(Sail Training) How it Works...

Sail Training Theory of Change 

(excerpts taken from ASTO theory of Change study) 

Sail training takes many of the components of other land based, outdoor adventure activities– such as overcoming challenges to achieve goals, working as a team, being isolated from the outside world and learning new skills– but with factors that can potentially make the impacts stronger. While elements of these factors are shared with other experiential activities, the specific challenges and unique physical environment of sail training can result in a distinctive experience. We have called these factors ‘boosters’. 

There are 6 boosters which have been identified: 

  1. Intense/Accelerated Experience – continuous and residential involvement with limited options to walk away or exclude oneself – therefore benefits of activities might be intensified or seen more quickly than say a weekly activity. 

  2. Real Experience – actions onboard are seen as having real consequences with real purpose. 

  3. Risky Experience – the perception of genuine risk (though in reality risk is very limited) means that participants feel reliant on staff and their peers to successfully complete the voyage. 

  4. Different Experience – a new and socially diverse environment may mean that participants are more likely to lose pre-conceptions of the limits of their own abilities and address habits reinforced by their normal, everyday environment. 

  5. Isolated Experience – being totally away from home, without factors (like social media) that reinforce participants’ normal, everyday behaviours or the ability to walk away. Participants are more likely to be present and reflective. 

  6. Peak Experience – because of the intensity of the experience, memories may be stronger and therefore potentially have a longer lasting impact than comparable activities. 


These boosters facilitate the realisation of the following learning objectives during and after a voyage: 

Self-knowledge and personal development 

  • Pride/sense of achievement and self-confidence, belief, esteem, reliance/independence 

  • Resilience 

  • Self-control/personal discipline 

  • Organisational skills & time management 

Social Development 

• Value of teamwork & cooperation 

• Respect for & understanding of others 

• Expanded horizons 

• Knowledge of different social groups & ability to bridge social differences 



• Tangible skills (Domestic, Sailing, etc.) 

• Critical Thinking Skills 

• Knowledge of/respect for the environment 


These learning objectives summarise essential life skills and attributes that we aim to achieve at Morning Star Trust, through life changing personal development on board. We want all people from all walks of life to have the opportunity to turn their lives around for a better future.

We are motivated by inspiring the most vulnerable in society to live life in all its fullness. 

How it helps 

The learning objectives above support individuals in developing a ‘can do’ attitude, having higher aspirations, growing better relationships and an increase in their learning engagement. It is always our hope that the longer-term outcomes of our intervention achieve and exceed the following outcomes: 

  • Better engagement in communities/responsible citizens. 

  • Improved educational attainment. 

  • Improved employability. 

  • Increased motivation and resourcefulness when faced with adversity. 

  • Improved happiness and wellbeing. 

  • Improved long-term life opportunities 

Morning Star Trust: A Company Limited by Guarantee, Number 2412804. 

Registered Offices:  Crews Quarters Offices, The Historic Dockyard, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TZ.  Charity No. 328320

01634 912042

Morning Star Trust

Crews Quarters Offices

The Historic Dockyard




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