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Los Angeles Maritime Institute

  • Berth 73, Suite 2, San Pedro, California

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Captain 100t, Tall Ships

In 1992, a retired science teacher and Coast Guard licensed captain, Jim Gladson, organized a small group of his friends and associates and formed the Los Angeles Maritime Institute (LAMI), a 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation. The idea for the Institute was formed several years earlier when Captain Gladson, as a teacher and sailor, witnessed the positive effect that the experience of sailing at sea had upon even his most challenged alternative school students, even those with dyslexia. The mission for LAMI’s new TopSail Youth Program would be to use sail training to provide youth with the real-life challenges that would develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to stay in school and become healthy, productive adults. With less than $5,000 in donated funds and a one-room office in the depths of the Los Angeles Maritime Museum, they sought a suitable vessel for purchase. A short time later, the 92’ topsail schooner Swift of Ipswich was purchased with the help of a loan from a local foundation. LAMI soon started sailing with groups of adolescents as the TopSail Youth Program. Inspired by Captain Gladson’s dedication and vision, the loan from the foundation used to purchase the Institute’s first vessel was paid back in less than four years by hundreds of the program’s local supporters, many of whom witnessed firsthand, as volunteers, the positive results of this unique and nurturing program. In 1997, responding to the success of the program and the demand by a local youth agency for 260 additional sailing days, a second tall ship, the 130′ schooner Bill of Rights, was obtained. In 2000, the TopSail Program had continued to demonstrate such notable success that LAMI began construction of two 110’ brigantines, Irving Johnson and Exy Johnson, which were designed and built specifically to address the educational needs of the program. At their launch in April of 2002, Mayor James Hahn and the City Council proclaimed these state-of-the-art tall ships and their youth crews “The Official Tall Ships and Maritime Ambassadors of the City of Los Angeles”. In the 30 years since the Los Angeles Maritime Institute was founded, more than 110,000 young people from throughout Southern California have had the opportunity to directly benefit from participation in hands-on learning experiences through the TopSail Youth Program. LAMI continues to give “real life” context to subjects like science, mathematics, engineering, history, and literature, and to raise awareness about environmental impacts to our oceans and local waters.


min experience

salary range

$45k - $55k / year

Additional Job Details

International Applicants Allowed?
Work Visa Sponsoring Available

Job Overview

As a full-time Captain, you will be responsible for all elements of your vessel including: safety, crew, training, education programs, maintenance, and repairs. Enthusiasm for sailing and working with school age youth and the public is essential. 


  • Captains are responsible for overseeing daily vessel checks, preparing voyage plans, and preparing the vessel for sails.
  • Captains are responsible for the overall safety of the boats, crew, and passengers and must work with USCG to comply with CFRS and schedule COI inspections.
  • Captains are responsible for training crew, including mates, deckhands, volunteers, and student trainees.
  • Captain’s create maintenance and safety schedules for the vessels, and work with crew to maintain seaworthiness of the vessel.
  • Captains work with the office staff to create schedules and programs for the ships.
  • Captains are expected to be educators and participate in Los Angeles Maritime Institutes mission. Lessons include water chemistry, sail handling, navigation, ocean plastics, mechanical advantage, knots, maritime history, and the physics of sailing. 
  • Captains must participate in maintaining all vessels and assets to Los Angeles Maritime Institute, including our four vessels, 2 company vehicles, dock, and Building G.
  • Captain must work long days, including weekends and holidays, standing night watches, and be on call 24/7 to help with the ship’s needs. 
  • Other duties as assigned by the Executive Director.


  • Bachelor’s degree preferred
  • A 100 ton Master’s License with Aux. Sail endorsement, and FCC MROP preferred. Candidates should have solid sailing experience, with demonstrable boat handling skills in tight quarters.  Prior education and/or hospitality and/or passenger boat experience is a plus.
  • Ability to pass DOT background check and drug test

Required Certifications

  • License Required: Master 
  • Tonnage: 100t
  • Where Sails: near coastal
  • ability to maintain valid driver’s license
  • Medical: CPR


  • Ability to lift and carry weights up to  60lbs, and to assist adults and small children on and off the boat
  • Ability to stand and sit for long periods and perform tasks that require bending, stooping, kneeling, bending, twisting, crouching, climbing, reaching, standing, sitting, carrying, walking, pushing, pulling, lifting, grasping, and accessing small spaces on the boat
  • Ability to swim
  • Ability to stare at a computer/monitor for long periods at a time 
  • Ability to communicate effectively – including visual, auditory and tactile, and take a commanding presence to ensure the safety of all passengers and property 
  • Ability to work evenings, holidays, and weekends. Exposure to office conditions and outside inclement weather conditions including summer sun.

Compensation & Benefits

    • Room and board
    • Full Benefits package
    • Compensation:
      • Dependent on Experience. 
      • Salary/paid biweekly, plus room and board
  • or Relief  Captain*
      • room and board
      • no benefits
      • $300/per day


Interested individuals should send their resume and cover letter to:

Los Angeles Maritime Institute

[email protected]

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