Crew on a Tall Ship – Youth Development and Tourism

The R. Tucker Thompson Sail Training Trust invites applications from candidates interested in delivering our kaupapa Learning for Life Through the Sea as a crew member on The Good Ship. We invite candidates with qualifications and experience in outdoor education and experiential learning to apply. If you have experience leading young people in the outdoors and managing safety in water and hiking activities we would love the hear from you.

The R. Tucker Thompson is Northland’s own tall ship. It is held in a Charitable Trust and is based in Opua. During winter we take rangatahi youth on 7-day youth development voyages and in summer we offer day sails for visitors to Northland. The ship is a traditional gaff-rigged top’sl schooner based in the Bay of Islands.

The purpose of this role is to crew on the tall ship the R. Tucker Thompson during our summer sailings, on our 7-day Youth Development Voyages and as a key member of our maintenance projects each year. The role is multifaceted: it involves sailing a tall ship, outdoor education, working with youth and also delivering a world-class tourism product.

We aim to ensure the overall performance of the crew in delivering the “best day of their holiday” for tourism passengers, and “life changing” experiences for sail trainees on Youth Development voyages.

Candidates with an interest in Tikanga Maori, youth development, and tall ship sailing would be ideal. This role is full-time and the hours are variable depending on the season. The position would suit someone adventurous, positive and keen to learn.

Key Tasks:

Tourism-based activities (Summer)

  • Contribute to the safe sailing of the tall ship R. Tucker Thompson during day sails and evening sails in the Bay of Islands
  • Maintain a culture of safety for yourself, the other crew and passengers
  • Take pride in the appearance of the ship by ensuring that the crew keep it in a clean and orderly manner, both above decks and below
  • Engage with guests to share the Bay of Islands, its history, the ship’s adventures and her role as part of a Trust

Youth Sail Training responsibilities (Winter)

  • Participate, as a key crew member, in the delivery of 7-day youth development voyages in accordance with R. Tucker Thompson’s programme, safety procedures and philosophies
  • Be part of a safe and nurturing environment so crew and sail trainees maximise their potential while on board
  • Work with Master and crew to deliver Youth programme. Deliver a Youth Programme in line with our values and kaupapa


  • Interest in Youth Development and outdoor education and experiential learning
  • Good track record in safety and safety procedures
  • Proven ability to work well with others
  • A keen interest in sailing and in particular traditional tall ship sailing
  • Full COVID 19 vaccination

If you are ready for variety and rewarding work in a not-for-profit organisation please send a Cover Letter and Resumé to 

PD – Crew 2021

You must be legally able to work in New Zealand, applications close 10 December.