The School of Navigation and Seamanship (SONS)

Become a Godly and Qualified Seaman Equipped for Life in Missions

Begin at Port YWAM Kona, crew in Micronesia, Panama, or Papua New Guinea!



The School of Navigation and Seamanship (SONS) will prepare you to make a difference in the world of missions by being a crewmember on board one of our YWAM Ships. Partner with us in bringing the Gospel to remote islands serving aboard competently.


SONS is a three month course designed to train someone with little or no knowledge in seamanship to a level of competence that will be valuable aboard any YWAM ship.  In Kona we have a 44 foot training vessel and we spend three of the 12 weeks underway, so you get lots of Hands-on training.  We start out with short day sails in the first few weeks, so you have a context for the book learning.  Training includes 2 levels of Certification from the American Sailing Association (ASA). <>

ASA 101  Basic Keelboat

ASA 103  Coastal Cruising

This will give you the knowledge and experience to Skipper a sailboat up to about 40 feet.   You will also get a Hawaii State boaters License. We will cover most of the information you need to know to get a USCG Captains License.  You can read about the requirements  for a USCG Captains License here:

We do cover most of the information you need to know for the USCG tests.You will have the knowledge you need to be competent crew on most boats and a watch stander on YWAM Ships.

Online Application Form

Or contact us: +1 (808) 757 – 9150 Ext. 103

Online Syllabus Document

Or contact us: +1 (808) 757 – 9150 Ext. 101

School Director and Staff

At the completion of this school, students should be able to:

SONSUnderstand the principles of navigation and seamanship and apply them with confidence while conducting a vessel in a sea-lane. Effectively meet and respond to an emergency understanding Safety of Life at Sea. Work as a team in preventing and responding to an emergency at sea and in port. Navigate a vessel in extreme conditions and situations and identify dangers concerning crew, passengers, cargo, and the ship. Learn the principles of leadership and its disciplines and apply them with an understanding of Biblical principles. Understand the basic principles of Engineering and engine maintenance and operation. Gain confidence in preaching the Gospel and understanding the Biblical perspective of shipping and sea life. Have a world view and international awareness of evangelism by the use of ships.


September 27, 2018 – December 22, 2018 (length is 3 months)

July 5, 2019 – September 18, 2019



All applicants to SONS must be DTS graduates.


Port YWAM Kona in Hawaii


$3,995 USD + $300 certification fee (does not include airfare)

Application Process:

Email: or call us for more details: +1 (808) 757–9150

Sea Time Options?

Upon successful completion of the SONS course there is an optional 2 to 9 month sea time opportunity. You can serve on board one of our ships as a crew in Micronesia, Panama, Papua New Guinea, or Mexico. The cost of this deployment is only $400 USD per month plus International Health Insurance.



Captain Taylor PerezYWAM Ships provides opportunities to put your talents and training to work in company with other dedicated believers. The dynamic of working with motivated people of vision is inspiring and exciting. I am a professional mariner with close to 40 years experience, 30 years of it sailing as Master of cable ships laying and maintaining transoceanic communications cables. It is a great privilege to be able to use the gifts God has provided to participate with YWAM ships during vacation periods. There is a need for more professional mariners to assist with the operation of larger vessels which provide transportation and support to the teams providing spiritual. material and medical help to those who are isolated in small communities throughout the Pacific region. I heartily endorse this organization and encourage you to find out how you can participate.

Captain Taylor Perez

Disclaimer: YWAM Ships Kona is an independent and separate 501c3 organization from the University of the Nations, Kona Inc. These two entities are independent and separate in all aspects, legally, financially and operationally. The courses listed above are run at Port YWAM Kona one mile down the road from the University Campus.