THE MISSION OF SAILING HEALS is to provide a rejuvenating day at sea for patients and caregivers navigating significant medical diagnoses such as cancer.

Since 2011, we've brought over 4,800 guests out on the water to experience healing sails. We are grateful for the collaboration of many respected medical organizations, the gracious hospitality of yacht owners from many parts of the country, the sailing community, our corporate sponsors, and our individual donors.

What Our Guests Say

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Sailing Hearts - Tributes to Very Special People

A Loving Tribute

William A. Cormack
An avid sailor, a life member of Savin Hill Yacht Club, and trusted treasurer of the Pelagic Sailing Club, Bill or “Gippy” as he was known to his grandchildren was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend. He is remembered for his passion for being on the water and was admired for his great sailing skill and knowledge. His love for sailing was only surpassed by his love for his family.


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October 23, 2019 Sailing Heals hosts an outing at the Boston Yacht Club in Marblehead, with 16 VIPs spread across four boats, Valiant among them

Sailing Heals in the Boston Globe!

The air was brisk, the breeze gentle, the boat bobbing up and down at a steady tempo. The creak of wood, the clank of mechanical pulleys, and the dulcet melody of casual conversation filled the air. Sailing Heals, a nonprofit that offers free yachting excursions to cancer patients and their caregivers. Sailing Heals primarily serves people with cancer, but also those with traumatic injuries or other health problems. Typically, they’re referred to the program through their care providers. All guests are called “VIPs,” a label that intentionally avoids the caretaker/patient dynamic that often defines their lives.

April 14, 2020 The Salem News

Hospital caregivers to be treated to meals

The Martin Richard Foundation has teamed up with the nonprofit Sailing Heals to provide boxed meals to the overnight shift of 350 health care workers treating COVID-19 patients at Salem Hospital. The initiative, called Sailing Heals Meals, aims to not only feed health care workers during the pandemic, but also help local nonprofits whose funding has dried up, and restaurants whose business has been decimated by having to close to diners to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

April 14, 2020 7 News Boston

Sailing Heals Meals – 7 News Boston!

For One Boston Day, the foundation is teaming up with a nonprofit called Sailing Heals. The two groups will provide meals for the 350 frontline healthcare workers on the overnight shift at the North Shore Medical center in Salem — the hospital where Bill was born. “As we dug a little deeper we found that there’s a pretty a significant overnight shift that’s not getting the same attention as the day workers, so we found a need and we’re doing out best to fill it,” Richard said. The Martin Richard Foundation is providing the initial funding for the meals program and hopes other organizations on the North Shore will join in the effort. The first meals will be delivered to the hospital workers at 11 p.m. Wednesday.

September 16, 2019 Sailing Heals: Hours on water provide temporary escape from cancer

lohud – USA Today – features Sailing Heals

Lou Vaccaro has been through a lot the past three years. Three battles, so far, with small-cell cancer. If test results come back as he expects later this week, there will be a fourth in a fourth location. He’s ready for it because he has many things to do and dying isn’t one. Sailing, though, has been added to his already-long list. A cold, blustery morning transformed into a warm, sun-swept early September afternoon. “It seemed like the whole world calmed down,” Vaccaro said. He took every chance he could to help a deckhand move the sails. He loved the peacefulness — “It was a beautiful, soothing experience,” he said