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Past Restoration Projects


Valiant, a Sparkman Stephens sloop, was built in 1962 in Buenos Aires of extraordinary craftsmanship - vivaro planking copper revised onto steam-bent frames of white oak. With Honduras mahogany on deck and below, she is gorgeous. With 705 sq.ft. of sail area driving 22,000 lb of displacement, she is very fast. Her designer, Olin James Stephens II (April 13, 1908 – September 13, 2008) was one of the most prolific and successful American yacht designers of the 20th century. 

Chairman, Terry Moran, bought her in August 2012 and with the help of his father and oldest son, set about tending to her delayed needs. Overall she was in very good condition, but it was time to remove years of rust in the bilges and restore her structural integrity, as well as replace her engine and other old and worn-out systems. Every exterior surface needed to be taken down to bare wood and repainted and revarnished. These were happy years of working together. Finally, after three years and three haul-outs to a boatyard, she was ready to go sailing in the spring of 2015.

We began VetsBoats, at that time known as Wooden Boats for Veterans, by sailing veterans aboard Valiant; the response was amazing and encouraged us to expand, which led to the discovery and the acceptance of Clover and to begin her restoration project. By 2021, to focus fully on her project as it was gathering steam, we decided to sell Valiant rather than continue the expense of keeping her. The sadness of her parting is mitigated by the knowledge that she is in excellent hands; and her present owner is a wonderful custodian.

Today we have a network of 8 boats, and are nearing completion of Clover's restoration so that she too will carry on in the tradition of serving veterans that began with Valiant. 

“Valiant - she was wonderful to care for, and she always took care of us” - Terry Moran

Ocean Queen V

In 2022,  VetsBoats received an offer to charter Ocean Queen V, a 55' Rhodes yawl. "OQV" was a lovely yawl of tremendous provenance, a renowned racing yacht, and a dedicated following. We reviewed the survey and entered into a three-year agreement contingent upon her maintenance and upkeep being fully covered by the owner. Upon receipt of the vessel we discovered she had a pernicious leak that had heretofore not been located. The source was cracked flooring and framing at the rudder post - requiring extensive repair. Her rudder post was replaced and new floors were fabricated and tied into her framing and deck beams to create a rigid structure in this vulnerable area of the boat's narrow stern.  

As this work progressed, we determined there was significant damage to her rig, and set about removing the spars from the vessel and replacing as necessary the mismatched patchwork of hardware that had accumulated over the years; as well as removing and repairing a rotted section of the mainmast in way of the main spreaders. This was an extensive period of discovery, leading to the installation of new standing rigging throughout and the replacement of several cracked fittings. The boat had been sailed successfully, but also very hard, and it was time to pay the piper.

When this was completed we found that the owner could not commit to financing her remaining and extensive maintenance needs in a timely manner. Rather than put the boat or our foundation in limbo, we regretfully terminated the charter after the first year. OQV was a wonderful boat and we would have loved sailing veterans aboard her, but in the end, it has worked out best for all parties concerned.

VetsBoats (EIN 46-4194065) a nonprofit private foundation, was founded by veterans and sailors dedicated to enriching veterans’ lives. We have served and we have a passion for restoring and sailing boats. Our long-term strategy to deliver a prolonged impact to veterans includes building community in the Bay and Delta regions through wooden boat restoration projects and sail training, ultimately leading to a capstone voyage to Hawaii.

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