About South Passage

Adventure Under Sail

South Passage is a 100 foot gaff rigged Schooner, built specifically for adventure sailing and education

It is owned and operated by the not for profit association The Sail Training Association of Qld Inc.

Who Are We

Trading as South Passage – Adventure under Sail, 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 difference in the lives of young people.


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

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.

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.

The Ship

Technical Details:
Designer: Rick James B.E. (NA) MRINA (Aust)
Builder: Steenland Constructions
Length: 30.5 metres (including bowsprit)
Draught: 2.2 metres
Height: 22.7 metres
Sail Area: 270 sq. metres
Displacement: 60 tonnes


The Crew

We supply each voyage with a crew of six staff, who are supplemented by their crew of students or day sailors.


The Skipper

is responsible for the safe operation of South Passage. They must have at least a USL Master Class 4 Ticket that qualifies them to sail a commercial vessel the size of South Passage in offshore waters.


The Sail Master

is second-in-charge on board and must have at least a USL Master Class 5 Ticket.

Both the skipper and sailing master must have current first aid qualifications and one of them must have a MED3 (Marine Engine Driver) certificate. Many of our skippers and sailing masters have qualifications in excess of the minimum requirements.


The Galley Cook

manages the ships galley and works wonders producing nourishing and varied meals for the crew and students in often trying conditions.

Your nutrition will not be of traditional standards but we are confident you will enjoy being treated to this luxury.

A healthy sailor is a happy sailor.


The Watch Leaders

are three additional leaders, the  crew are split into three watches (red, white and blue) under the guidance of a Watchleader. Trained in sailing South Passage the South Passage way via a structured training course that covers safety, sailing and crew management. All of the crew on South Passage hold a Queensland Government Positive Notice Blue Card enabling them to work with children.


Aboard South Passage, everyone can enjoy the excitement of adventure sailing in a safe environment.

Under Survey

South Passage undergoes an annual maintenance program in February each year and is inspected and certified by Maritime Safety Queensland (MSA) and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA). Routine and preventative maintenance programs are conducted throughout the sailing year.

Crew Qualifications

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

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.

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 risks 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 snorkelling where the conditions vary on each occasion.

Please refer to our Code of Conduct which is adhered to by our Crew Members.

Child Safety

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

crossSouth Passage

8/188 Stratton Terrace,
Manly, Queensland 4179

Phone:(07) 3893 3777

Email: [email protected]