There have been some exciting developments at the Boat Project in the past few months, in two main areas – boat development and fundraising.
The Board of Trustees has given formal approval for the construction of a new day boat, based on a high-level specification – in terms of build, accessibility and facilities. We are now in the process of appointing a naval architect to develop the detailed specification that will be put out to tender. This is a discrete piece of work, but obviously the more detail at this stage, the more robust will be the tender document and the final estimates. We will be inviting three yards to tender.
The decision to construct, as opposed to purchase/refit, was taken following an assessment of the benefits/drawbacks of each approach, and drawing on professional advice. As a disabled-access boat, we have very distinct requirements.
We also spent time considering whether to increase passenger capacity above our current numbers. Client feedback, together with the regulatory challenges of increasing the number of passengers we carry, led us to conclude that 12 (including up to six wheelchairs) is still the optimum number. Any more and the impact on client service – and costs – could be negative.
We are still crafting the plan and the message for a public fundraising campaign – as it’s not just about boat building – but our private fundraising is going well. Thanks to some very generous individual donations already received, and a further source of funds that we are in the process of finalising, we are in a great place and able to move forward quickly. The behind-the-scenes support the Charity has received for this project has been more than we could ever have hoped for and we consider ourselves to be very fortunate indeed.
Louise Sibley, Chair of Trustees
(Reproduced from the RTBP Friends Spring Newsletter)