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VetsBoats: Midwest Expansion

VetsBoats started its commitment to serving veterans in the San Francisco Bay Area. But always, there is a vision to do as much as possible. With the help of VetsBoats, Our Board Member, Matt Cline, was able to expand the mission to the Midwest.

Thanks to VetsBoats, the Seneca Lee was purchased in 2022. Seneca Lee is a 22' Eagle gaff-rigged sloop, designed by the well-known and respected naval architect, Halsey Herreshoff. While the hulls were made of fiberglass and the mast of aluminum, Herreshoff insisted that everything else on the boats were to be as traditional as possible, with bronze fittings and ubiquitous varnished woodwork. Seneca Lee is an homage to the classic New England Friendship Sloop. 

Lovingly cared for for many years, Seneca Lee became more than her previous owner could manage and so a thorough restoration has been necessary. With Cline’s YouTube channel, which was started to show people how to do repairs and maintain classic sailboats, you can see the progress of the restoration and the sailing program’s development. 

Matt plans to have her ready for the 2024 sailing season at Indian Lake as well as to further develop relationships with veteran’s groups and schedule veterans for sailing opportunities. Additionally, several members of the Indian Lake Yacht Club have offered to take veterans out on their sailboats until the Seneca Lee is ready to be used by several trained skippers as the program's designated boat for taking out veterans and their families. It’s wonderful to see the growing support ripple outward from a small beginning.

"Thank you again to my friends and colleagues at VetsBoats for believing in me and supporting the resources to make this happen. I can promise you that if you invest your time and resources with this extraordinary organization and its people, you will be inspired as well." - Matt Cline

Editor's note: The entire board of VetsBoats is grateful for Matt's tireless efforts to open up sailing to veterans in the Midwest, and for the support of the Indian Lake Yacht Club and her membership. We look forward to many stories of veterans coming together in community aboard the Seneca Lee.

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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