Sloop Foundation ‘Cannot Undertake Usual Plan’

The Bermuda Sloop Foundation said they “cannot undertake its usual plan starting 1 July 2024 due to financial constraints” and noted that their main fundraising event ‘Pirates of Bermuda’ is taking place this Sunday, and encouraged people to support it.

A spokesperson said, “After 18 years of providing successful programmes for Bermuda’s youth, Bermuda Sloop Foundation [BSF] cannot undertake its usual plan starting 1 July 2024 due to financial constraints.

“The near-term plan is for Spirit of Bermuda to complete her voyages for the current school year ending 30 June 2024, and then to proceed to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia to undergo her required 5-year certification survey under American Bureau of Shipping [ABS] rules. Obtaining ABS certification for Spirit is a critical precondition for the range of prudent future options open to BSF.

“For the last 7 months, BSF has conscientiously considered its ongoing viability under its current model. Twenty years on from conception of BSF’s programmes, there has been a major ‘sea change’ in Spirit’s operating environment including a much-changed donor/grant environment, rising costs, additional compliance requirements, and an aging ship, to name just a few. Strident steps to economise and fundraise have enabled Spirit to complete all her remaining world class 5-day [Bermudian ‘rite of passage’] residential voyages for M3 students in the current school year.

“Our primary mission has always been to give the youth of Bermuda life-changing experiences by taking them out of their comfort zone on 5-day residential voyages that are truly transformational. Spirit’s motto of “Changing lives, one voyage at a time, over time” has impacted the lives of 8,500 of Bermuda’s youth since 2006. This ambitious project has been remarkably successful all things considered. The level of generous and loyal support from all donors and supporters has been exceptional.

“Spirit has become Bermuda’s recognised iconic flagship and is a multi-faceted valuable community asset. Spirit is free of debt and its value must be preserved if possible. Essential to this is the ABS certification due in late August 2024. As BSF pauses and reconsiders its future, obtaining the ABS certification is critical to maintaining Spirit’s global standard for safety.

“BSF believes an authentic public private partnership is the best way forward to save Spirit. Our major customers need to remain the people of Bermuda, as served by Education, Work Force Development, Youth Development, Marine and Ports, Culture, Tourism, and the business community. Spirit needs input from all stakeholders in the community, and that will take time. We welcome the opportunity to explore further options in the coming months.

“Our main fundraising event “Pirates of Bermuda” is taking place this Sunday 28 April from 12pm – 2pm at Number 1 Car Park in Hamilton. This is the community’s opportunity to show their support by sinking [or saving] a favorite hostage at www.Ptix.bm/Pirates.

“The goal is to save Spirit’s value, not only as a platform for youth development, but as an icon of pride and unity for our island home. Please come out and support us and enjoy this event.”

Sloop Foundation ‘Cannot Undertake Usual Plan’ – Bernews