Out of our 45 years of operating marlin tournaments to help fund a youth program (BSA) grew the committee's desire to launch the Marine Vocational Program (MVP). On November 15, 2015 the MVP was designated a U.S. IRS 501 (C)-(3) Non-Profit. Efforts now are focused on providing the youth of the U.S. Virgin Islands with a career path in the marine and hospitality industry.

MVP Mission Defined: The concept is simple - start students out young (min. 10 yrs.) and instill in them an appreciation for their surroundings. While having fun learning to swim, snorkel, sail and catching fish... they also become readied for advanced training in a variety of MVP courses. At 18 years of age students earn their MVP diploma (while having been encouraged to also gratuate high school) and are among the first to be chosen for local employment. They are also advance readied for careers in the Merchant Marines, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy.

In theory... years later MVP students will pass along their learning and understanding of the need to protect the natural resources of these beautiful islands.

Startup and Developments: The MVP began with a 'Learn to Swim' training program that was offered free of charge to students n St. Thomas. In a short period of time the interest of the community grew and several boats were donated, immediately advancing student training. Our startups have since learned dockside skills including line handling, knot tying and splicing. Safe boating started by learning how to row a dinghy and they've since become quite adept at maneuvering and holding course on our 28' Cape Dory (single diesel, lobster boat hull); and all the while, trolling for good eating fish! They've also become accomplished snorkelers and recently PADI scuba training (basic certification) has been added to their curriculum. Future training will include sailing and the understanding of engine mechanics, global navigation, tourism hospitality and a study of the many opportunities for employment.

Readers are invited to sponsor individual training programs offered by the MVP. Donors receive a letter recognizing their tax deductible donation.

The MVP Fleet

See New Sailing Program