Captain, S/V Denis Sullivan
Job Details
Corporate HeadQuarters - Milwaukee, WI

Position: Captain, S/V Denis Sullivan

Reports to: Chief Executive Officer 

Schedule: Full-Time, Year-Round, Evenings and Weekends Required


Job Summary

Captain of the S/V Denis Sullivan, the world's only re-creation of a 19th-century three-masted Great Lakes schooner, must be able to demonstrate leadership, excellent sailing skills, and experience running the deck and managing the crew of a Tall Ship. The Captain ultimately is responsible for all operations pertaining to the vessel. This year-round position is charged with leading all aspects of the marine operation to ensure the long-term sustainability of the vessel. The Captain is also an integral part of the broader Discovery World team with significant input into the programming and integration of the S/V Denis Sullivan with the overall mission of Discovery World. The Captain will be accountable to the CEO, including guidance and direction provided by the CEO.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Ensure all vessel structure is sound, equipment is functional, vessel aesthetic is maintained to a high level, and procedures are in place for safe navigation.
  • Ensure all marine operations and activities are carried out in a safe manner, and that all safety equipment and procedures are in place, operational, and up to code.
  • With support of the Human Resource Generalist, recruit, hire, train, and evaluate vessel staff.
  • With support from the Volunteer and Training Manager, train, supervise, and direct volunteer teams to support the maintenance and operation of the vessel.
  • Train vessel staff and volunteers in all emergency and safety procedures.
  • In collaboration with the CFO, and COO, establish, track, and maintain marine operation annual budget including detailed expense documentation, purchase order facilitation, and accurate receipts inventory.
  • Establish and maintain year-round calendar of operation including, but not limited to, vessel maintenance, staffing, sailing season prep, program/experience execution, inspections, and a detailed off season work schedule.
  • With approval from the CEO and COO, evaluates and implements changes or improvements to vessel operational procedure.
  • Ensure that marine staff and volunteers contribute to a positive image of Discovery World.
  • Serve as lead point of contact for paid public experiences coordination and execution.
  • Lead communication and coordination with government agencies including but not limited to, US Coast Guard, American Bureau of Shipping, and the Port of Milwaukee.
  • Ensure the vessel meets or exceeds all USCG-required tests/inspections for safety and seaworthiness.
  • Adheres to Discovery World organizational policies and procedures as outlined in the employee manual.

Work Environment:

Listed below are key points regarding environmental demands and work environment of the job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

  • Required to use motor coordination with finger dexterity (such as keyboarding, machine operation, etc.) part of the workday.
  • Required to stand for long periods of time most of the work day.
  • Required to exert physical effort in handing objects more than 50 pounds.
  • Required to be exposed to physical occupational risks (such as cuts, burns, exposure to toxic chemicals, etc.) rarely.
  • Required to be exposed to physical environment which involves dirt, odors, noise, weather extremes, or similar elements.
  • Normal setting for this job is: outdoors/on the water, workshop, onboard vessel, or museum/office setting.

Certifications Required

License: Master, 100t, Inland (200t preferred)

Basic Safety Training: STCW-95 completion

Able Seaman (AB) deck rating


Other Knowledge, Skills, or Abilities Required

  • Basic working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, Microsoft Office.
  • Basic computer troubleshooting skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Excellent customer service skills.
  • Ability to speak effectively and persuasively before groups, organizations, and volunteers.
  • Ability to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral, or diagram form.
  • Ability to solve problems involving several concrete variables in standardized situations effectively.
  • Excellent time management skills (prioritizing, meeting deadlines, etc.).
  • Ability to make independent evaluations and decisions based upon experience, knowledge, or training.
  • Ability to work evenings and weekends as required.