Local News / Sailing News

Sails for Sustenance – Sail Collection for Haitian Fishermen

November, 2013

Shoreline Sailboats and Haarstick Sailmakers combine efforts to collect as many sails as possible from Western New York sailors during the months of November, December, and January.

The charity Sails for Sustenance recycles used sails from the U.S. and delivers them to Haitian subsistence fishermen.sails-for-sustenance-logo

The fishermen of Haiti build their own boats and improvise the sails that power them. They use whatever materials are available; woven plastic, tarpaulins and even bedsheets. The materials in modern sails allow for faster sailing and less maintenance than the makeshift sails made of discarded flour sacks and plastic sheeting.

Better sails…
Better sails than bed sheets and plastic tarps allow the fishermen of Haiti to sail faster, and sailing faster reaches the better fishing areas farther off shore.

Why not send outboards?
It seems like a simple solution, but outboard engines use precious fuel and need tools and parts to maintain them. That is too great an expense for Haitian fishermen. Sail making and repair is a skill that has a long history in Haiti.

What can sailors of Western New York do?
Many of our fellow sailors have a sail, or possibly more that have not seen the light of day in years. Isn’t it time to part with that sail?
Your donation will help a Haitian fisherman feed his family.  All used sails are welcome. Please consider donating your not-so-gently used sails!

Dates for collection:  November 18th, 2013 through January 17th, 2014

Three convenient methods of collection:

Dropped off:
Sails can be dropped off at Haarstick Sailmakers, 1461 Hudson Avenue in Rochester (Loft Hours: Monday-Friday 8-5, Closed on November 28, 29, December 24, 25, and January 1)
Contact Doug Burtner at dburtner@haarsticksailmakers.com or 585-342-5200Haarsticklogo

Picked up:
Sails can be picked up at your individual location by Shoreline Sailboats.
Contact Kyle and Darren Leonard at shorelinesailboats@gmail.com or 585-754-5315

Your club:
Clubs and organizations can organize their own group’s collection day for pick-up by Shoreline Sailboats or delivery to Haarstick Sailmakers.

Sails for Sustenance – Our Sails At Work In Haiti from Sails for Sustenance on Vimeo.


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Donated used sails are considered donated property and as a result are tax deductible.  Upon donating your sail, Shoreline or Haarstick will record your donation.  Later you will receive an email from Shoreline with a completed IRS form from Sails for Sustenance for your tax filing.