Sea Scouts

We ask adults to participate 70% of the time so there is continuity for the youth. The following are examples of activities in Sea Scouting, a program begun in 1912 by the Boy Scouts of America:

Overnight Cruises

Sea Scout Ship Freedom 300 enjoyed an overnight cruise recently, as a group of ten sailed a flotilla of three boats to an anchorage in Isch Creek enjoying good weather, good breeze, and great food. Sea Scouts are grateful for participating CYC members Paul Campbell (Heelbilly), Dwight Guinn (C-25), and George Hubbell (SJ-26).

On overnight cruises and other activities of the ship, interested parents are encouraged to participate. They share an experience with their children, often finding the experiences are filled with FUN that develop new perspectives. For examples: one dad said the trip was “a blast.” Another dad enjoyed sailing the trip and sparked interest in joining CYC with his S-2 that currently sits at home near a barn. A third parent on the trip, one of the registered leaders in the ship, also enjoyed a shared experience with her daughter, Linden.

On overnight cruises youth sail the boats, plan menus, prepare and cook all meals, and clean the boats to the Bristol condition they were in when they came aboard and to the satisfaction of the owner. In between, they do what youth do universally: conversations into the wee hours, swim, row dinghies, hang out, and one did some reading. There seem to be often one or two who squeeze in some study time. One wonders where youthful energy comes from; is it quite possibly a solution to an energy crisis?

Sea Scout Ship Freedom 300 is seeking additional volunteer adult leaders among the membership of CYC. Those interested can contact George Hubbell at or phone 980-0879. Someone once said, “There is nothing quite like messing about in boats.” He was right. An added thought is that sailing is a grand metaphor for life. When coupled with the sea scout program, begun in 1912: Magic. Join the youth, contributing to their development and life-long friendships. It’s a chance to share what you know, maybe learn more. Ship 300, an outreach program of CYC, is a co-educational program for boys and girls, ages 14 to 21. Being part of the Boy Scouts of America, 300 members can attend any scout facility in the nation and visit many ships in the U.S. and around the world. These include a large Sea Base in Islamorada Florida where scuba certification and affordable tall ship cruises are taken among the Florida Keys and around the Bahamas. There are also sea scout training yachts operating on the Chesapeake, San Francisco Bay, San Diego, the San Juan Islands (North of Puget Sound), backpacking at Philmont, and canoeing in the Boundary Waters in Ely, Minnesota, plus many more. Every two years there is an International Sea Scout regatta that is held each time in a different location. This year it was held in Annapolis, Maryland; previous regattas were held in Chicago (Columbia Yacht Club), Cape Cod (Merchant Marine Academy), and Biscayne Bay (Coral Reef Yacht Club). Cost to participate this year for a week of racing was $150 per sea scout which covers boats, transportation at the regatta, three meals per day, room, and a day-trip tour in Washington, D.C. Travel to the event was up to the participant. As a leader you, too, are encouraged to attend these regattas.

Sailboat In A Public Library

Are You Kidding? An uncommon scene for the month of February in East Tennessee was to see people upon entering the Blount County Public Library, Maryville TN flip open their cell phone to say, “You won’t believe what they have here at the library….”

To peak interest in sailing, especially among young men and women age 14 to 21, and to interest them in Sea Scouting, possibly the best-kept secret in the Boy Scouts of America, sailing club Sea Scout Ship Freedom 300 erected an exhibit in a nearby county public library for the month of February, 2007. The exhibit was composed of three elements: a series of three dozen photos and charts showing and talking about sailing, a fully rigged 17-foot long Thistle class sailboat with mast stepped and sails filled with air from an electric fan, and an orientation meeting open to the public held in the library at the end of the month. The exhibit theme was “What did you do last weekend?” For many it may well have been to hang out at a shopping mall; better to hang out of a Thistle sailboat, we think. Of interest to an exhibit viewer was the fact that the Thistle on display was an old boat that the youth in Ship 300 had restored over several winters to sailing condition within the one-design Thistle class specifications as a project to teach youth about reading blueprints, boat maintenance, woodworking, working with fiberglass, and painting, etc., a story told in some detail on one of the charts with a picture of the boat sailing in a stiff breeze. Since it was unusual to see a full-sized sailboat with a mast reaching approximately thirty feet from the floor in a public library, feature articles on the exhibit complete with color photographs appeared in the local daily newspaper and two community weekly newspapers.

