The MSSC (Marine Society & Sea Cadets), the parent charity of the Sea Cadets, has awarded a £4.8 million ‘design & build’ contract for a new flagship to replace TS Royalist to Spanish shipyard Astilleros Gondan SA and designers Acubens.
Present flagship TS Royalist is now over 40 years old and in that time has given over 30,000 Sea Cadets a real taste of nautical adventure. As a former Sea Cadet myself I very much appreciate the wonderful job MSSC does in giving young people aged between 10-18 a good head start to life, helping them build self confidence, teamwork and a range of valuable skills.
The new and innovative design offers greater use of space, with better all-round sailing ability and performance. Faster and easier to handle than Royalist, the new ship is also more economical to run. This makes it ideal for offering young people offshore sailing, helping them to learn greater seamanship and sailing skills. The ship is expected to be in service for 40 years.
The new 32m brig design, has a pedigree drawing on large fast yachts, will have an independent, aerodynamic shaped keel, with separate rudder and skeg, and a canoe shaped hull of high tensile steel (Royalist is mild steel) with a reticulated structure and GRP deckhouse giving reduced weight and a lower centre of gravity.
Nigel Palmer, OBE, Chair of MSSC (Marine Society & Sea Cadets) says: “We’d like to thank the many generous donors who have helped to make this happen, both corporate and individuals as well as Sea Cadet units, which enabled us to now place the order for the new ship”
The charity spent two years fundraising £4.8 million to build a new ship, so far achieving £3.85 million of that target. The new ship will be ready for the 2015 sailing season launching into action as the old ship is decommissioned during the previous off sailing season. This means that there will be no pause in the sailing programme and cadets will not miss out on an opportunity to take part in an offshore voyage.
The charity worked hard to keep the build in the UK, conscious of the country’s maritime heritage. Innovation and cost were of equal value to the charity having spent much time securing the funds from many donors; corporate, individuals, trusts and foundations, and Sea Cadet units across the UK. The final design offers a great balance between innovation and value for money.