New SALTS schooner to be named Leonora

A computer rendering by Will Krzymowski of the proposed schooner Leonora. Ship design led by Stephen Duff. The Sail and Life Training Society (SALTS) have announced plans for construction of a third tall ship for its fleet of vessels that teach youth from across Canada sailing skills.

A computer rendering by Will Krzymowski of the proposed schooner Leonora. Ship design led by Stephen Duff. The Sail and Life Training Society (SALTS) have announced plans for construction of a third tall ship for its fleet of vessels that teach youth from across Canada sailing skills.

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

In an effort to bolster the reach of its youth sail training vessels, the Sail and Life Training Society (SALTS) plans to add a new schooner to its fleet.

The Victoria-based charity recently named its planned third vessel ‘Leonora’ and intends the new ship to join its existing tall ships, Pacific Grace and Pacific Swift. Each year SALTS sail training programs reach approximately 1700 young people between the ages of 13 and 25, including Royal Canadian Sea Cadets from across Canada, providing them with the opportunity to develop their sailing skills aboard a tall ship. 

SALTS Executive Director Loren Hagerty says that he is hopeful construction on Leonora can begin this year. The addition of Leonora will allow the society to provide another 850 spaces for its programs each year. Hagerty says a builder of the ship has yet to be determined but anticipates bid requests will be sent to shipyards later this year.

“We are seeing real momentum in the fundraising for this project, which is a very large undertaking for a smaller charity like SALTS. We are optimistic that in years to come we can get more young people out to sea in our transformational programs,” said Hagerty.

The ultimate goal of SALTS, says Hagerty, is to provide an ideal platform for youth mentorship at sea along with providing them with a confidence boost and sense of wellbeing while developing “relational and teamwork skills.”

The most recent cost estimate for the project is $5.5 million, but the budget will be updated once bids from shipyards are received. An upsurge in donations and gifts-in-kind in the last two years will certainly help the project, says Hagerty. The previous schooner, Pacific Grace, was completed in 2001 for about $2.3-mllion.

Unlike the Society’s two other ships, the new vessel will be constructed with a steel hull, which in itself would take at least a year to construct. Its rigging and fit-out will likely take an additional year, said Hagerty, or longer if all funds needed are not raised in time. Leonora will be a slightly larger ship than its forerunners, measuring nearly 150-feet in sparred length compared with the wooden-hulled Grace and Swift measuring 138-feet and 111-feet respectively.

Though the Society’s existing schooners both have names beginning with “Pacific”, a new approach was taken this time with “Leonora.” “The short form of Leo means ‘Lion’ which is in keeping with the new schooner’s power and strength and our invitation to our young trainees to act with courage,” he explained.

“Leo is the name of the lion-shaped constellation of stars, connecting this name to celestial navigation and Leonora is a hearty and distinct female name that is not overly common today,” he said.

For more information about SALTS visit their website: www.salts.ca

Filed Under: Top Stories

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