Looking for a summer job? If you ask me, it doesn't get any better than being on Lake Michigan in the summertime - and you'll learn to sail for free!

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South Haven's Michigan Maritime Museum Is Hiring Crew for Tall Ship

The Michigan Maritime Museum is now looking for volunteers and paid staff to sail aboard the tall ship, The Friends Good Will, for the summer 2022 season

Where is the Michigan Maritime Museum?

The Michigan Maritime Museum is located at 260 Dyckman Ave. in South Haven, Mich.

The exhibits at the Michigan Maritime Museum are currently closed while the campus undergoes construction. They've acquired the adjoining property, the former Jensen’s Fishery, and are doubling in size. The Maritime Museum is set to reopen in June 2022, however tickets for their on-water fleet of vessels are available for the upcoming season online.

Michigan Maritime Museum Ships: Flashback, Friends Good Will, and Bernida.
Michigan Maritime Museum Ships: Flashback, Friends Good Will, and Bernida.

What is The Friends Good Will?

The Friends Good Will is a replica of a top sail merchant sloop that traversed the waters of the Great Lakes in the early 19th century and played a pivotal role in the War of 1812.

The original ship was built in Michigan at River Rouge in 1810 as a merchant vessel. In the summer of 1812 The Friends Good Will was chartered by the federal government to take military supplies to Fort Dearborn, a small military and trading post at what is now Chicago. It was during the return trip that the ship was lured into the harbor of Mackinac Island and captured by the British. But that wasn't the end of The Friends Good Will! You can read more of the ship's history here.

Since 2004, the replica ship has had a home in South Haven:

Friends Good Will offers historical sails, pirate chaser sails, sunset sails, and even acts as a classroom for school groups to learn about early Michigan history and the Great Lakes. Occasionally, she will voyage to other ports for festivals and events. She makes an annual trip to Holland, Michigan during Tulip Time to offer dockside tours above and below decks to visitors.

Michigan Maritime Museum, Facebook
Michigan Maritime Museum, Facebook

Qualifications for Staff Aboard The Friends Good Will

Basic Seamanship Training is required for either volunteer or paid positions aboard the tall ship - and the Maritime Museum offers it for free!

The course consists of both classroom and on-water training. Participants must complete both training weekends, which are April 23-24 and May 21-22, to be considered for The Friends of Good Will Crew

Not sure if you're qualified?

According to the Maritime Museum,

Whether a seasoned sailor or a complete novice, this course prepares you for sailing aboard a traditional Great Lakes sloop.

Candidates must be 16 or older, dependable, and willing to work a varied schedule including weekdays, weekends, and evenings.

What Do Duties Aboard the Tall Ship Include?

Friends Good Will crew will assist in operations, maintenance and upkeep, as well as passenger and Museum guest interaction.

According to the Maritime Museum,

You will cast off, raise and set sail, and excite passengers with thrilling tales of Great Lakes sailing history on the waters of Lake Michigan.

The position is seasonal, running April through September.

How to Apply to Work at the Michigan Maritime Museum

If you're interested, contact Capt. Bob Harnish at captain@mimaritime.org or (269) 637-8078. 

If you're specifically interested in volunteering, you can find more information here.

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