Tenacity of Bolton, the sailing boat built by boys and staff at Bolton School Boys’ Division, along with considerable help from parents and volunteers from the local community, celebrated its tenth birthday this week. The 15m ketch was completed in May 2007, having been built over nine years as a Millennium Project; the brainchild of former Head of Technology at the School, Mr Mike Whitmarsh.
From 1998 onwards, teams of youngsters, guided by teachers, worked on the vessel, often in their spare time, starting out with a steel frame, concrete and chicken wire. Professional craftsmen helped ensure the boat was seaworthy.
Upon completion, the boat transferred to Glasson Dock, Lancaster by low-loader truck and set sail on her maiden voyage with twelve Year 8 boys from Bolton School in the Spring of 2009. Trips enabled boys and girls to develop team working and leaderships skills, whilst learning to sail and having an adventure of a lifetime.
Headmaster Mr Philip Britton said: “A lot of hard work went into the building of the ketch, hence it got its name “Tenacity”. It has provided pupils with life skills, including working in confined spaces within small groups and practical skills such as sailing, cooking, cleaning and looking after one another. I am delighted that she is still on the water, now under the guidance of the Tall Ships Youth Trust, and still regularly utilised by girls and boys from our Senior Schools, including for Duke of Edinburgh expeditions. We look forward to the next ten years.”
The boat, which is still in immaculate condition, is currently travelling north from Gunwharf Quay, Portsmouth to Inverkip in Scotland, ready for another season in the seas off North-West Britain.