About the project 

SHTP 2 offers a total of sixteen bursaried 12-month training placements (full-time) at eight partner sites around the UK between 2018-2020. The project will provide trainees with the opportunity to learn either the on-board specialist skills used in operating and maintaining historic sailing vessels, or the skills and ethical approaches related to museum shipkeeping.

Over a year, trainees will: take part in a three-week induction at a range of sites across Devon and Cornwall; complete a tailored course in traditional boat maintenance at the International Boatbuilding Training College in Lowestoft; and gain an understanding of historic vessel conservation based on the standards set down by NHS-UK.


Following on from the success of the first SHTP project, National Historic Ships UK  launched a revised version of the training partnership in 2018. Building on the outcomes of SHTP, the project focuses on both the traditional seamanship skills necessary to operate and maintain historic vessels empathetically and effectively, and the practical skills required by museum ship-keepers in charge of vessel collections. The specific skills involved include traditional seamanship techniques, historic vessel maintenance and historic vessel conservation.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded a grant of £409,000 towards a total project cost of £424,900 for the project which will provide training, skills and experience in the historic ships sector.

Training placements

The project offers two training routes and successful applicants will be matched with one of our partner organisations, according to their preference.                    

Traditional Seafarer Partner Organisations

  • Excelsior Trust, Lowestoft
  • Pioneer Sailing Trust, Essex
  • Sea-Change Sailing Trust, Essex
  • Falmouth Plot Cutter, Cornwall
  • Dauntseys School Sailing Club (Jolie Brise), Hampshire

Museum Shipkeeping Partner Organisations

  • National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth
  • Cutty Sark (Royal Museums Greenwich)
  • Scottish Fisheries Museum, Anstruther                                                    


Each placement will provide the skills and experience to help them seek a career within the maritime heritage sector. Trainees will also have the opportunity to visit other partner organisations to gain experience of both sailing and museum based vessels as well as masterclasses, visits to maritime museums and heritage organisations and individual professional development training opportunities.

By the end of the year, trainees will have built up a record of operational, maintenance and conservation skills and will be able to gain certificates accredited by National Historic Ships UK.

Find out more about the two training routes and read about our partner organisations, where you can watch short films describing the experience trainees will have at each site.

Read more about trainee experiences through their monthly blogs 


Trainees receive a bursary to cover living expenses whilst on the program of £1000 per month. All other costs including professional training at IBTC Lowestoft, the induction sea school and travel to rotations or other programme activities are funded as part of the project. 

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