Boleh in Dorset

COVID-19 Puts Boleh Trust Business On Hold

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As we warned only a week ago, the Boleh Trust must operate within the Government Guidelines to control this catastrophic outbreak of Coronavirus.  The worsening situation now means Boleh’s exciting 2020 Sailing Programme is clearly no longer feasible.  With great regret the Boleh Trust is therefore shutting down all operations until further notice.

Boleh Trustees, the Boleh team and our operational support staff at Halcyon Yachts Ltd will be working from home, ensuring Boleh is ready for the hoped for re-start of the sailing season.   At this point, we would like to say how very grateful we are to all our generous donors, our wonderful volunteer crews and the Boleh team.  They have enabled us to present Boleh for this Season in tip top condition.

While we and our friends and supporters are facing the challenges ahead and dreaming of calm seas and a fair wind (see picture), the Trust website and social media will, we hope, continue to post stories with the ‘can-do’ spirit.  We will also continue to welcome volunteers and to seek further much appreciated support for our charitable work.  Thank you all and Good Luck

Boleh’s Classic Kiwi Connection

Boleh’s Classic Kiwi Connection

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Boleh’s family is truly global!  When Roger Angel rescued and restored Boleh in the 1980’s Dave Sully and son Adrian were there to help.  Now Adrian, who emigrated to New Zealand in 1987, has completed his own classic yacht restoration of the 45ft gaff-rigged-ketch SEAWARD.  Built about 1890 in South Island and subsequently rebuilt in 1925 with a triple skin of Kauri timber, SEAWARD’s history includes Auckland-Sydney and Sydney-Hobart races and South Pacific cruises.

When Adrian bought SEAWARD in 2013 she was in a sorry state but, as this picture of her under full sail in 2017 shows, his restoration was a complete success.  Now Adrian, who sailed again in Boleh with the Angel family in 2018, hopes his vessel will eventually follow in Boleh’s wake, working with NZ charities to provide a rewarding experience for those who will benefit most.

A good story in dark times.  Throughout the crisis we hope to continue posting stories on the website and social media to keep the ‘can-do’ spirit alive and lighten the sadness caused by COVID-19.

Boleh in calmer times, basking in the early Summer sunshine

Boleh and COVID-19

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We’ve been getting Boleh ready for an exciting sailing programme this year but even her ‘can-do’ approach must accept the inevitable impact of the Pandemic.  All decisions by the Trust follow Government guidelines  and it is therefore certain that Boleh’s programme will have to be severely curtailed.  We will keep you all informed.

In the meantime, Mark Minshull and our volunteers are working within these guidelines and Haslar Marina’s safety plan to keep Boleh secure and ready for the start of the Season – whenever that may be.  Picture shows Boleh in calmer times, basking in the early Summer sunshine.

Boleh with a following wind off Chichester Harbour entrance

A Fair Wind for Boleh

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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