The Mission:
Our mission is to provide inclusive and equitable access to on-the-water educational programs that foster connection to watershed and ocean environments, nautical and cultural heritage, and science.


The Vision:
Our vision is to empower generations of students of all ages and backgrounds to become environmental stewards and transform their world through sailing.

COTS was founded in 1985 by Alan Olson and a group of local sailors to provide Bay Area youth an opportunity to sail traditionally rigged vessels and to learn about the marine environment as well as maritime history — while inspiring them to be stewards of the sea and earth.

In 2004 COTS was re-founded with Ken Neal along with a new group of committed sailors who came together to purchase the schooner Seaward.  

  • Subsequently over the past ten years, Seaward has served over 50,000 students and now sails with an average of 5,000+ students per year.                                   

  • January 2015 COTS merged with Educational Tall Ship Inc. (ETS), the organization constructing the 132′ wooden hybrid, propulsion system tall ship Matthew Turner in Sausalito.  This ship will also serve as a floating classroom for students, extending our capacity to serve the Northern California community and beyond.