Wooden Boats for Veterans
Get on Board
Our aim is to help families of veterans and future veterans re-engage in a completely new environment. For most, sailing will be a new experience and family members will have to work together to become a great crew.
The yacht will be skippered by an experienced captain so you can take part in as much or as little sailing as you like. You will explore different locations such as Angel Island and enjoy a lunch aboard.
TALL SHIP SAILING
CLOVER requires great teamwork to make her sail, so while on board the emphasis is on leadership and team cohesion. From the moment you step aboard you will be an integral part of the crew and involved in all aspects of
You will have a chance to learn all aspects of traditional sailing from our professional deck crew, with the chance to steer the ship, plot our course on the chart, complete log book entries, climb the rigging, and experience the beautiful coastline!
Expect some hands-on training, and be prepared to learn and work. We are looking for candidates who want to continue sailing following the training.
We do ask that you bring a contribution appropriate to your circumstances, and stay afterwards to wash the boat and enjoy some camaraderie!
Here is a typical timeline and some important details:
1045 Show time at one of our docks
1100 Walk through and safety briefing
1130 Push off the dock, heading out to GG bridge with 1.5kts current in our favor
1530 Return to the dock (we could stay out longer depending on weather/swells and how everyone is feeling)
1600 Help to put gear away and wash down the boat
What to wear -
It’s ideal to bring layers that you can peel off if it gets warmer, or if we’re back at the dock relaxing afterwards.
A wind breaker (shell) for an outer layer is usually best with a sweater (or sweatshirt) underneath on top of another layer or two.
For shoes, wear shoes (with socks) that have good grip, but non-marking soles (no sandals or open toed shoes). If you’d like to wear
a hat, it will need to be strapped onto you.
We look forward to hosting you!
Restore a Wooden Classic
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 by Luke Brothers in Hamble, Southampton, England, for Eric Dudley Thompson. She was launched on May 7, 1938, already fitted with echo sounding and wireless directional finding equipment.
Eric Thompson owned CLOVER until 1954, based in the Hamble and Poole areas; he was a Life Member of the Royal Cruising Club. Surviving crew members from the 1940s and 50s have some stories to tell...!
CLOVER then passed through four British owners until being sold in 1972 out of British jurisdiction. She was operated as a charter boat and pleasure craft in various parts of the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific, but by the 2000s had fallen into disrepair.
Heading for the breaker's yard, she was acquired by WBFV in 2016 with the purpose of restoring her for service with veterans. She is steadily being restored to seaworthy condition to be a "Tall Ship" program for WBFV.
CLOVER's – and Eric Thompson’s – activities during WW2 are as yet unknown and still being researched – offers of historical information would be hugely welcome.
HAWAII in 2026
CLOVER is being professionally prepared to begin sea trials in 2023 and receive her new rig in 2024. She will then embark on a series of training sails to work up to an offshore passage to Hawaii; with all veterans aboard.
Train for Adventure
WBFV partners with ASA to provide professional coaching, equipment, meals and
lodging at reduced cost to the participant according to their circumstances.
Participants must arrange and purchase air or ground transport on their own. We do
not pay for or reimburse travel costs.
These training courses will introduce participants to the sport of sailing, teach basic
sailing skills and how to compete within the context of the sport of sailing. All instruction is facilitated by professionals and on
equipment that is adapted to meet the individual needs of the participants. More information is found here.
Training Camps are generally held monthly in the following locations: Sausalito, Emeryville, San Francisco, Richmond, and Coyote
Point. Due to the high cost of travel, an applicant’s geographic location is a consideration when being offered a slot in the training.
Requirements for Eligibility
All potential participants for advanced training must have come sailing with us on one of our monthly sails, and complete an
application (see the button below). Incomplete applications are not accepted. All applications submitted will be reviewed and
invitations will be sent to those that have applied via the email provided. Should there be more applications than capacity at the
training, invitations will be prioritized according to the criteria laid out in the eligibility guidelines below. Invitations are not first
come, first served.
Due to high demand, an invitation to participate in a WBFV Sailing event is based on the following priority system:
The percentage point of the service-connected VA disability rating.
Disability onset date and cause (preference given to combat wounded though it is not a requirement).
Direct referral from a case worker, physician or therapist from a VA medical center/clinic, or a therapeutic rehabilitation
Ability and motivation to keep sailing on a regular basis.
Please note that we are unable to include spouses and minors as part of our training sponsorship.