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. John Dewey


Morvargh Sailing Project is a Community Interest Company registered in England No: 07132688. Registered address: Willow Barn, Lower Bodwen, Redmoor, PL30 5AT


Fowey, Cornwall



+44 (0)7481 546577

Vessel Location:

50°20'00.8"N 4°37'46.9"W

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