Maine has a few instructors that are former tall ship master’s and the aux sail operations concentration… They have Schooner Crew that does maintenance on the Bowdoin and in the fall it does afternoon sails Monday-Thursday after classes are over. You could also get positions on tall ships during the last half of your summers after your cruises so that you graduate with enough time to get your 500 ton mate of sail. I don’t think they’re are any boats in the US civilian fleet over that tonnage so that’s really all you need
Star of India is listed as 1197 GT (no register tonnage listed)
Falls of Clyde is 3200 GRT - but the ship is tied up.
I wouldn’t consider either of those vessels a part of the US tall ship fleet.
“When she sails, Star of India often remains within sight of the coast of San Diego County, and usually returns to her dock within a day. She is sailed by a skilled volunteer crew of Maritime Museum members, who train all year. She has become one of the landmark ships in San Diego’s Harbor.”
Eh, not really. I sailed for about six years and most vessels are under 200T so you don’t need much bigger than that. (Oliver Hazard Perry is one of the larger ships that comes to mind and requires a 500ton NC Master but she’s a rare one). Frankly if you can do the work, pay attention, and get along with folks you can move up quickly. Just racking up time on the deck, in the engine, aloft, etc, will teach you more about running a charter ship business or skippering than a maritime school, not to mention few ships have much beyond a GPS and a simple radar and AIS (hell, even that’s new for some tall ships). The money isn’t there (even as mate/captain) but it’s the love of the game, etc, and I’m sure you realized that when you were aboard Chieftain. There are always a handful of boats looking for new owners when you are ready for it because it’s like that Richard Branson quote… How do you become a millionaire? Start with a billion dollars and build an airline.
Feel free to PM me if you have Qs.