Coastwise Incorporated’s mission is to conduct youth leadership training and support the sea scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America in the state of Maine. This is done through the ownership of sea scout vessels on behalf of individual units; through fundraising to support the ship's mission and operations; and by securing donations, grants, and providing other services and training that the unit's chartering organization and the Boy Scout Council might otherwise be unable to provide. With generous financial donations, volunteer commitment, strong partnerships and community relations, our program is one of the most unique opportunities to connect youth to the waterways of the Maine Coast and beyond.
The Sea Scouts are members of the International Scouting movement with focus on boating and water-based activities. A specialized program for older scouts, member units are called "Ships". Sea Scouting provides a chance for its membership to sail, cruise on boats, learn navigation, learn how to work on engines, compete in regattas and more. For over 100 years, Sea Scouting has promoted better citizenship through instruction and practice in water safety, boating skills, outdoor, service experiences, and knowledge of maritime culture and heritage.
In 2016, Sea Scout Ship 243, newly reorganized after a 2-year hiatus, found themselves in a difficult situation. The boat that the members had worked on in preparation for their first season on the water was severely vandalized and made inoperable. As a new organization, they very suddenly found themselves to be without a vessel for their education.
Luckily support came from an unexpected source. While on the docks, two of Ship 243's adult leaders met a boat owner in passing who was selling his 40 ft. Island Gypsy trawler. After a series of conversations, the owner of the trawler offered to donate his vessel to the Sea Scouts!
Although it was an amazing opportunity, it led to yet another hurdle: The Ship's chartering organization found that they were not in the fiscal or legal position to take ownership of the vessel. Thus, was the creation of Coastwise Incorporated as an educational 501(c)3 non-profit. Coastwise is now able to accept donations on behalf of the Sea Scouts, provide training, and conduct fundraising events to support the program. Coastwise now is the only organization in the state of Maine dedicated to youth leadership training and supporting the Sea Scouts.
Today, Coastwise Inc. functions and supports the Sea Scout program. Based out of the mid-coast region of Maine, we are the only organization in the state dedicated to supporting Sea Scouts. It’s clear however that as an organization, we cannot do it alone: it relies on the surrounding community to exist. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation so we can provide the best service and education possible to the Sea Scout youth of Maine. Our motto "Leadership through Seamanship" is a clear message of our vision to create a program that that prepares our children to become our leaders in the future and continue as our legacy.
Into the Future. Coastwise is not merely a holding company for the Sea Scouts. In addition to the extended education we provide to our members, we are currently developing a plan to provide training opportunities to youth that are not yet old enough for the Sea Scout program. This will provide an introduction for junior high/middle school students to all the ocean has to offer. They will be introduced to the working waterfront of our great state. This includes everything from commercial fisheries to shipbuilding, marine biology to law enforcement. For many of the participants, this will be the first time they have an opportunity to get out on the “big water”.