Charitable sailing trust puts its ‘remarkable’ tall ship up for sale

The Tenacious. Picture: ROB CURRIE. (38116825)

ISLANDERS with money to spare and a passion for sailing are being urged to come forward to keep a tall ship that has brought “priceless memories” for thousands of people operating.

The Jubilee Sailing Trust is hoping to find a buyer for Tenacious, currently the only sea-going tall ship in the world that can be sailed by a mixed-ability crew including disabled people, those with mental-health conditions, long-term ill-health issues and the socially isolated.

Tenacious has deep ties to the Island, having enabled over 2,000 able-bodied and disabled crew from Jersey to work together onboard over the years.

Prompted by former Senator Jean Le Maistre, the States of Jersey also helped to build Tenacious in the late 1990s, by donating £350,000 to pay for its masts and spars.

In December, the JST announced that it had continued to struggle to meet operating costs despite numerous fundraising appeals – including a “Covid-recovery campaign” that raised hundreds of thousands of pounds – and was closing as a result.

JST chair Charles Humpleby said the charity needed to sell the ship and has so far been considering offers in the region of £425,000.

It cost more than £14 million to build and was launched around 24 years ago. Mr Humpleby added: “With the strong links to Jersey and the money here, I’d be very interested in speaking to any group of individuals who would like to buy the ship and find out how to keep her operating.”

A “Save Tall Ship Tenacious” campaign group has also been established, seeking to raise awareness of the unique ship, attract the interest of wealthy individuals or foundations and offer support to any new owner “to ensure the ship continues to be accessible to all”.

On its website, the group explained that many former crew felt “devastated” upon hearing the JST had ceased operations.

“There seemed to be little that could be done, but a group of people who decided that doing nothing was not an option joined together, determined to do everything they could to save Tenacious, the ship that has provided so many people with adventures, friends and priceless memories,” it stated.

And a petition, started by Howard Shelton – a former sailor and maintainer of Tenacious – calling for “relevant authorities and organisations to preserve this remarkable vessel” and “keep her working” has been signed by over 2,000 people.

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