Membership - American Sail Training Association

board bios

Les Bolton

Executive Director, Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority, a municipal non-profit, 501 (c) (3), chartered by the City of Aberdeen, Washington in 1986.
Captain Bolton has been around boats all his life, and has been involved in sail training since 1979 when he acquired a Swedish ketch built in 1896.  By 1981, he had a Congressional exemption from the Jones Act and US Coast Guard Certification for the vessel and began to charter her. 

He has been actively involved in every major maritime event in the Pacific Northwest since 1980.  In 1990, he was recruited to restart the Historical Seaport after an organizational collapse.  At that time, the organization had been closed for two months, and had an outstanding debt of nearly $700k.

Today the Historical Seaport owns and operates the Tall Ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain, 3 jollyboats, 2 longboats, a 214-acre site that includes the Seaport Learning Center a 28,000 square foot maintenance facility where we provide hands-on educational opportunities for at-risk, emotionally and behaviorally disturbed youth.  They also operate The Spar Shop, which includes the largest spar and mast making lathe in North America, two sawmills, and a number of specialty tools.  They have 27 full-time paid staff and as many as 50 people working on any given day.

They are currently working on the design and engineering for a new $5.9M waterfront development.  Seaport Landing will include the cleanup of a degraded industrial waterfront and the restoration of a historic shipyard to its original capabilities.


Tall Ships America • 221 3rd St., Bldg. 2, Ste. 101• Newport, RI 02840 USA • (401) 846-1775 • asta@tallshipsamerica.org