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Nautical Science

Learn the Ropes at the School by the Sea.

At Tabor, Nautical Science students go beyond a traditional curriculum, building confidence and lifelong skills along the way. Seawolves can test their knowledge and apply their leadership expertise in both real-life situations and controlled simulations, such as studying sea survival in our lifeboat course. With Tabor’s direct access to the waterfront, students have the opportunity to translate what is discussed in class onto the water. Approximately 150 students are enrolled in one or more of our unique hands-on nautical science programs each year. They include:

  • Celestial Navigation
  • Sailing Model Building
  • Marine Engineering
  • Lifeboat (a US Coast Guard approved course)
  • U.S. Sailing Level 1 Instructor (certification course)
  • Sail Design & Theory
  • Elements of Nautical Science
  • Advanced Nautical Science

A Naval Honor School

Tabor Academy was designated as a Naval Honor School in 1941 by Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, in accordance with congressional legislation enacted in 1936 to encourage the teaching of naval subjects at the secondary level and to generate interest in the nation’s military academies. Tabor earned this designation by providing instruction, continuously since 1917, in a variety of hands-on maritime subjects and activities.

Service Academy Nominations

A special privilege granted to us, as one of only two remaining Naval Honor schools in the country, is the authority to directly nominate up to three candidates every year to each of the nation’s military academies. Students, once nominated, then compete on their own merit to secure a place at West Point, Annapolis, The U.S. Coast Guard Academy, or The Air Force Academy. This is an option pursued annually by a small number of our top students, most commonly at Annapolis and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Our participating graduates have maintained Tabor’s excellent reputation throughout the years at the academies. 

Naval Honor Recognition at Graduation

As a part of Tabor’s Naval Honor School tradition, students can earn a designation of “Naval Honor Graduate” with their Tabor diploma by successfully completing the necessary requirements within our Nautical Science curriculum. In the spring of their senior year, eligible Naval Honor candidates are required to submit a one-page application for final approval, with consideration given to overall experience and competence in Nautical Science, as well as leadership and/or academic proficiency. This distinction is recognized during Commencement.

Naval Honor recognition requirements (5 or more of the following credits with a minimum overall average of 80):

  • Service as a Tabor Boy Officer (two seasons minimum) [1 credit]
  • Any trimester-length Nautical Science course [1 credit]
  • Celestial Navigation [3 credits]
  • Maritime History [1 credit]

Lifeboatman Course

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Students on a lifeboat studying nautical survival skills