Meet the Crew: Chief Mate Billy Sabatini
Position: Chief Mate aboard Flagship Niagara
What that means: As second in command aboard the ship, Sabatini works with the crew to make sure daily duties are performed business-as-usual.
“The captain is focused on the next port, my focus is inside the ship, daily operations, and what’s happening on deck,” said Sabatini.
Education: A 2005 graduate of Maine Maritime Academy, Sabatini’s degree is perfect for his job description: a major in Small Vessels Operation with a concentration in Sail Training. Sabatini is the first of his school to combine those interests.
Loves his job: Sabatini said people that go through Niagara’s sail training programs come out empowered people.
“I thoroughly enjoy watching people coming on board not knowing anything: how to eat, sleep, go to the bathroom, and they emerge as fully-empowered, able crewmembers, climbing the rigging,” said Sabatini.
Loves Erie: “Everything is so accessible. There’s so much going on all the time—there’s something for everyone,” said Sabatini, who listed Erie’s myriad sports teams and recreational activities. The shipman also happens to swing dance—when he first moved to town, he was grateful to find a thriving swing dancing community.
See the Flagship Niagara featured in They Started in Erie.