We begins with the premise that everyone should be afforded the opportunity of being on the water and experience sailing and all it offers. A quick walk around any harbor will reveal that recreational boating is afforded to only a few. For those who work just to make ends meet or are faced with long rows, being on a boat is not even a dream let alone a possibility. In the summer of 2003, we instituted a “free” sailing program on Tuesday and Thursday mornings for anyone desiring to “be on the water”. Hundreds of people signed on and the program was overwhelmingly successful. Single moms with their children and local families and individuals came aboard ViVA for a sail around the harbor. Most had never before been on the water yet all were from the Belfast area which is steeped in a rich maritime tradition. Martha and Don now continue on with their sailing vision and offer several programs through SailViVA, a 501(c)(3) non-profit Maine based organization.
Note from Martha and Don, "We recognize the value of instilling the importance of the sea and the life that lives under, around and over it. With this in mind, our SailViVA program focuses on acquainting our sailors with present day life in Belfast and its rich sea heritage. On every SailViVA cruise, we spend time exploring the coastal regions and the life around us. As we begin preparing ViVA for the trip to sea, we will observe the life around us and learn the principles of sailing as we head out for a nearby island. As we sail across the Penobscot Bay, everyone can take a hand at the wheel, trim sails, plot a course or just enjoy the wind as we sail along. Upon arriving it our island destination we will go ashore and explore all the island has to offer. A little later, back aboard ViVA, we will once again set sail and head back to Belfast. We always stress the need for moment-by-moment awareness and have an understanding that just living the "good life" for even a brief time can have profound positive impact on those willing to venture forth.
Read more here about "Life as Therapy".
Mission statement:
SailViVA is dedicated to providing sailing opportunities to connect people of all ages, abilities, and means to the world’s oceans through educational and recreational programs that stimulate individual growth and instill an enduring love and appreciation of the sea and to ensure that ViVA is maintained as an historic racing yacht for others to enjoy for all generations to come.




SailViVA Free Sailing Program