Local Artist Captivated By Boleh At Birdham

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Last year Boleh was up on the Causeway at Birdham for winter maintenance when local amateur artist, Jerrold Alexander, spotted her and was captivated by her appearance.  Described by him as ‘a very interesting and much travelled boat’ she became the catalyst for Jerrold’s painting of 5 yachts in a row on the Causeway.

When sending us the photo of his work, Jerrold said “Thanks for parking Boleh so close to my home” and we say “Thank you Jerrold for sharing your painting with us and for brightening up the January gloom”.

Well Earned Pint For Boleh Team!

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We couldn’t resist showing off Boleh’s local support team enjoying a well earned end-of-year pint in the new Creek Restaurant at Boleh’s Haslar Marina base.  Pictured from left to right are: Chris Austin, Trustee, stepping down from Vice Chair this year; Craig Coupe, Operations Director; Dave Hadfield, Technical Adviser; Graham Westbrook, Naval Architect; Nigel Craine, new Trustee and volunteer Skipper; and Mark Minshull, Trustee and Technical Director.

Missing from the picture is Boleh’s Lead Skipper and Vice Chair for 2023, Richard Metcalfe.  All have made a major contribution to the success of Boleh’s 2022 Season and to the memorable presentation of our beautiful and historic Junk Yacht Boleh to HRH The Princess Royal.  Thank you Team and well done!

A Very Happy Christmas To All From Boleh

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It has been a turbulent and uncertain year for many of us but, for Boleh and the Trust, it has been our most successful Season to date.  Boleh has been fully operational and at sea for just over 100 days, sailing 250 young people and 135 adults and completing a charitable sailing programme culminating in a memorable visit from HRH The Princess Royal.

Another evocative Christmas card from Carole Westbrook Designs pictures ‘Boleh off the Needles’ – perhaps heading for our annual Portland deployment to sail local schoolchildren!  Thank you generous funders, thank you wonderful volunteers, thank you valued supporters, and thank you our newly appointed Operations Director for making all this happen.  Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year to you all and we look forward to another cracking Season in 2023.

Boleh Thanks Amazing Donors

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We are humbled by the amazing generosity of our many donors and supporters, without whose financial contribution Boleh’s charitable work could not be delivered.  So it is a pleasure to report that, during this year’s recently completed sailing Season, Boleh was able to say a personal thank you.  Hosted by the Boleh Trust’s Patron, Chairman and volunteers Richard and Simon, Boleh entertained some of our close supporters to a Summer day on the Solent.

Picture shows the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity’s Director of Fundraising, Dawn Ingram (right), displaying  the charity’s banner.  Dawn summed up her Boleh experience:  “The boat is magnificent and I can see the benefits Boleh provides to our beneficiary groups, giving them a ‘can do’ attitude and the confidence boost they may need.”  The RN&RMC are one of our most steadfast supporters with a recent generous grant for next year’s  programme sailing local Service schoolchildren.  Thank you again RN&RMC.

Hello! Boleh

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We’re pleasantly amused to note that Boleh has moved up the social scale following HRH The Princess Royal’s  visit.  Our unique Junk Yacht now features in a recent edition of the Celebrity and Lifestyle magazine, Hello!, sharing column inches with Royalty, high flying socialites and the world of glamour.  The article pictured reports HRH’s keen interest in the Royal Navy, her support for Service families and her re-commissioning of Boleh in Haslar Marina with a dash of cider.

Pompey’s Military Kids thank Boleh

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Following HRH The Princess Royal’s visit, we’re proud to have received this message:

“As part of Pompey’s Military Kids affiliation with the wonderful BOLEH, Aggie’s Families Pastoral Worker, Nikki Burge and NFF Education & Childcare Policy Advisor, Becky Lovell, along with PMK representatives and pupils from Wimborne Primary and Mayfield Secondary, were extremely privileged to meet Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne.

