About Sea-Legs

Sea-Legs, Inc. offers maritime experience to boys and girls living in Eastern Connecticut. The experience begins on a 25-35ft sailboat where the young sailor becomes an essential member of the crew. Advanced sailors join the captain and other mentors to serve as instructors aboard these boats. Children begin at age 9 (or older) and continue sailing–while taking progressively greater responsibility–throughout their school years. Sailors’ families are asked to pay a small fee to help support on-the-water activities, but scholarships are available to any family facing financial hardship. The mission of Sea-Legs, Inc. is to reach those children who might not, otherwise, have access to maritime experience. No child is excluded for an inability to pay. Sea-Legs also offers on-land apprentice shipwright opportunities to sailors in their teens. Apprentices earn wages while learning to repair and refurbish boats. The apprentice program runs year round. The entire operation depends on donated boats, donated equipment and donated facilities. Such donations are governed by section 501(c) 3 of the tax code, allowing donors to claim a tax credit for dollars and boats given to Sea-Legs, Inc. Since donated boats are actually used in both the sailing program and the apprentice program, donors may claim their boat’s fair market value as the amount of their gift. When a donated boat has served its purpose as a platform for sailing instruction and/or an apprentice program restoration, it becomes available for sale. Proceeds from the sale of boats provide about half the annual revenue of Sea-Legs, Inc. Apprenticeship wages are paid from this revenue. Sea-Legs, Inc. was founded in 1998 when it received tax-exempt status from the IRS. It is still operating under the same Founder and CEO (Richard Lathrop) and has reached well over 1000 children since it began.