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The Long Island Maritime Museum and Sailing on Priscilla!

Updated: Sep 15, 2022

Taking Veterans Sailing

SailAhead and the Long Island Maritime Museum have partnered for years to create special sailing and learning experiences for veterans. The Priscilla crew generously takes veterans for a fun and relaxing sail aboard the 130-year old oyster sloop. The museum also gives tours to our veterans. They gain an insight in the historical world of sailing, and how preceding Long Islanders used to live.

Veterans are sailing on the 130 year old Priscilla Oyster Sloop
The Priscilla at full sail!

Sailing at the museum occurs on their 130-year old vessel, which is a congressionally declared national historic landmark, and was used in the 1800s to harvest oysters from the Great South Bay. The Priscilla crew is all volunteer, and their knowledge of history and sailing makes all the pleasurable difference!

The Priscilla

Our group of all women veterans sailing like baymen in the 1800s!

Priscilla is an oyster dredging sloop from the late 1800s that has been turned into museum ship. It is berthed near another National Historic Landmark sloop, Modesty.

Priscilla was originally built in Southold, New York in 1883. It is a typical example of the oyster sloops that were once so common on Long Island Sound. These sloops were used for oyster dredging, which was a major industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Priscilla was donated to the Long Island Maritime Museum in 1976. It has been restored and is now used for educational programs and public sails.

Today, the ship is kept alive by enthusiastic volunteers and the diligence of museum staff. It is still an active boat, sailing regularly. When veterans go on board to sail they are exposed to a world long past, and they get to live, briefly, in the shoes of oystermen from long ago. This experience can be therapeutic for some veterans who struggle with readjusting to civilian life after their service.

The Priscilla is just one of many examples of the rich maritime history of Long Island. For more information on this and other Long Island boats, be sure to visit the Long Island Maritime Museum.

Long Island Maritime Museum

SailAhead's veterans in Long Island Maritime Museum's boat house
Veterans from the Samaritan Daytop Village program invited by SailAhead to explore the Long Island Maritime Museum's boat-house

This unique experience exposes veterans to what life was like for baymen and their families in the early 1800s. After learning about this history, veterans get to go and live it for a few hours as they sail on the very same boat that was used two centuries earlier, and whose design was once ubiquitous throughout the south of the island. The importance of the oyster industry on Long Island was fundamental in the development of the region. Long Island oysters fed the working class of the New York City, and queen Victoria of England was reputed to only offer her guests Blue Point Oysters.

Altogether, this is a therapeutic experience for many veterans, as it allows them to enjoy time on the water while also learning about maritime history. SailAhead is proud to offer this opportunity to veterans, and we hope to continue doing so for many years to come. If you're a veteran interested in taking part in this program, please contact us today! We would be happy to have you aboard. Thank you for your service.

SailAhead takes homeless veterans to the Long Island Maritime Museum
Homeless veterans enjoying the sun at the Long Island Maritime Museum

SailAhead is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that provides therapeutic sailing outings for wounded warriors, veterans, and their families dealing with PTSD, TBI and other invisible wounds of war. Our mission is “healing the scars of war” through the power of wind and water. SailAhead was founded in 2013 by brothers Kilian and Sean Duclay. For more information about our programs or how to donate, please explore our website!

A great big thanks to out partners and friends at the Long Island Maritime Museum!


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