Erik Andrus, Founder & President

A duck and rice farmer near the shores of Lake Champlain, Erik is a fan of time-proven patterns of living and working and is always searching for ways to borrow from history to meet contemporary challenges.  In the summer you'll find him in his rice paddies surrounded by ducks, but in winter you'll find him writing about the ancient Roman Empire or crafting new ways to help Northeastern small farmers to make a bigger mark on history.


Paul Fusco-Gessick, General Manager

A sailor, computer geek, aspiring polymath, and pizza enthusiast, Paul originally hails from Albany, N.Y. and currently resides in Buffalo.  There's very little he loves more than creative solutions to interesting problems; and what could be more interesting than laying the foundation for some part of a sustainable future? When he's not out sailing or hiking, Paul can likely be found in some sunny spot with his nose in a book, or in his workshop creating something useful from reclaimed materials.

Geoff Uttmark, Technical Guru

A designer and engineer of commercial vessels, Geoff lends technical expertise to the VSF team and is eager to integrate our combination of time-proven techniques and modern technologies into the landscape of the present-day New York State transportation system and its institutions.  Unlike most practicing naval architects, Geoff owned and actively managed a New York Harbor commercial vessel, the Argo, for many years.

Geoff lives in Brooklyn with his son Deck, who he aims to put to work crewing commercial vessels very soon!


Christina Sun, Marketing Coordinator

An illustrator and native New Yorker who grew up in Jackson Heights and went to college upstate, Christina loves boats and ships of all kinds, and the stories of people who work on them.  She is grateful to that community which generously passes on their knowledge and passion for all things nautical and otherwise.  She teaches swimming and drawing, and believes very strongly that anyone can benefit from learning the basic maritime skills. 

She is acutely aware, as are her partners in this endeavor, that as our affordable access to the once seemingly-limitless reserves of ancient liquid dinosaur/plant fuels continues to ebb away, slow food and its counterpart, slow transport, will be an increasingly important answer to serious questions of food security.

Her drawings can be vied on her blog, Bowsprite.





Questions? Comments?  We'd love to hear from you.

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We wouldn't get far without our friends

and partners!


Beacon Sloop Club

Willowell Foundation

South Street Seaport

Ferry Sloops of Ossining

Eastman Foundation

Chamber of Commerce of Southern Saratoga County

Waterwheel Foundation

City of Mechanicville

Village of Ossining

City of Nyack

Brooklyn Navy Yard

North Brooklyn Boat Club

Sail Transport Association

Schooner Apollonia

Hudson Sloop Club

Hudson River Sloop Clearwater

Hudson Maritime Museum, Kingston, NY

Transition Town Kingston

Troy Downtown Marina

New York State Canal Corporation


LHLIRDC (Lower Hudson and Long Island Resource Defense Council)

Champlain Orchards

Revolution Rickshaws

Cold Spring General Store