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Repair &


A Storied Past...

Builder: A.R. Luke Brothers
Designer: Albert Luke
Date of Launch: May 7, 1938
Length: 68’ 00”
Beam: 14’ 03”
Draft: 9’ 00”
Displacement: 100,000 lbs.
Hull type: Full keel with attached rudder
Rig: Gaff Topsail Cutter

Clover was designed by Albert Luke and built in 1938 by Luke Brothers Boatyard at Hamble, for Eric Thompson, an officer in the Royal Naval Reserve.


Clover measures 68’ overall length, 50’ on the waterline, 14’3” beam, and 9’ draft. Her displacement is approximately 45 tonnes. She is traditionally carvel planked, using long pine planking and double-sawn oak frames.

VetsBoats restore historic sail boat
VetsBoats restore historic sail boat

At the start of World War II, Clover was pressed into service by the Royal Navy during WW2, keeping her owner and crew aboard. Clover was ideally suited to serve as a service craft for the Admiralty's Assessors office, whose mission was to send marine surveyors offshore to meet incoming merchant ships that survived the Atlantic crossing as their convoys were mercilessly attacked by U-boats.

Clover spent the war years sailing outward into the Atlantic to the edge of allied air cover, carrying the assessor and his party toward the damaged ships in the ravaged convoy. She would go alongside these stricken cargo ships and tankers, often severely damaged, their crews, often wounded, and weary from trying to save their ship. The assessor would determine whether to divert the ship to a shipyard for repairs or scuttle her, and in those cases Clover would become a rescue craft, bringing off the crews and providing succor to their wounded.  


After the war, Thompson sailed Clover throughout the Baltic, the Atlantic coasts of France and Spain, and the Mediterranean. Clover was sold circa 1960 to a British couple, who took her to Jamaica and lived aboard her there with their young family. She then passed into the hands of several charter owners and transited the Panama Canal in the 1970's, arriving in the San Francisco Bay Area. Actively sailing until the 1990's.

By 2016, after lying in neglect for over ten years, Clover was sinking, damaged and close to being destroyed. Assembling a team of talented shipwrights and tradesmen, and supported by Svendsen's Bay Marine Boatyard, we began a multiphase restoration project that is nearing completion. Clover's hull has been recaulked, with a substantial number of frames, floors and planking replaced. Her main deck is new and her cabin top recaulked. She has a brand new diesel powerplant and is in the process of refitting her electrical, plumbing and tankage systems.


In 2026, ten years after Clover was donated, it is our goal for her to set her sails with veterans aboard, and to once again provide relief for those affected by their service.

"A re-christening signifies a change, a re-birth.


In Clover's case, it represents the beginning of a new phase of her life.


Thanks to the labors of volunteers, she will help those who have also experienced war find the healing joy that saltwater can bring.”

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