James Craig

New Crew Introduction Course


New crew introduction course

New crew furling aloft James Craig



To provide people who who are interested in square-rig ships and in joining the crew of James Craig with an insight into how a square-rig ship operates and to prepare them to sail as crew.

For square-rig experienced people it is an opportunity to see how James Craig operates. Your qualifications will be recognised in due course.




To complete the New Crew Introduction course.

The course has four parts;

  1. Complete and send/forward in the Sydney Heritage Fleet Membership, Crew Application and other associated forms (refer below).
  2. On our receipt of the paperwork, we will forward information to enable you to complete online units at home, then;
  3. You can complete practical training by attending the alongside sessions at Wharf 7 Pyrmont:
    1. Friday evening followed by Saturday aboard James Craig (18:00 Friday / 08:00-16:00 Saturday)
    2. Overnight accommodation onboard os available but not compulsory (8 people)
  4. A mentored day at sea. You will participate in a training program during a day sail on one of the next two day sails (4 people each day).

On successful completion, you will graduate and join the crew as a Deck Trainee.


Each course will be conducted at mutually convenient dates discussed when you lodge a request to join the training.

The next course are:

Part 1. Friday evening starting at 1800, date to be advised

Part 2. Saturday 0900-1500

Part 3. Mentored day sail on dates to be advised during course



Minimum age 16 years (please note that Parent/Guardian consent is required for Junior Associates aged 14 to 17).
Join the Sydney Heritage Fleet – thus also becoming eligible for the many other benefits offered by the Fleet. Under 18 year of age, join as a Junior Associate.
Attend a Fleet Discovery Day. This will give you an overall appreciation of the activities conducted by the Sydney Heritage Fleet. Contact Sydney Heritage Fleet for dates and bookings. Book at: 9298 3888 or email vservices@shf.org.au.
Complete the crew application form.
Complete the James Craig medical – carried out by your GP. Current Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) or  Australian Defence Force medical is accepted.
To participate in climbing a reasonable level of fitness is necessary.
Purchase the training ‘kit’: cost is $110.00 over 25 years of age, $55.00 if you are 25 years or less. The kit includes: training material, James Craig Crew Handbook, Diary of Service and Experience Log book, day at sea and other incidentals during the course.
Participate in ship maintenance.
Complete a New Crew introduction course.
During the course, wear comfortable clothing and closed footwear, as physical activity is involved.
Have or obtain a First Aid Certificate – refer later for details.
Obtain a Working with Children clearance – refer later for details.
Course personnel staying on board overnight will be self-catering.
Applicants over 18 are required to obtain a Working with Children clearance. This can be obtained, at no cost, online




Course is in three parts

Complete online units at home prior to attending the practical days.
Attend the practical sessions. Friday evening followed by further sessions on Saturday.
You can stay on board James Craig overnight.
On completion of the above item, take part in a mentored day sail at sea as a crew member

On satisfactorily completing the above three parts you will join the crew as a Deck Trainee.


Crew are required to take part in the maintenance of the ship or other ship activity e.g. Guiding, Sleepover assistant etc. This participation will not only assist maintain the ship but will assist you gain a more detailed knowledge of the ship and your fellow crew members.




After completing the introduction training you will join the ship as a Deck Trainee.

As a deck trainee you will able to participate in day sails, harbour charters and voyages to gain experience and enjoy yourself. Deck Trainees must obtain the General Purpose Hand qualification before being classified as a Deckhand. Further training and experience will lead to classification as Efficient Deck Hand and Watch Leader. Introduction training only prepares you for sailing; it does not turn you into a sailor. All crew are expected to continually push themselves to learn as much as possible about shipboard operations and general seamanship. After the introduction training has been satisfactorily completed you can ‘bid’ (i.e. put your name down) to sail as crew on our regular day sails, harbour sails, voyages etc.




The General Purpose Hand (GPH) certificate can be obtained through certain TAFE colleges or the TAFE Digital distance learning program. It is a basic NSW Maritime requirement for people wishing to work on commercial vessels such as James

The Fleet, through TAFE Digital, conducts a GPH Course each year. To enhance your nautical knowledge a Power Boat licence from  department of Roads and Maritime Services would be a benefit. Other current maritime qualifications you may hold are taken into account.




Crew members are required to have or obtain a Senior First Aid certificate when they join the ship or soon after. Contact the SHF office on 9298 3888 if you need to complete a course.




James Craig often has children aboard from time to time therefore adult members of the James Craig crew are required to obtain a Working with Children clearance. This can be obtained online at no cost:  www.kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au



If you already hold valid Maritime Qualifications (Masters Tickets, Coxwain, MED qualifications) these are taken into account. Attendance at the Introduction Course will be beneficial in showing you how the James Craig operates.




The ship is only a few minutes’ walk from the Pyrmont Bay ferry wharf and the Pyrmont Bay light rail station. Regular bus services run from the city to the Star casino and terminate at the nearby Australian National Maritime Museum. The 443 bus runs from Circular Quay, past the Queen Victoria Building to the front of the Australian National Maritime Museum and returns to Circular Quay via King and George Streets. This is a frequent service.

Car parking is not available on the wharf.

Sydney Heritage Members can obtain discounted parking from the Harbourside Car Park in Murray Street. Your parking ticket has to be stamped at the Fleet’s head office (Wharf 7 reception) or the front desk of the Australian National Maritime Museum.




Please direct enquiries to the Volunteer Services on 9298 3888.

If you decide to join our crew please complete the following forms and deliver or forward them to the Training Officer, Sydney Heritage Fleet, Wharf 7, 58 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont NSW 2009. Alternatively they may also be completed online. On receipt of your forms you will be booked into your nominated course.

Your training kit, containing Handbook and Log Book, can be collected from our office at Wharf 7 or posted to you. This will give you an opportunity to look at the information before attending the course.




The following are forms required:

Click on the links to download the required forms.