The sailboat, displayed on its trailer parked in the center of the library, provided dominating visual presence for the exhibit visually intercepting anyone walking through the front doors of the library and to those enjoying the trendy coffee shop-café in the library that is a popular meeting place. On either side of the Thistle sailboat were placed a row of photographs of sailing activities by the youth and information about sailing and Sea Scouts. The sails on the Thistle were filled with air blowing from an electric fan placed on the floor of the boat at the stern and a display light to brighten the spinnaker’s red and yellow colors.

The library was selected as location for display, since it was reported to have pedestrian traffic of approximately 2,000 per day, second only to the Wal-Mart in the community according to available information.

Seeking permission from library staff for the exhibit meant that the exhibitors had to post a certificate of liability insurance and take responsibility for any damage caused by the exhibit, especially bringing the sailboat into the library and taking it out of the library. To bring the boat in the library a team lifted the Thistle off its trailer, turned it on edge or sideways on two heavy dollies loaned by U-Haul. Then the boat was carefully rolled through the freight doors at the back of the library, making several tight turns bordering large mahogany doors and internal walls made of glass. Several people put eyes on all sides, corners and edges throughout the moving process, which was important particularly in situations where fractions of an inch made clearance possible. Next the trailer was brought in. With the trailer in position, the boat was lifted back on the trailer and trailer wheels chocked. The mast was carried through the front doors of the library over shelves directly to the center of the library exhibit space. To create room for stepping the mast the boat had to be rolled backward simultaneously as the 25-foot mast was swung up into place. This process took the mast over a bank of PC computers and bookshelves. Once the mast was stepped there were only a few inches of clearance with the vaulted, beamed ceiling in this main section of the library. With the boat sitting on the trailer, the mast step on the forward thwart was about five feet from the floor, making the total height of the exhibit approximately 30 feet. A similar procedure was required to remove the sailboat from the library. Preparing for this exhibit required taking measurements at critical points along the entry and egress path the boat and trailer took. To operate a display light and fan to fill the spinnaker, an electric cord was run up the end in the middle of a set of bookshelves, across the ceiling to the mast, and then down the mast to the floor of the boat. This obviated a potential chance for someone to trip over a cord on the floor. The trailer was covered with a black drape that kept focus on the sailboat and exhibit.

The library itself is a somewhat unique example of a city government and county government working together to build one good library for all in an area sometimes known as the “quiet side of the Smoky Mountains” where Maryville College is located and the bedroom community of Maryville where many reside who work at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee, and in Knoxville enterprises.

The Thistle used in the exhibit is D&M hull #2013, a “Cinderella story” all its own, painted with Interlux Brightside donated by Ron Maseth of Pensacola, Florida and Pettit’s Z-spar varnish donated by Steve Saunders of a Seattle, Washington boat equipment firm whom the writer met on a cross-country flight. Ship 300 focuses its sailing training in Thistles primarily in belief that if one can sail a Thistle, one can sail anything, as well as the opportunity a three-person crewed sailboat provides youth in developing interpersonal relationships that is not as well provided in single- and double-crewed sailboats.

The orientation meeting, lasting just under an hour, used photos and information from a disc and from a link to internet sites shown on a large screen in a library auditorium with comments from youth members and their volunteer adult leaders.v

Brochures with contact information, printed full color and approximately 8.5 inches x 2.75 inches, were distributed at the orientation meeting and were available at locations around the exhibit during the month.

