Youth Sailing Foundation (YSF) has introduced a Boat Repair Apprentice Program to provide one on one guidance and mentoring to a group of children from Youth Guidance (YG). Each week five apprentice boat repair trainees come to YSF with Phil and a YG mentor to learn maritime trade skills ranging from boat bottom painting to engine maintenance. YSF has a volunteer workforce of thirty highly skilled volunteers who repair and maintain a fleet of 75 sail and 10 safety boats. Operating a small shipyard, YSF has all the tools and machinery required to apprentice young people in the maritime trades.
The collaboration is the result of YG Executive Director Phil Barnes and his counterpart at YSF, Stu Keiller, discussing restoration of boat Youth Guidance was receiving from a donor. Youth Guidance had recently started a bike repair program. The two Executive Director’s quickly concluded Youth Sailing Foundation could leverage its expertise and facilities to provide a similar opportunity in boat repair.
After just a few sessions with YSF volunteers Robert Klimeck and Mike Mariotti it became apparent that the youngsters from Youth Guidance were imparting as much fun and inspiration to these two highly skilled senior mechanics as they were instructing the children. As Robert told Stu Keiller, “I will take these five kids every day of the week. You won’t believe how much they accomplished in one hour. They were focused and wanted to learn. Mike and I want to continue with this group after the 10-week term concludes. They are joy to work with.”