The Virgin Islands Sloop Foundation's aim is to preserve the maritime heritage of the Virgin Islands by ensuring that the history and knowledge of traditional wooden boat building is passed on to future generations.
To provide funding and supervision for the maintenance and restoration of historically significant wooden sloops in the Territory.
To organise and develop programmes that teach and enhance boat-building skills as a learning opportunity for the youth of the Virgin Islands.
An important legacy of the rich seafaring past of the BVI can be found in the trading sloops, known as the Tortola Boats, designed and built in the BVI territory. These sailing vessels were used by local entrepreneurs as early as the 18th century to ferry passengers and cargo around the Caribbean. They ranged in length from 20-60 feet and became a solid cornerstone around which grew the culture and economy of the BVI. The unique design made Tortola Boats immediately recognizable as they sailed between islands. This important piece of BVI maritime history was almost lost when many of the vessels were sold or abandoned to rot after the advent of more modern sail and motor crafts.
Hurricane Irma was unkind to these unique pieces of living history, but work has started afresh to restore Youth Instructor, Sea Moon, Intrepid, Esmie, and a currently un-named frame.
Intrepid, second Tortola Sloop sunk in Irma, Relaunched
Intrepid, one of three remaining traditionally-built Tortola Boats, was relaunched on Thursday, August 13, 2020 after almost two and half years of repair work following her sinking in Hurricane Irma on September 6, 2017. Intrepid, built in 1914, is the oldest Tortola Sloop.Read More
Youth Instructor Takes Shakedown Sail
Youth Instructor took to the seas today in a shakedown sail to test her seaworthiness, ballast, and new sails from Doyle Sailmakers. She set off under a reefed mainsail in a good breeze with blue skies. After a good fetch…Read More
Youth Instructor Afloat Again!
Youth Instructor, one of three remaining traditionally-built Tortola Boats, was relaunched on Thursday, June 25, 2020 after almost two and half years of repair work following her sinking in Hurricane Irma on September 6, 2017.Read More
Joyce Samuel Primary School Enjoy Some Maritime History
On Wednesday (November 19) pupils from Joyce Samuel Primary School we given and tour of the Sloops, and a little BVI maritime history lesson.Read More
VISF Takes Maritime History To Virgin Gorda
On Thursday, November 14th, Geoff Brooks and Chemoia Hodge visited the Ciboney School on Virgin Gorda. They gave the pupils a maritime history lesson of the Virgin Islands, and an update on the activities of Virgin Islands Sloop Foundation (VISF).Read More
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