Submitted by Tacoma Sea Scouts

Following a thorough US Coast Guard inspection, Tacoma’s SSS #110 Charles N. Curtis received Subchapter T licensure to operate as a passenger vessel. “As a passenger on this vessel, the COI is your assurance that the vessel meets Coast Guard safety criteria,” stated Tom Rogers, Skipper of Curtis and longtime Sea Scout volunteer. “As a Sea Scout unit, we train to Coast Guard standards year-round. They are as knowledgeable as any charter crew and take the lead during our Coast Guard inspection. Exercises like these are key in providing pathways for our youth that may not know about the life-changing opportunities on our waters.”

In order to receive the Certificate of Inspection (COI), the vessel and safety equipment are inspected followed by crew drill demonstrations in areas like fire and man overboard recovery. Following the inspection at the Youth Marine Foundation campus, safety demonstrations were conducted by the crew made up of Sea Scout youth.

Vessels that carry between 6 to 150 passengers are classified as Subchapter T boats. Most charters of this size are booked by community groups, schools and museum programs in the Puget Sound. The Curtis regularly collaborates with Tacoma Public Schools, area colleges and Metro Parks to provide both marine science cruises and holiday cruises for traditionally underserved communities.

Tacoma Sea Scouts
The Coast Guard inspectors listen to the crew compare the ship logs to account for everyone on the bow. Each station is responsible for additional checklists once gathered. Photo courtesy: Tacoma Sea Scouts

Originally built as a Coast Guard Patrol boat in 1931, the wooden boat Curtis has helped hundreds of teens develop their leadership and maritime skills in the Salish Sea and beyond. Monique Valenzuela, Executive Director for the Youth Marine Foundation, is focused on making sure all youth have the opportunity to touch the Sound. She added, “Many of our teens come from non-boating families. Our mission is to remove any obstacles to getting on the water – – we provide the vessels, the waterfront campus and the training. We need to spread the word everyone is welcome!”  

Any schools, community groups or corporate groups can inquire about future charter opportunities aboard Curtis. All proceeds go back to the maintenance and care of the 88-year old wooden vessel. Until Pierce County reaches Safe Start Phase 4, Curtis programs and charters are on hold. Anyone interested in more information about Curtis should contact Tom Rogers at 253-572-2666 or visit tacomaymf.org.

Background

Since being established in 1924, the Tacoma Sea Scouts have provided youth-focused maritime and leadership programs in the Puget Sound for 96 continuous years. The Tacoma Sea Scout Base is located at The Tacoma Youth Marine Center on the Foss Waterway and is home to three Sea Scout vessels. The vessels provide year-round programs open to all youth.

The Youth Marine Foundation (YMF) is a 501(c)3 organization that funds the operations of the Tacoma Youth Marine Center to provide a place for marine-related training programs for young men and women. Participants include the Sea Scouts, Naval ROTC, Tacoma Public Schools Science and Math Institute and Metro Parks.

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