A busy weekend for Boleh!

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Boleh has been busy renewing her connections with Portsmouth. After a swift passage from Chichester to Gunwharf Quays we welcomed a steady flow of visitors onboard Boleh while she lay alongside in bright sunshine over the weekend of 14 October.

This is the first time since returning from Falmouth that the public has been shown this beautiful historic vessel, now fully restored thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund. Among the Boleh guides were our former apprentice, Jason Rankin and former Project Manager, Tim Gallier.

At the end of the weekend we were also proud to offer passage back to Chichester for the prizewinners of Sussex University Royal Naval Unit’s auction in aid of maritime charities. Picture shows Boleh returning to her berth in Chichester after her weekend away with lucky prizewinners Tom Meineck and his father among the crew.

Portsmouth Open Days for Boleh

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We are delighted to announce that Boleh will be open to the public at Gunwharf Quays during the weekend of 14 October.

Having recently returned from Falmouth, she is now based in Chichester and re-establishing her links with the local area. Boleh’s main purpose is to sail those with a challenge in their lives but, when her programme allows, she can also be hired commercially.

Boleh will be open to the public at Gunwharf on Saturday 15 October from 10.30 to 4 pm. She will also be alongside Gunwharf on the Friday and Sunday and can be visited by prior appointment. We hope to see you there!

A New Trustee for Boleh

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We are delighted to announce that Sophia Mirchandani has been appointed a Trustee of the Boleh Trust. Sophia has worked for 25 years in the museum and cultural sectors and helped put in our original bid for Heritage Lottery funding. Her experience with communities and young people will be invaluable in developing programmes which use Boleh (pictured here off Chichester entrance) to inspire those with a challenge in their lives.

A new generation gets to grips with Boleh!

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We take the idea of providing opportunities for young people seriously in the Boleh Team. The picture shows local trainee ‘sailors’ Isabelle, Alfred and Aksel learning the ropes onboard Boleh during the summer. Boleh is still in Chichester where we hope it won’t be long before she is once again the centre of attention in the local area.

Boleh is back in the Solent!

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After what turned out to be a disappointing 6 months in Falmouth, Boleh is now happy to be back in the Solent area. Of course it is always a shame when plans don’t quite come together but we remain very positive about Boleh’s future and her role as a sail training vessel. Indeed, Skipper Louis Abbot, describing his crew’s enjoyment of the trip back to the Solent, said “It’s always a pleasure to sail a yacht which is so different in every sense – everywhere you go Boleh provokes so much interest.”

Boleh is now back in Chichester Marina in the beautiful sunshine (as seen in the photograph) and people will have the opportunity to see her and hear her story at an Open Day planned for later this year (more details will follow).

Another ‘Can do’ challenge for Boleh

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We are very sorry to have to report that our Partner organisation, Sea Sanctuary, has decided that Boleh will not be suitable for the charity’s sail training operation. This is a judgement our Charter Agreement allows for during the initial trial year and we respect that decision – disappointing though it is for all concerned.

The challenge now for Boleh is to find a new home where her unique and complex design, sailing rig and power system can be put to work for the benefit of young people. This has certainly not proved straightforward to date.

In 1950 Boleh’s designer, Robin Kilroy (pictured) wrote of an apparently impossible task to realign her keel bolts: ‘When we did in fact achieve the impossible, I felt that, however difficult the problems and situations ahead of us, somehow we should find a way of getting over them.’ We intend to tackle the current set back in the same spirit.

Boleh welcomes former skippers

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With the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in the background, 2 veteran Boleh Skippers pose alongside her in Falmouth. Next to Boleh is John Maddock, Skipper in the early 1960’s, with another past Skipper and Chairman of the Boleh Trust, George Middleton. John, who is visiting from Australia, trained Junior Leaders from the Royal Engineers in Dover when Boleh was their sail training vessel.

If you would like to see our collection of pictures and articles, including Skippers Notes, related to the Junior Leaders Regiment, Royal Engineers then please go to the ‘Catalogue’ section of this website and click on ‘Boleh Photographic Archive’. You will see the link to the collection towards the bottom on the left. We would be very grateful for further contributions to this collection and would also welcome the contact details of those who sailed in Boleh with the Sappers. Please send any information to projectboleh@gmail.com.

Headwinds in Falmouth

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We regret that Boleh’s entry into operational service with Sea Sanctuary has been delayed by damage to her electric motors. The Boleh Trust are now working closely with the manufacturer, our partner Sea Sanctuary and our naval architect to establish the cause of failure. Further performance trials will be conducted to ensure the auxiliary propulsion system can cope with unwelcome headwinds which might put at risk the healing experience for our partner’s client sailors. The picture shows Boleh on her voyage to Falmouth earlier this year.

Boleh’s Log Book returns from Oz

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An important record of Boleh’s past has just been added to the Archive. Almost exactly 53 years ago Boleh sailed from Salcombe to join the Junior Leaders Regiment, Royal Engineers as their sail training vessel based in Dover. Over 3 years, until she was replaced with a new build yacht, Boleh took some 500 trainees to sea and sailed nearly 7000 miles.

Boleh’s adventures in the Channel and North Sea are recorded in the Log Book kindly presented to the Boleh Trust by John Maddock, pictured here with Trustees, George and Henry Middleton. John, a civilian instructor with the Royal Engineers at the time and a qualified Boleh skipper, flew in from South Australia last week where he and the Log Book have lived for the last 45 Years.