Boleh with a following wind off Chichester Harbour entrance

A Fair Wind for Boleh

By News

We are proud to report that two major charities supporting the Armed Services have given Boleh a fair wind for the Season ahead.   Thanks to substantial grants from the Nuffield Trust for the Forces of the Crown and the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity we are now set to deliver a full and exciting sailing programme – Coronavirus permitting.


As well as working with Pompey’s Military Kids and young Service personnel, Boleh is planned to renew her links with Dorset schools, take part in the Southampton to Dartmouth Mayflower Race, and visit Salcombe to celebrate the 70th anniversary of her arrival there after her epic voyage from Singapore.  The funds so generously donated will be used to cover specific charitable programmes and the operational costs of running Boleh.  We are extremely grateful for this wonderful support.


Picture shows Boleh with a following wind off Chichester Harbour entrance.

Whirlwind Charitable Trust

Generous Donor Helps Boleh Storm Ahead

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We are delighted to report a generous donation from the Whirlwind Charitable Trust to kick off the 2020 Sailing Season, now only a few weeks away.  The Trust has a strong record of supporting maritime charities involved with young people and these funds will go towards Boleh’s popular programme sailing Pompey’s Military Kids.  Boleh can only carry out her charitable work with the help of our much appreciated volunteers and donations such as this – we are very grateful.

Exercise Boleh Dragon

“Exercise Boleh Dragon”

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We are proud to report that Boleh was used by the Royal Wessex Yeomanry last year to support their Annual Training Period.  During “Exercise Boleh Dragon” Captain Henry Kemp-Gee RWxY and his crew instructed 40 members of the Regiment, introducing them to the sea and the teamwork required to sail this unique vessel.  Picture show Boleh in brisk conditions on her way to one of the 9 Solent ports visited in the programme, during which she also qualified 1 RYA Day Skipper and 4 RYA Competent Crew.

This fortnight with the Royal Wessex continues Boleh’s long tradition of service to the Army.  In the 1960s she was used by the Junior Leaders Regiment, Royal Engineers for sail training and since her restoration has sailed members of the Artillery and Engineers, as well as schoolchildren from Army families.  We look forward to keeping up this tradition in 2020.

The Army Central Fund

Boleh’s Work for Army Children Recognised

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To start the New Year, we are delighted to report a generous donation from the Army Central Fund.  We are very grateful for this contribution to Boleh’s running costs which recognises the Army children sailed in Boleh as part of our successful programme for Pompey Military Kids.  We look forward to Boleh continuing to work for Service children and families during the forthcoming sailing season.

Boleh’s Christmas Message

Boleh’s Christmas Message

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Once again it is a pleasure to use a specially commissioned card from Carole Westbrook Designs – ‘Boleh in the Moonlight’ – to send greetings and thanks to all Boleh’s supporters and followers.  The Boleh Trust relies entirely on the generosity of donors and the commitment of our wonderful volunteers to deliver our charitable activities.  Thank you all for helping us in 2019 and we wish you a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

New Trustee sets sights on developing Boleh’s sailing programme

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With another successful sailing Season behind her, Boleh now sees some changes in the management team.  We are very pleased to welcome new Trustee, Richard Metcalfe and, at the same time, sad to have to say goodbye and thanks to Trustees Sophia Mirchandani and Guy Fithen – both have contributed much to Boleh and the Trust for over a decade.

Richard is a regular volunteer Skipper, a Cruising Instructor and Ocean Yacht Master, and conducts Boleh ‘inductions’ for potential Skippers and Mates.  With his own business and his sailing experience he has much to offer the Trust, focussing particularly on exploiting opportunities in the sailing programme.  Picture shows our new Trustee, sextant in hand, taking a traditional ‘sight’ off the Lofoten Islands.

Boleh’s end of season write-up from major funder

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We’re proud to say the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity’s latest Newsletter has a positive report on Boleh’s work sailing naval schoolchildren.  Over the past season Boleh – designed and built in Singapore by Naval Officer, Robin Kilroy in 1949 – has again brought her magic and the ‘can-do’ experience to fresh groups of young people from Service families.

The Boleh Trust is very grateful to the RN&RMC for their continuing involvement with the Trust’s work; without their generous support these programmes would not be possible.  Picture shows our Trustee responsible for the programme, Chris Austin, studying Portsmouth Harbour charts in Boleh’s cabin with naval children from Wimborne Junior School.  To read the RN&RMC article click


Putting the Volts Back in to Boleh

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When Boleh’s unique diesel electric propulsion system suffered an unexplained failure recently, disrupting our Schools programme, we were at a loss where to turn.  Step forward Solent Rewinds of Cosham!  Working flat out, the Company found and fixed the problem, returned the item to Boleh and helped our volunteers reinstall the Alternator.

Picture shows Consultant Engineer Steve Blatchford (on left) working with volunteers Graham and Chris.  Recognising the valuable work which Boleh does for Pompey Military Kids, Solent Rewinds were then happy to make a much appreciated donation to Boleh Trust funds – thank you.

Boleh at Sea on Trafalgar Day!

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Two hundred and fourteen years ago, on 21st October 1805, Admiral Lord Nelson and the British fleet defeated the combined French and Spanish fleets off Cape Trafalgar.  Picture shows two of ‘Pompey’s Military Kids’, dressed for the autumn weather, taking Boleh’s helm as she sails up harbour to pass Nelson’s flagship, HMS Victory, on the anniversary of the Battle.

‘Sappers’ back onboard Boleh

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Boleh’s past links with the ‘Sappers’ – as the Corps of Royal Engineers is known – are being renewed!  In the early 1960s Boleh was the training vessel for their Junior Leaders Regiment at Dover, introducing countless young Sappers to life at sea.  Later, members of Roger Angel’s family (Roger rescued and restored Boleh in 1978) served with the Royal Engineers.

Now we are delighted to report Sappers once again sailing Boleh and that a great nephew of Robin Kilroy – Boleh’s designer and builder – has just joined the Corps.  Picture taken from the mast by Sapper Ian Kelly shows colleagues Paul Jones (helming) and Colin Henry, with Boleh volunteers Simon Springett, Skipper and Tosca Barnes, Mate to the left.