Turn to Starboard is calling out for a team of volunteer military veterans to help restore a historic wooden motor boat, gifted to the sailing charity earlier this year…

The project aims to carry out the repair or replacement of rotted timber in the hull, while helping those involved to learn traditional boat-building skills. Built in 1964, the 48-foot motor cruiser will be restored on dry land at the charity’s base at Falmouth Marina. Although there is no specific time frame for completion, it is expected the that preservation work will take around eight months to complete.

Shaun Pascoe, Turn to Starboard CEO and founder, said: “We were astonished when one of our long-standing supporters decided to generously donate his beautiful Rampart 48-foot motor cruiser to the charity. However, there are some issues with the planking within the hull which require some work before the boat can get back on the water. What we aim to achieve in conjunction with a boat builder and boat surveyor, is find a small team of military veterans to replace about a quarter the planks on the hull to restore her back to her former glory.

“We could have considered hiring a team of boat builders to take on the project, yet in line with our charity theme, we decided to offer the opportunity to veterans who have been affected by military operations and maybe suffering with mental health problems or disabilities, who will be able to learn some valuable new skills.

“Many of our beneficiaries, especially those with PTSD, would most likely struggle to enrol on a lengthy boat building course for a formal qualification, so our intent is to introduce some of these skills to individuals and help to build a little resilience so that some of these individuals may go on and complete a formal boat building qualification, although it’s not necessary. We also understand the value of working with a group of like-minded individuals on this type of initiative while engaging in a positive activity.”

Restoration of the 25-tonne vessel is able to begin thanks to a grant for half of the required funds from the Lest We Forget Association. The organisation were impressed by the idea and offered a grant of £15,000 to help support veterans in the region. Turn to Starboard is also seeking further funding from grant providers or sponsorship from local or national businesses.

Once completed, the charity will relaunch the boat to provide motor cruising courses for veterans, or sell the boat to use the funds for other sailing projects.

Shaun added: “We have a workshop and brew area at the ready where people can sit and discuss the scheme and learn about the tools required to complete the task. The project aims be fun, while offering the chance for volunteers meet new people, make friends, learn useful skills and help bring a historic wooden motor boat back to life.”

Anyone who would like to get involved or donate to the project, can contact Project Coordinator Steve Richards by email at steve@turntostarboard.co.uk or by calling 01326 314262.