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Sailing is Our Passion

South Passage is owned and operated by the not for profit association - The Sail Training Association of Qld Inc. The members of the association are volunteers, many with and without a background in sailing but all with a desire to make a positive difference in the lives of young people.

South Passage was originally conceived by founders, Simon and Marilyn Steenland, in 1988 after seeing the tall ships from all around the world in Brisbane on their way to the bicentennial celebrations in Sydney.


The Ship


Rick James B.E. (NA) MRINA (Aust)


Steenland Constructions


30 metres (including bowsprit)


2.2 metres


22.7 metres


270 sq. metres


60 tonnes


Carol Trendell

Versatile in Sailing the East Coast of Australia

With help from designer Rick James, they set out to build a ship that was versatile in sailing the east coast of Australia and all sails could be managed from the deck. In doing this, they built an organisation that would create great sailing adventures for the public, and specifically students.

Passionate about Inspiring the Young and Young at Heart

She was launched on 23 September, 1993 and named 'South Passage' after the channel between Moreton and North Stradbroke Islands. Her maiden voyage with 24 voyagers was in December 1993.

Since then she has taken over 40,000 young people sailing on voyages varying from six hours to seven days. Our crew love what they do and are passionate about inspiring the young and young at heart.

Meet out Mighty Crew

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Our leader on board the ship. Professionally qualified (Master <35m or higher) they are responsible for SAFETY on board, navigation, helming the ship and telling plenty of sailing stories.



Our crew leader and chief organiser. Professionally qualified (Master <24m or higher) they manage the crew, sailing operations and ensure everything runs smoothly. They have some good stories too.



The most popular members of our crew. They keep everyone fed with amazing nutritious meals. Always have a smile and a laugh on hand.



All trained volunteers with a sense of fun and adventure, they do it for love! They lead the watches, teach safe sail handling, navigation and seamanship. They also mentor our young voyagers. 

Under Survey

South Passage undergoes an annual maintenance program each February and is inspected by an independent Marine Surveyor accredited by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA). Routine and preventative maintenance programs are conducted throughout the sailing year so you can be confident everything is ship shape.

First Aid

The Skipper and Sailing Master hold relevant first aid certificates as do many of the Watchleaders. South Passage is equipped with three first aid kits, an oxygen resuscitation system and an Automatic External Defibrillator.


The standard way of operating South Passage has been developed with a view to minimising the risk of injury or accident. All crew are trained in these standard procedures and are constantly on the lookout to identify potentially dangerous situations. Individual Risk Assessments are undertaken in respect of activities such as snorkeling where the conditions vary on each occasion.

Safety Equipment

South Passage carries a full range of safety equipment including life rafts, life jackets, flares, GPS, VHF and UHF radios, satellite and mobile phones, EPIRB, fire extinguishers and other fire-fighting equipment.

Child Safety

All South Passage crew hold Queensland Government Positive Notice Blue Cards to allow them to work with young people.

Crew Qualifications

The Skipper and Sailing Master hold formal maritime qualifications and our volunteer Watchleaders complete a structured South Passage training course.

With help and support from

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