St. Maarten Sail & Canvas N.V. have coordinated with local business’ in helping to train students from the Foundation ‘Kidz at Sea’, to develop the skills needed in the local Marine Industry.
The Kidz at Sea foundation primarily focus on two programs. ‘Build your future’ which primarily focuses on teaching high school students to build boats using the traditional methods. The ‘Zero to Hero’ program has its focus on the unemployed youth on St. Maarten in the age 17 to 35. The aim is help reduce the shortage of Scuba Diving Masters, Boat Masters and quality boat repair and technicians within the local labor pool. The projects and programs are geared toward teaching the students life skills to help them succeed both on and off the water, developing skills such as team work, communication, accountability and self-reliance.
A fun and lively group of twelve students from the group of ‘Zero to Hero’ teens, attended the sail loft of St. Maarten Sails & Canvas N.V. in Cole Bay for an introduction and workshop on the sail making industry. The students were introduced to the basic elements of sail making and also partook in some practical exercises.
Sail making is a profession as old as seafaring itself. A sailmaker typically works on shore in a sail loft, a sail loft is a room where sails are cut out and made. Large ocean-going sailing ships often have sailmakers in the crew. A sailmaker as well as specializing in producing sails for boats will also provide advice on how to use, set, and care for sails. While the basic elements and skills of sail making can be picked up in a few months, it takes years to master the profession.