Time spent erecting the exhibit was approximately four hours. Because moving questions were resolved and a routine in place from the move-in experience, time spent removing the exhibit was approximately an hour and a half. Neither of these include the time spent planning, measuring, discussing the project with library staff, phone calls, securing necessary documentation and graphic materials production. There was interest in the beginning for staging the boat on the floor so young people were able to climb-in; however, as a safety feature, the boat was displayed on its trailer so that young people could not climb in at the request of the library and it proved to be a good idea. Lots of young people stood on a stool or were lifted by a parent for a thorough look-see.

Needless to say, the exhibit was a “stopper” and caused talk about the community for a month. On Saturday afternoons and a couple of days during each week members took turns to be present to answer questions from viewers to the exhibit.

You, too, can peak interest in sailing. Admittedly, placing such an exhibit in a library was different and challenging. However, an exhibit need not be. Make it easy on yourselves by selecting possibly the parking lot of a high traffic retailer, such as Wal-Mart, a major supermarket, or a mall. You are encouraged to anchor the boat and its trailer securely before raising sails in spring breezes. A colorful spinnaker filled with air and a mainsail will peak interest about anywhere. The writer can be reached for additional information at

We dare you to create interest in sailing in a similar uncommon scene at your library or high traffic location in your community.

Absecon rebuild

This is a true “Cinderella” story. The weekend before Christmas, 2003 George Hubbell picked up Absecon, a D&M Thistle #2013, in Absecon and Bridgeport, New Jersey. The boat was partially buried in a salt marsh and half full of water. The boat’s trailer was dug out of the mud during a snow storm, new wheels attached, and the boat pulled on its rusty trailer onto a roadworthy flatbed trailer for the trip to East Tennessee. Since then some 65 individuals and several marine companies have worked together to rebuild Absecon to a sailing dinghy of value. Special thanks go to Interlux for paint, Harken for a traveler, and to Rodney Smith for white oak. The project has been a grand opportunity for youth as well as their parents to work side by side rebuilding the boat and learning how to maintain and repair boats with new experience gained in fiberglass, wood, spray painting, reading blueprints, etc.

Southern Regional Qualifiers

Southern Regional Qualifier Races
Here are some pics from the Southern Regional Qualifier Races to see who will get to represent the United States at the Wm. I. Koch International Sea Scout Sailing Cup Regatta. Regionals were held in four regions of the U.S. in October, 2005

Ship Visit

Sea Scouting was started in 1912. It is for young men and young women ages 14 to 21.

To build relations with sea scout ships in the Southern Region, Ship 300 has started a program, Concord Invitational Ship Visits, that invites other sea scout ships to visit 300 at CYC for a weekend of sailing and just plan fun on the water. Afterall, there is nothing quite like messing about in boats. 300 hopes this program will develop into other ships hosting similar events.

Last October, 300 was hosted by the Atlanta Sea Scout Squadron of six sea scout ships to participate in the Bare Foot Regatta, the largest sailing event in the Atlanta area. 300 was able to camp at the Lake Lanier Sailing Club for the event. Three years ago, 300 was hosted by Ship One of Corpus Christi, Texas for some sailing on the Gulf of Mexico and participation in a Bay Yacht Club Wednesday Night Regatta.

Visit of Ship 580 “Corn Island Pirates”
Louisville, Kentucky

Ship 580 in Louisville, Kentucky sails a sabre 34 and a j-24, plus they have a ski boat and a 65 foot motor vessel with two decks above the waterline for excursions and parties.

Join us, It’s Easy!

Membership is open to Boys & Girls, ages 14 to 21. Membership fee is minimal and affordable to all, and the fee includes a mandatory one dollar premium for accident insurance.


Shawna Cox

Mailing Address

Sea Scout Ship 300, B.S.A.
517 Idlewood Lane
Knoxville, TN 37923