Crawford Nautical School

The oldest privately-owned maritime training school in the United States, Crawford Nautical School has been training mariners for over 90 years

Now in its fifth generation, Crawford Nautical School has been training mariners since 1923. Our grand-uncle Jack Sullivan opened the School in New Orleans. Twenty years later our grandparents, Capt. Lorcan F. Crawford and his wife Hannah, moved the school to San Pedro, California.The Originals

Since then the School has had branches in San Diego, Wilmington and San Francisco, California. Since 1985, the School has been located in Seattle, where we continue to prepare mariners for US Coast Guard Deck and Engine licensing examinations and STCW competencies in particular, and for the vocation of becoming good shipmates in general.

Our father William P. Crawford died in March 2013, fittingly while teaching. He was first licensed as Unlimited Master over 60 years ago, directed Crawford Nautical School's California locations for 20 years and authored the Mariner series of highly regarded texts on terrestrial navigation, celestial navigation, weather and Rules of the Road. He continued teaching at our Seattle branch for another 20 years.

Of our primary deck instructors, Captains John, Andrew and Thomas are all ship's masters. Cumulatively grandfather, father, sons, and now cousin Jamie have amassed about 150 years on oceans -- enough time to have learned that there is always more to learn about going to sea.

Bruce Sherman has joined us as Engineering Instructor. Bruce has an extensive background in the practice as well as the teaching of Engineering.

Captain Fred Triggs (USN (retired) and Unlimited Master) adds his considerable strengths to the teaching staff in both Deck and Engine subjects.

Samuel J. (Jamie) Crawford, Chief Mate Oceans and Master 1600 GT Oceans, has become an indispensable part of our school during his layovers between ships. Exploited ruthlessly by his cousins, he has helped numerous students on their way to their licenses.

Marcia Esser (Master 1600 Oceans) has joined us as a primary Deck instructor year. While much in demand on yachts transiting the Atlantic, Caribbean and Mediterranean, Marcia was born to teach.

Finally, Patsy, continues to pinch hit for the other instructors and help mariners plot out career paths in the maritime industry.

Grounding Narrowly Averted Off Norway On Wednesday morning, the 40,000 dwt barge carrier Eide Carrier (AIS reporting name Tide Carrier) came within 300 feet of going aground off Jæren,

Coast Guard Medevacs 73-Year-Old Woman From Cruise Ship 86 Miles Southwest of San Diego

Charlie Mingus: Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. A Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Sector San Diego medically evacuates a 73-year-old woman from a cruise ship approximately 86 miles southwest of San Diego, February 20, 2017. The woman had been suffering from severe abdominal pain. (U.S. Coast Guard video by Coast Guard ...

Doria Master Sees Liner Sink From Hornbeam Bridge Buoy tender, Hornbeam, came home to Woods Hole at 10:30 last night with two lifeboats on her deck, memories of the sinking of the Italian liner, Andrea Doria, off Nantucket

Tug Grounding Causes Fuel Spill in Alaska Emergency personnel continue their response to the tug boat Samson Mariner which ran aground and spilled fuel while towing a barge…

[02/15/17]   CNS is offering a QMED course from March 6th-April 7th. If you know someone that has 180 days of engine sea service encourage them to get a Merchant Marine Credential! Call 206-667-9377 to enroll.

Update 3 and final: Coast Guard suspends search for fishing vessel near St. George, Alaska

Our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the F/V Destination crew. The Coast Guard has suspended the search for the crew of the fishing vessel Destination northwest of St. George, Alaska, Monday afternoon.

[02/12/17]   Bryce Buholm posted the following about the F/V Destination and we'd like to repost it here.

As a multi generational fisherman that grew up in the 80s, losing boats and family friends was kinda the norm... it was never easy but it was crab fishing... I started crab fishing in the 90s and I have lost many friend over the years. tonight as I sneak in and give my little girls an extra kiss goodnight and watch them sleep, I think of all of the kids that lost their fathers today on the Bering Sea... I pray for all those kids, wives, mothers fathers... I've seen first hand the tears and sorrow of a mother loosing Their child to the Bering Sea. I've known kids that grew up not knowing their fathers.
It makes me wonder what happened today to the Destination, Jeff was one of the BEST! The crew on there of one of the best... as a Captain a 1000 different scenarios go thru my mind, the Destination was one of the most meticulously taken care of boats in he fleet! Jeff was one of the most seasoned crab captains out there! What ever happened this morning you can bank on it it was BAD, and I guarantee Jeff was doing what he thought best! And anyone who questions that can F*^% off! Between him and Larry they had 40 years of experience on that boat! David maintains all of his boats like no other! As everyone speculates on their theory's, nobody will ever really know...

I think back to prior crab tragedies, Big Valley, Lin J, Pacsetter, Northwest mariner, Vestfjord and so many more... these guys were also top captains Gary Edwards , Blake Kenier , Matt Pope , Jim Foster, Dick Legary.... all very experienced captains! All great guys too...

As I get ready to fly back up to run my boat next week, it makes me think of all those guys that didn't make it. Why will I be different? They forgot more than I'll ever know! I sailed for the first time as captain when I was 20 years old (17 years ago)I had absolutely NO business being there but I made it and so did the crew! But I take every tragedy and try to find good in it. If I can lean something from them. No matter how small, I feel their tragic loss is not a complete loss as they have helped me lean, and by learning from them after death, I might save someone's life and if I save someone by learning from those who are gone, their deaths are not in vain

The one thing that I hope all other young ( and old ) captains get from my ramblings here is that... every-time there is a tragedy, try to learn as much as you can from their mistakes. Yes there is a lot of pressure to produce! But we all know we walk a fine line, one side your considered weak and soft the other side of the line your dead... Bill Widing told me a saying years ago " there are old fisherman, there are Bold fisherman, but there are no old bold fisherman " remember to know when to say when. Listen to the old timers! Listen to your gut and when you feel that fear in your guts, use that fear to keep you on your toes and use that to bring you and your crew home to your families

I guess after all this rambling I just want everyone to see that no Matter how long you have done this, we are all just at the mercy of Mother Nature! Think, plan, drill, and educate your self and crew!

Rest In Peace Jeff, Lary, and Ray Ray, and the rest of the crew! Lets all learn from this and bye doing that , this horrible tragedy will not be in vain!






801 NW 42nd St, Ste 206
Seattle, WA

Opening Hours

Monday 8:30am - 3:30pm
Tuesday 8:30am - 3:30pm
Wednesday 8:30am - 3:30pm
Thursday 8:30am - 3:30pm
Friday 8:30am - 3:30pm
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