Fri, July 28 – Sun, July 31
Volunteer: Sail Portsmouth-Tall Ships

Dates: Fri, July 28- Sun, July 31, 9:30am-5:30pm (sign-ups are open direct through SailPortsmouth)

Earns Volunteer Service Hours
Report your Own Hours

Event Location: Portsmouth Commercial Fish Pier, 1 Peirce Island Road, Portsmouth

Event Website:

Event Description: This July, five tall ships plus the Gundalow will sail up the Piscataqua River. The Parade of Sail and Flotilla is scheduled to begin at 6:15 PM (1815) Thursday, July 27. The Parade of kicks off Sail Portsmouth 2023 with the tall ships leading a flotilla of other vessels, both civilian and commercial fishing boats plus military and municipal craft. They start at the mouth of the river and end at the Memorial Bridge where the tall ships will turn around and head to their mooring sites.

Parking Information: TBD

Sign-ups: Fill out this form: GSA-SAilPortsmouth-Volunteer Commitment Form. Save the form to your computer, then send it to Robin Comstock at or email her the information on the form.

Volunteer Shifts: 9:30-12:30, 12:30-2:30, 2:30-5:30

Volunteer Duties: An official GSA position is Event & Tent Greeter.  There are lots of positions available for GSAs as well: Parking Attendant, Volunteer Table Assistant, Ticket Sales, Merchandise Sales, Water Wagon – Sales, Disabled Attendant – Greeter, Line Attendant – Greeter, Gangplank Attendant – Greeter, Attendee Counter – “ Clicker” ( entrance & exit), Attendee – Hand Stamper, Grounds Monitor & Maintenance Attendant, Evening Receptions Set –Up and Breakdown.

Orientation Training: Sunday, July 16, 2023 at 3:00 -4:30, located at the Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside Hotel (250 Market St, Portsmouth).  This training will help you to learn all that you need and want to know as a volunteer for the Sail Portsmouth Maritime Festival Event, to insure both your and our guest’s safety and comfort, while meeting and enjoying the company and support of one another.  RSVP to if you plan to attend the training.

Perks: Experience the tall ships!

Dress code:

Full GSA uniform: GSA shirt, KHAKI pants or skirt and name tag.
No purses or large bags, please. Fanny packs and small over the shoulder wallets are okay.

Difficulty Rating: 3
Must be able to stand and/or walk for most shifts.

Event Contact: Robin Comstock at

Volunteer Hours: This is an unmanaged event.  Please report your volunteer hours, including if you attend the training, through our Report Hours form.

The festival will run from July 27 – July 31 and will feature six tall ships. The festival will kick off on the evening of July 27 with the 2023 Parade of Sail through Portsmouth Harbor, a featured Portsmouth 400 event, co-sponsored by the Portsmouth Propellor Club and presided over by New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu as the parade’s Grand Marshall.

The six tall ships will include: (see images below)

  • The three-masted, NAO Trinidad a replica of the flagship of the 16th century Magellan-Elcano expedition, the first European ship to circumnavigate the world;
  • The Ernestina-Morrissey, a 153’ long two-masted schooner launched from Gloucester in 1894 and now a sail training ship for the Massachusetts Maritime Academy;
  • The 2-masted topsail schooner Lynx, replica of an 1812 era privateer;
  • The Bowdoin, a 200’ long, two-masted schooner built for arctic exploration in 1921 and now operated by Maine Martime Academy;
  • The Denis Sullivan, a 137’ long three-masted gaff-rigged schooner that is the sail training ship for Sea Challenge; and
  • Portsmouth’s own single masted, gundalow Piscataqua, a shallow-drafted cargo ship historically used in the coastal rivers of Maine and New Hampshire.

In addition to the six tall ships, it is hoped that 250 private pleasure and fishing vessels will participate in the Parade. As an incentive to encourage broad participation by other boaters, all participating private pleasure and commercial fishing vessels will be eligible to enter into a raffle for a $1000 Hamilton Marine gift certificate. Participants will register by picking up a raffle coupon from any local yacht club, boat club, or marina.

Following the Parade of Sail, two of the ships will be docked at Peirce Island for the next four days and open to the public daily for tours from 10 AM to 5 PM. Food and additional entertainment are also featured at the Peirce Island venue.

Ticket prices are $12/adult or $25 for a family of up to 3 children and 1 adult. Children 12 years and under are free with an adult. Tickets are available online at

For those wanting a more experiential tall ship adventure, the two masted top-sail schooner Lynx, will offer day sail experiences, starting with a pre-festival sail from Gloucester to Portsmouth on July 26 (limited to persons 8 years or older), a Parade of Sail ride-in and daily two-hour sails along the coast throughout the festival (limited to persons 6 years or older) aboard the Lynx, which will be docked at the UNH pier on Sullivan Road in New Castle throughout the festival. Also, the three-masted Denis Sullivan will be offering a one-way day sail to Boston on July 29.

Ticket prices vary. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are available online at

In support of the Sea Challenge participants, Sail Portsmouth will again sponsor the Tall Sips Brewfest this year, a festival of craft beer production and enjoyment. The event is scheduled for Saturday, May 20 from 3 to 7 PM. VIP entrance is from 3 to 4 PM and General Public entrance is from 4 to 7PM. As of this date, 15 craft producers have committed to serving their products.

The event will be held at Hampton Airfield, 9A Lafayette Road in North Hampton. The Brewfest is intended as a family event, and activities will include airplane operations, food by the Airfield Café, live music, and lawn games.

Tickets are limited and available in advance online at or by scanning this QR code. Ticket prices are $50 for VIP entrance. General admission is $35/adult. Minors are free and designated drivers are $5.


This year the Sea Challenge will occur on board the three-masted schooner Denis Sullivan during the week before the Sail Portsmouth Festival, from July 21 to July 28. The Denis Sullivan is newly acquired by World Ocean School, the operator of Roseway, used for last year’s Sea Challenge.

The Sea Challenge program allows selected high school students to spend one week aboard a traditionally rigged tall ship, working as part of the crew to sail the ship on her voyage from Boston to Portsmouth.

Lessons learned include basic seamanship, introduction to navigation, marine biology and personal skills like teamwork and leadership. Participants work with student crew and professional crew to sail the ship safely and efficiently and to build character by overcoming self-perceived limitations, all while having fun, making new friends, and learning about career and education opportunities in the maritime industries.

Tuition of $1,600 includes bus transportation from Portsmouth to Boston, bunk, meals and other program expenses. Thanks in part to the Tall Sips event and to other fundraising efforts, full or partial scholarships are available to those students in need of financial aid. As John Considine, Co-Chair, always says, “No student will be left behind because they don’t have the money.” For further information contact Susan Johnson or John Considine