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Golden Rule Sails for a Nuclear-Free World

Golden Rule sailboat
Golden Rule sailboat currently on an 11,000 mile Great Loop Voyage, lobbying for nuclear disarmament.

by Mary Hladky

The Golden Rule sailboat was recently in St. Louis. PeaceWorks leaders Cris Mann and I had the fun and privilege of touring this historic sailboat and meeting its impressive crew.

The Golden Rule is a small wooden boat with a big mission: to educate people about nuclear issues and what they can do to eliminate the possibility of nuclear war.

From 1946 to 1958, the United States tested 67 nuclear weapons on the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean. In 1958 four Quaker peace activists sailed the Golden Rule toward the Marshall Islands in an attempt to halt nuclear weapons testing. The US Coast Guard boarded her in Honolulu and arrested her crew, causing an international outcry.

The arrest of the crew and rising awareness of the dangers of radiation led to worldwide demands to stop nuclear testing.

In 2010 the Golden Rule sank in Northern California.  Over the next five years, dozens of volunteers from Veterans for Peace, Quakers and other organizations restored her. She has been sailing since 2015 along the West Coast and Hawaii. Currently she is on its Great Loop Voyage which started on September 26 in Minneapolis. This 15 month voyage will take the Golden Rule on an 11,000 mile trip, visiting 100 towns. To learn more visit

This beautiful vessel is small but was built to sail the high seas. It sailed from Hawaii to California with a crew of four in 30 days.

On our visit, we saw that the crews’ quarters are very tight. Storing enough food for four for 30 days is challenging. Skill, organization, respect, and hard work were required for this journey — all to spread the word about the dangers of nuclear weapons and the importance of a nuclear free world. Thank you, crew, Veterans for Peace, and supporters of the Golden Rule.

To learn even more, join the webinar tonight, November 8, 6-7 PM Central time, entitled “Making Waves with the Golden Rule: A Model for Social Action”. 

Photo copyright 2022 Veterans for Peace.  Used with permission.

Text copyright 2022 Mary Hladky, creative commons attribution share-alike (CC BY-SA) 4.0 international license.

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