For over three decades, Kurt has held leadership positions in a number of organizations that operate large historic vessels. He also holds a U.S.C.G. 100-ton Near Coastal Master’s License for Self-Propelled Vessels (including auxiliary sail).
In the fall of 1980, Kurt became one of the original stateside volunteers for the 1877, 150-foot square-rigged sailing vessel ELISSA. He was a member of the ship’s sailing crew from 1982 to 1986 and vice chairman of the ELISSA Committee during 1986-1987.
Kurt joined the staff of the Texas Seaport Museum (a project of Galveston Historical Foundation) in 1990, after spending fifteen years as a broadcast technical consultant, specializing in project management and technical regulation. During 1992-1993 he was curator of Dallas’ Frontiers of Flight Museum, where he worked with several nationally-recognized museum exhibit designers and consultants. Kurt returned to the Texas Seaport Museum in late 1993 as assistant director. He became the director of the Texas Seaport Museum and 1877 Barque ELISSA in September 1994, a post he held until May 2007.
After moving to Tampa, Florida in 2007, Kurt was a member of the management team of the S.S. AMERICAN VICTORY, a 450-foot operational World War II merchant ship that is a living museum. From October 2013 to August 2014, he served as marine operations manager for Mystic Seaport’s 38th Voyage of the 1841 whale ship CHARLES W. MORGAN. Since 2007, Kurt has been a principal in Historic Ships and Boats, consultants for traditional vessels and maritime museums, based in Warwick, Rhode Island.