Supporting Boleh

Supporting Boleh

How can you help ?

We are very grateful for all the financial and practical support the Project has received to date, in particular during Boleh’s lengthy restoration, and subsequently in helping us deliver each Season’s charitable sailing programme. So far, we have made it through from year to year, but are very conscious that each new sailing Season starts again from square one and nothing can ever be guaranteed.

The Boleh Trust must therefore rely on, and be grateful for, the continuing generosity of its friends both individual and institutional.  To support Boleh and all the activities and costs associated with operating a fully working heritage sailing vessel, there are plenty of ways to get involved.  In doing so, whether as a Volunteer, a Fundraiser or a Donor, you will be helping the charitable work of the Boleh Trust.


The Boleh Trust is run almost entirely by volunteers.  We rely on them for the management and charitable work of the Trust, for much of Boleh’s maintenance, for the crewing of Boleh’s sailing programme, for administration and media management and for the organisation of any special events.

Working with the volunteers is our professional Operations Director, Craig Coupe, an RYA qualified Yachtmaster Instructor, responsible for planning and delivering the sailing programme. When, as happens, volunteer crew are not available, Craig fills the Skipper slot; and occasionally, other professional help is required..

Volunteers are therefore always in demand so that we can create a pool of suitably qualified and experienced helpers on which to draw. We are very grateful for the valuable time which people devote to Boleh and we seek to regulate and protect their contribution through the Boleh Trust Volunteer Policy; this can be found in the Policies section of the website at the bottom of the Home Page.

We are always interested in hearing from or meeting potential volunteers, and particularly from those local to Boleh, who can contribute as:

  • RYA Yachtmasters to skipper Boleh, DBS cleared
  • RYA Day Skippers as mates for Boleh, DBS cleared
  • Qualified maintenance assistance
  • Sailing programme management
  • Competent crew
  • Bosun/Ship Keepers
  • Open Day stewards
  • Website and social media management
  • Public Relations and Marketing support
  • Administrative and secretarial support
  • Fundraisers

If you are interested in being involved with any of these Volunteer categories or in supporting Boleh in any other way, please email us at or give Craig a call on 07958 610436.


It costs the Boleh Trust about £85,000 a year to keep Boleh fully operational and in tip top condition, crewed, insured, berthed, and at sea delivering the charitable purposes of the Trust. We need to cover our core costs and then to raise money to subsidise the sailing programmes we run for those who will most benefit.

If you are able to help us raise funds for Boleh so that we can offer these fantastic opportunities, please give David Critchley, Trustee and Chief Fundraiser, a call on 07967 473508  to discuss how to work with us.

The Funding Challenge

Why does Boleh cost so much to run when so much work is undertaken by volunteers?  Much of the cost comes simply from keeping Boleh, an historic ship, ready for sea. Unlike the repair and upkeep of a modern fibre glass vessel, Boleh’s age, traditional construction in Malayan hardwoods and unique design mean bespoke materials and labour-intensive techniques, eating up 25% of our annual budget,

Fund-raising for Boleh is therefore a serious task. Those who sail in her, whether schoolchildren, adults in need, or members of the Armed Forces cannot afford to charter Boleh, nor in many cases can the charity supporting their cause. So Boleh’s running costs of some £85,000 must be raised each year almost entirely from individual and institutional donors.  Private and Corporate charters of Boleh are welcome and make a modest contribution.

Individual Donors

We are always especially grateful to individual donors whose enthusiasm is ignited by Boleh and who help us out.  If you wish to help Boleh and make a donation yourself, please click on the ‘Donate’ button below.  The Just Giving page enables you to claim Gift Aid if applicable

All donations to the Boleh Trust are gratefully received and will be used to support Boleh

and help inspire young people facing challenge in their lives.


Institutional Donors

While ‘every little helps’ and those sailing in Boleh or charities booking sails can help, perhaps with local sources of funding unknown to us, a large gap remains to be filled.  We tackle this by approaching the major charities that support the areas where Boleh seeks to make a contribution – the Armed Services and their families, disadvantaged children, vulnerable adults, maritime heritage. These substantial grant-making trusts receive many more applications than they have funds to assist, so our applications have to stand out and match exactly what the trusts are looking to fund.  We are extremely grateful for the continuing generosity of these major funders who literally keep Boleh and the Boleh Trust afloat.

Those who have helped fund us

The Heritage Lottery Fund

We are delighted to have received over half a million pounds from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for Boleh’s restoration. The grant enabled the Trust to employ apprentices to restore Boleh. Local young people were able to learn heritage skills and make Boleh fit to sail again, while gaining credits at Portsmouth’s Highbury College towards their professional shipwright qualifications.

This generous funding also provided for significant community involvement in this exciting heritage project. Boleh’s story and restoration were harnessed to inspire pupils from the Portsmouth-based Charter Academy and introduce them to experiences and adventures that they would not normally have encountered in their lives.

At the time of the original grant in September 2012, Stuart McLeod, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund South East, said, “This rare vessel brings together European and Far Eastern traditions and represents an important moment in sailing ship design. We at the Heritage Lottery Fund are delighted that Boleh will be fully restored, back to her former glory, allowing the Boleh story to be shared with local people and visitors alike. A particular highlight of this project for HLF is the young apprentices from Portsmouth who will be trained in shipbuilding during the process. Skilling up young people is so important and will ensure Boleh’s legacy lives on beyond just the restoration.”

Other supporters

In addition to the critical contribution from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the generosity of individual donors, the Trustees remain grateful for the support they have received from the following organisations since the inception of the Project in 2009:

The Army Central Fund
The Nuffield Trust
St. James's Place