We carry the most precious cargo there is, so we pay careful attention to safety on board. There are three parts to safety in sail training: the ships, the crew, & the program


Pacific Grace in Frederick ArmThe SALTS ships are inspected and approved annually by Transport Canada. The Certificate of Inspection is available for viewing. Our annual vessel maintenance budget of approximately $200,000 allows us to meet an excellent level of safety and operation which is admired by many in the sail training industry. Our ships have several awards from the Victoria Classic Boat Festival over the years for their excellent maintenance & upkeep.

Our traditionally designed ships include modern safety equipment such as: life jackets, two types of PFDs, harnesses, strobe lights, Search and Recovery Transponders (SART), Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB), satellite phone, man overboard pole, life rafts, dories, VHF/DSC radio, radar, GPS, paper and electronic charts, and AIS receivers. Each ship has a collision bulkhead, watertight compartments, steel bulkhead doors, and complies with stringent stability standards.


The Captains and First Mates of our ships have gained “sea time” over many years aboard SALTS vessels and have taken formal instruction at nautical training institutes approved by Transport Canada. Captains must hold at least a 150 Ton Master’s Ticket or higher, with a Sailing Ship Endorsement. This certification is by written and oral examinations conducted by Transport Canada. Certification complies with the International Convention on Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping of Seafarers (STCW). The ship’s Bosun must hold a Small Vessel Machinery Operator certificate, and the cook must complete a Food Safe course. All crew-members submit to a criminal record check and sign a code of conduct.

All crew-members also complete the following training:
  • Marine Emergency Duties
  • Marine Advanced First Aid or Wilderness First Aid
  • Restricted (Radio) Operator’s Certificate (Maritime)
  • Prevention of harassment, abuse, and suicide
  • Conflict resolution

SALTS Program

Safety orientations are conducted prior to each voyage, prior to the first shore trip, prior to setting sail, prior to anchor watch, and prior to a “night run”. Safety drills (i.e. man overboard, fire, and dory launching) are conducted on a regular basis. Safety harnesses are mandatory when climbing aloft or near the bowsprit. Inflatable PFDs with a built-in safety harness and strobe light are mandatory while underway at night or in heavy weather.

SALTS has provided sail training programs since 1974, and in a typical year, 1700 young people go to sea with us. Our experience includes six offshore voyages to ports around the world. Our ships have safely travelled almost 300,000 nautical miles (14 times the earth’s circumference). In the spring and fall we offer quality programs to 50 school groups from British Columbia and Alberta. Our sail training safety record is second to none in the industry and SALTS is both a member of the Canadian Sail Training Association (CSTA) and the American Sail Training Association (ASTA). It is the recipient of the ASTA “Sail Training Program of the Year” award.