Princess Anne was keen to know about our connection and the work that we do, as well as question the children’s knowledge on knots!  A wonderful and memorable occasion for all, with a massive thank you to the Boleh Project for our invitation and for the incredible opportunity for PMK to sail with them.”

PMK’s thank you message included snaps of their Royal day, with pictures of the PMK team, the banner showing the generous funders making all this possible, and HRH on the pontoon with Boleh.  We’re already looking forward to hosting next year’s sailing programme for PMK!

Boleh Honoured By Princess Royal Visit

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Our Trustees are proud and honoured to report that last Tuesday, 1 November, HRH The Princess Royal visited us to re-commission Boleh for charitable service.  During her visit HRH heard Boleh’s remarkable story from adults and young people who had contributed to, or benefitted from, this unique vessel.  Picture shows HRH in Haslar Marina’s new Creek Restaurant meeting Service children from Wimborne Primary who had sailed in Boleh.

The highlight of the visit was a traditional ceremony on Boleh’s foredeck, witnessed by children from Mayfield School, dedicating the restored Boleh to her new life.  This involved The Princess Royal pouring a libation of Westcountry cider over the bows and invoking even more inspirational ‘can-do’ charitable work from Boleh in the future.  Finally, HRH unveiled a commemorative Plaque before the ceremony ended with the restored ship’s Bell, cast in San Francisco over 70 years ago, sounding.

Boleh’s ‘Nine Knots And No Apparent Effort’ With Navy Crew

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Page 201 of Robin Kilroy’s book ‘Boleh’ records a 9 knot run on the final leg of her 15,000 mile passage from Singapore in 1950.  Naval crew member, Peter Aplin, wrote: “ . . . .on watch this evening, I reckon Boleh went faster than she has ever been before.  We had up full main and both Genoas, and, with a very fresh wind on the starboard quarter, I am sure she was doing 9 knots – and no apparent effort.”

You can see the entry in the book by clicking https://www.bolehproject.com/book/BolehByRobinKilroy.pdf


Now the Navy has done it again.  Navy and Marine crew from the third Group of our RN/RM Wounded Injured and Sick (WIS) recovery programme recently put Boleh through her paces in the Solent.  With new volunteer Skipper, Nigel Craine, and a good wind, Boleh recorded 9.8 knots – with a little bit of help from a friendly tide!


This was the culmination of another successful week with a WIS crew from varied backgrounds rapidly mastering the intricacies of sailing Boleh.  Our thanks to the RN&RM Charity for funding this programme, and to our Volunteer Skippers, William Barker-Wyatt and Nigel Craine, to the WIS team, and to Recovery Manager, Angie Cheal for making it all happen.

Brune Park Backs Boleh

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Once again we’re happy to report Boleh won the backing of another Gosport and Fareham Multi Academy Trust school.  Brune Park students from Service families described their recent day at sea in Boleh as ‘really good’.  Even those apprehensive about risking the ocean wave admitted they ‘really liked it’. While, for others, it was the company that mattered – ‘the other students were chill!’


Picture shows long term volunteer and Mate for the day, Chris O’Connell, pointing out the finer points of Boleh’s unique rig to a trainee sailor.  As a successful and varied Season draws to a close, we look forward to next year’s programme with Pompey Military Kids and the Gosport and Fareham Multi Academy Trust.  Thanks to our generous funders who help us ‘make the difference’ for local young people.

Devon Cadets Race Boleh

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Salcombe registered Boleh was proud to compete with a crew of Devon cadets in last month’s ASTO Small Ships Race starting off Cowes. Organised by the Association of Sail Training Organisations and supported by the Royal London Yacht Club and the Royal Yacht Squadron, over 200 young people and 19 Sail Training vessels took part.

Following a Parade of Sail, the Fleet enjoyed a fair Northerly breeze but struggled with fading winds and contrary tides on the return leg.  Lead Skipper Richard described his Army Cadet Force crew as ‘Brilliant’ and said only their ‘sheer determination’ enabled Boleh to round the windward mark.  Picture shows Boleh and her crew with other competitors in Cowes Yacht Haven