Naval Charity Floats Boleh and Pompey’s Military Kids

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We are proud and delighted to have recently been awarded a very generous grant of £19,350 from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.  The Boleh Trust is extremely grateful for these funds – they will help Service children from Portsmouth schools get afloat in Boleh throughout the 2019 season.

This programme for Pompey’s Military Kids is delivered by the Trust with the support of Halcyon Yachts and in partnership with Portsmouth City Council and the Naval Families Federation.  The picture shows Boleh Trustee and Treasurer, Henry Middleton, receiving the cheque from RN&RMC Head of Grants, Anne Carr, with a helping hand from the Charity’s mascot.

Could Boleh help Portsmouth Parishes?

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Led by the Revd Bryan Hackett, Rector of the North End Team Ministry, and Canon Simon Tatton-Brown, representatives of Portsmouth Family Church and of North End Baptist Church spent a day at sea in Boleh last month; their aim, to evaluate the potential benefits of the vessel’s ‘can do’ experience for young people from inner city Parishes.

We are happy to report a successful visit and the Boleh Trust is now looking for suitable dates.  Picture shows, from left to right, Revd Tracey Ansell, Wayne Keeping, Celeste Fields and Steve Ansell enjoying the Spring sunshine from Boleh’s cockpit.

Boleh all set for the Season!

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Spic and span and ready to go – that’s Boleh after her winter maintenance in Birdham Pool, Chichester.  Picture shows Boleh back alongside in Gosport where, thanks to Dean and Reddyhoff, she enjoys a grace and favour berth in Haslar Marina.

We’ll be telling you about our busiest Sailing Season ever and the generous donors who have made this possible over the coming weeks.  In the meantime, don’t forget to visit Boleh in Haslar Marina at the Gosport Marine Festival on Saturday 11th May.

Boleh at the Gosport Marine Festival on 11 May!

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We’re pleased to say that Boleh will be back again in Haslar Marina for the Gosport Marine Festival on Saturday 11th May.  Boleh will be berthed close by the Trinity Lightship and we look forward to welcoming you onboard.

It’s all free at the Festival and there’ll be many sea-based family activities for everyone to join in.  Whether you’re 7 or 77 come along to the Festival and we hope to see you there.

Pompey’s Military Kids choose Boleh!

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We’re proud to say that the new Brochure for ‘Pompey’s Military Kids’ – a joint initiative by the Naval Families Federation and Portsmouth City Council – features sailing experience on board Boleh among the events and activities on offer to the Group.  This reflects last year’s very successful pilot programme of day sails in Boleh for Service schoolchildren.

As you will see from the featured Brochure, the Group works with local schools to bring together and support Service schoolchildren within the wider community.   The Boleh Trust now looks forward to sharing Boleh’s  ‘can-do’ experience with many more Service schoolchildren in the sailing season ahead.

Download a copy of the Brochure here.

Birdham ‘scrub-up’ for Boleh’s 70th

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Boleh will be 70 this year!  To ensure everything is shipshape for the coming season, she has recently moved to Birdham Pool for 2 months of winter maintenance with Tim Gilmore Ltd.  Tim and his team played an important part in  Boleh’s restoration, building her complex mast structure, and have looked after her ever since.

Picture shows Boleh ‘locking-in’ to Birdham Pool, helped by bearded shipwright (and former Boleh apprentice) Jason Rankin and our Naval Architect, Graham Westbrook.  Check out our recent social media posts to see pictures of Boleh under construction all those years ago in 1949.

Thank you all for supporting Boleh

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We are delighted to be able to use this lovely Christmas Card designed by Carole Westbrook to thank all those who have helped make the 2018 Season a successful one for Boleh.  The card is based on a photograph of Boleh running before the trade winds in the South Atlantic at the half way point of her epic voyage from Singapore to Salcombe in 1950.

Without the support of our generous funders, the dedication of those who care for and work with Boleh (both paid and unpaid), and the skill and commitment of our volunteer Skippers and Mates, we would be unable to pursue the charitable work of the Boleh Trust.  We are extremely grateful and wish all our friends and followers a Happy Christmas and peaceful New Year.

Boleh ends season in style!

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Boleh ended the 2018 season in style last month, competing in the Small Ships Race from Cowes (pictured) and then taking Service schoolchildren from Springfield School on the final day sail of our Naval Families Federation programme.  We look forward to repeating both these activities in the full sailing programme planned for next year.

This year Boleh has taken over 150 young people to sea from Sussex, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Dorset.  We have also enjoyed sailing numerous adults, some travelling from the other side of the world to recapture their Boleh ‘can do’ experience.  Highlights have been the Cowes Race and the emotional reunion of Roger Angel’s family and friends with the vessel he saved in 1978.  You can see a record of both these events on our social media at our Facebook and Instagram pages respectively.

Finally, we are very grateful to all those who have made Boleh’s 2018 programme possible: firstly, our volunteers, Skippers and Mates; and secondly, all those who have generously funded our charitable activities.

“Cracking Sail” for Boleh in the ASTO Cowes Small Ships Race

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Another Milestone for the restored Boleh – a first time start in the annual Cowes Small Ships Race, run by the Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO)!  This proved a testing day of wind and rain for 23 Sail Training Vessels and their young crews battling it out in the Western Solent from the Royal Yacht Squadron start line.


Boleh, skippered by volunteer Kevin Hood with volunteer Mates Richard Metcalfe and Gordon Fraser, was crewed by Antonio, Nina and Sam from Southampton University, Henry from Portsmouth Grammar School and Jamie from Carisbrooke and Medina College.


Picture shows Boleh crossing the Royal London Yacht Club finishing line in thick weather.  We’re proud to say that after the race ASTO General Manager, Lucy Gross commented: “You really looked like you had a cracking sail out there, well done”

“Once in a lifetime” Boleh reunion proves an “emotional day for all”

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In 1978 Roger Angel rescued the fire ravaged Boleh and restored her, supported by family and friends.  We are happy to report that 3 heroes who helped save Boleh then – Roger’s widow Wendy, Dave Sully and son Adrian – have again been able to sail together in Boleh, for the first time in 30 years.  They were joined by family members, travelling from as far away as Australia and New Zealand.


In thanking the Boleh Trust for this “once in a lifetime experience”, Dave said the memories had made this “an emotional day for all”.  An account of the part played by Wendy (pictured with Dave Sully in the background) and others involved in Boleh’s first restoration is recorded in Dave’s booklet ‘Arising From The Ashes’.  This can be found in the Archive section of the Boleh website – click here to access.