Ship's Company

Friends Good Will requires annual rigging, de-rigging, regular maintenance, and an active and trained crew. These necessary tasks and vital services are provided by member volunteers enrolled in the Ship’s Company.

Join the Ship's Company

Enthusiasm, dedication, and available time are more important than sailing experience. Provisions have been made for the novice and for the member whose distance from South Haven will limit the time available. Do not let inexperience or distance deter you from becoming involved!

To become a member of Friends Good Will Ship’s Company, download the Volunteer Application and Disclosure Form. Application to join the Ship’s Company can be made by electronic or regular mail.

Volunteer Application

Disclosure Form

Basic Seamanship Training

Training for Ship's Company members begins with our Basic Seamanship program.  This program consists of three courses:

Basic Seamanship I : This is a basic introduction where prospective Ship's Company members will learn the history of the Michigan Maritime Museum, the history of the original and the new Friends Good Will, and the organization and the policies of the Ship's Company.

Basic Seamanship II : Students will be introduced to the ship, learning names of various parts of the vessel and her rigging, safety procedures, safety drills, and some basic marlinspike skills of knots, belaying, and handling mooring lines. This class will be held in part aboard Friends Good Will at the dock.

Basic Seamanship III : Students will get underway aboard Friends Good Will and go sailing. Students will practice sail handling skills, safety drills, and maneuvering the vessel. Multiple setting and striking of the sails and multiple drills will give everyone a chance to participate.

There is no cost for these classes, but a Museum membership is required. Memberships may be purchased online at our website (click on the link at left), over the phone, by mail, or in person.  The minimum age for volunteer crew is 14.

Basic Seamanship classes are offered at various times during the year.  If you would like notification of the next Basic Seamanship classes, email the Director of Education & Administration at

Crew Schedule