Virgin Islands Sloop Foundation

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.

Mission

  • 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.

History

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 InstructorSea MoonIntrepidEsmie, and a currently un-named frame.

Sloop News

Intrepid, second Tortola Sloop sunk in Irma, Relaunched

August 14, 2020

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.

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Youth Instructor Takes Shakedown Sail

July 13, 2020

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…

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Youth Instructor in slings

Youth Instructor Afloat Again!

July 6, 2020

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.

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Joyce Samuel Primary School Enjoy Some Maritime History

November 21, 2019

On Wednesday (November 19) pupils from Joyce Samuel Primary School we given and tour of the Sloops, and a little BVI maritime history lesson.

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VISF Takes Maritime History To Virgin Gorda

November 14, 2019

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).

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Sailing Photos

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This week saw Intrepid's mast stepped and her relaunch yesterday, August 13, 2020 ... See MoreSee Less

2 months ago

This week saw Intrepids mast stepped and her relaunch yesterday, August 13, 2020

Tenisha in Ballast Bay getting ballast for Youth Instructor... ... See MoreSee Less

3 months ago

Tenisha in Ballast Bay getting ballast for Youth Instructor...
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