Sail Martha’s Vineyard is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and perpetuating our Island’s maritime heritage, culture, skills and the sea that surrounds us. Towards that end, we:
- Encourage Island residents to be comfortable in and around the water through such programs as our boat handling and sailing instruction for children, adult sailing instruction, Cornish Pilot Gig Rowing Club, Cruising Club and support for the high school sailing club for competitive sailors
- Be the driving force behind the Maritime Sciences curriculum at the regional high school, both writing and teaching this four year program
- Attract interesting and historic vessels to the Island and support such local vessels
- Sponsor programs that in other ways explore the maritime heritage of the island;
- Position Sail Martha’s Vineyard as the leading marine environmental and sustainability advocate and educator on the Island of Martha’s Vineyard.
- Serve as a clearinghouse for other maritime-related organizations and initiatives on the Island.
About Sail Martha’s Vineyard
Since its inception in 1992, Sail Martha’s Vineyard has focused on connecting the Island’s school children and the community at large with the traditions and experiences of the Island’s maritime heritage. It offers a summer sailing program to over 400 young sailors and equips and supports a year round rowing program. Projects within the community have included; wooden boat building in the schools, scholarship funds to pursue time on sail training vessels and educational programs. It also seeks to attract and welcome historic sailing vessels to the Island so the community can experience first hand the sailing ships of the past.
The Summer sailing program is offered to 8 to 18 year olds. Students, Islander and seasonal visitors alike, are taught basic rowing, seamanship and sailing skills with more advanced instruction and coaching available. The program operates out of the Sailing Camp Park on the Lagoon in Oak Bluffs. The Lagoon offers an ideal location for sailing instruction with sheltered waters, sandy beach and minimal marine traffic.
In 2007, the Maritime Sciences program was developed to offer a Career Technical Education class at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School.This program, the first in the state of Massachusetts, provides students with the skills and practical experience in order to gain employment on and around the water. Since then the program has expanded to include a four year curriculum and has recently been submitted to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for state certification.
The High School Sailing team, which is sponsored, equipped, coached and primarily funded by Sail MV, has developed as the graduates of the summer program have aged. This need for a next step was recognized and a sailing club was formed in 1996. Because of its popularity and success, in 1999 it gained varsity status and began to compete in regional regattas. A Junior High after-school Racing Clinic was instituted in the fall of 2000 to provide a bridge between the Summer program and the High School Team, in essence a farm team program.
Other on-the-water programs include big boat sailing and starting soon a US Powerboating course, providing certification for youth and adults alike.
Sail MV continues to expand its activities to include Captain’s Licensing courses, adult sailing instruction, rowing and continuing education courses.
Sail MV is largely supported by small local grants and individual donations. All of its introductory sailing programs for Island children are provided at a modest $50 membership fee.