a sail-powered celebration of food, farming and seamanship

Join us to discover the joys of a working sailboat. We are moored in Belfast, Maine, sailing the coast of Maine, and will sail down to Port Washington, NY in the summer, 2017.

To be involved contact Eli:

Maine Sail Trade.jpg

Our Goals
Historic - to reinvigorate our heritage of sea trade, traditional arts and skills of sailing and environmental stewardship
Economic - to enhance New England farmers’ livelihoods through access to coastal and island markets
Environmental - to promote carbon-freel, energy efficient transport of goods, water quality monitoring, protection of the marine environment,
Education - to promote stewardship of aquatic environments, seamanship, entrepreuneurial innovation and culinary arts



practical study of traditional navigation, mapping and seafaring arts imbued with a love of the sea




Water Stewards

hands-on activities in water monitoring, seaweed ecology and how to restore aquatic ecosystems



Floating Farmers Market

to inspire community spirit and local organic food that supports our educational programs



The Sail Trade Classroom

Sailing is an ancient, beautiful and compelling eco-technology that inspires people’s imagination and community spirit. Our vision is to restore sail trade as a thriving presence from Maine to New York City in a way that promotes environmental stewardship and sustainable food systems. A journey on a traditional sailing ship is a unique setting to learn about the sea, aquatic ecosystems, seaweed, weather, tide, and the history and heritage of navigation and mapping. On a sail aboard the Mystic Sheaf, young people have the opportunity to help raise the sails, to navigate the boat, monitor water quality, study aquatic ecosystems, seaweeds, and orient to the seacoast, moon, planets and tides. Our inquiry-based learning activities offer a vital doorway to history, nature, livelihood and friendship.


New York Harbor in 1883

Historically, thousands of ships sailed on New York waterways delivering fresh local farm produce, fish, and passengers. Long Island Sound was a bustling watery highway linking coastal communities into a web of regular sail routes. Farmers and oystermen relied on this diverse fleet of vessels to bring their goods to market and to receive supplies. Majestic schooners provided a unique way of life for early NYC-area inhabitants. For those who worked the waters of New York City Bioregion, the sea was a shared element. Today, our water ways need to be reinvigorated. Maintaining maritime trade routes is more than just a celebration of tradition. In a carbon constrained future, sustainable water transport can serve as vital infrastructure for the New York City Bioregion. To learn more:

Why return to emmission-free sail transport? One large container ship emits as much pollution as 50 million cars.
50 cargo ships produce emissions equivalent to all of the cars in the world put together. There are about 50,000 cargo ships transporting goods world-wide each year.
90% of world trade is conducted by shipping that produces 4% of global carbon emissions; twice as much as airplanes produce world-wide. We advocate to buy as much local products as possible, and use sail-trade for the rest.

Our Amazing Baba

baba underway








Why I Sail


More Sail-Traders


'Icon Boats' of Lance Lee

Everybody watch this: The Sail Transport Revolution. 'From A to B Emission Free!'

David Berry and the Maine Veggie Boat

Jewish Pirates - Oy Ahoy!

Sail Transport Network- 'The Sail Transport Network connects people – locally and across oceans – who are building community resilience by reviving heirloom technologies that will enable them to thrive in a fossil fuel-depleted, climate-disrupted world. We are the people – traders and sailors, farmers and craftsmen, artists and merchants – who will continue to tie your world together even as fossil fuel-based transportation recedes into the smoggy past.'

Vermon Sail Freight Project - 'VSFP invites you to look to the water in a new way, not as a barrier to be driven around, bridged-over or tunneled under, but as a conduit of life and trade. Highways are at the crux of our most pressing problems, eroding our sense of community as they warm the planet. Our project will give a group of spirited Champlain Valley producers, whose cargo we'll carry, a highly visible combined presence in a busy marketplace where it is difficult for each of us to stand out on our own. Together we're the Champlain Valley, ready to sail our goods down the Hudson, just as we did long ago! Learn More

Harbor and River Vessel Transport Company - 'Today, the water highways still exist and need to be reinvigorated. Maintaining maritime trade routes is more than just a celebration of tradition. In a carbon constrained future sustainable water transport will be necessary and in the event of a regional disaster water-based community links can serve as vital infrastructure to New York City Bioregion.'

Dragon Fly Sail Transport - 'Many communities are moving towards methods to conduct trade and commerce that are sustainable and draw on sources of renewable energy. Sail transport is re- emerging as a viable and green alternative to truck transport which relies on dwindling supplies and increasingly costly fossil fuels. A key component to community resilience is social connectedness for resource exchange.'

Salish Sea Trading - 'Our goals are to conserve precious energy resources, lower our carbon footprint, and re-introduce the idea of sail as everyday transport while building resiliency into our local food shed - and have fun along the way' .