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Posted: September 14th, 2010
Meet the Crew: Chief Mate Billy Sabatini

Meet the Crew: Chief Mate Billy Sabatini

Billy Sabatini, Chief Mate, in a rare moment without his sunglasses

Chief Mate Billy Sabatini in a rare moment without his sunglasses

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.

Hails from: Sabatini hails from the east coast: Massachusetts. He first got his feet wet with sailing aboard the Tabor Boy at his high school, Tabor Academy in Marion, Massachusetts.

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.

Sabatini signs a visitor's Tall Ships Erie passport aboard the Niagara

Sabatini signs a visitor's Tall Ships Erie passport aboard the Niagara

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.

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