The Portsmouth-based charity, the Boleh Trust is delighted to announce that the unique historic junk yacht Boleh is back in the Solent and will be open to the public at Gunwharf Quays during the weekend of 14 October.
Boleh, whose name means “Can Do” in Malay, is a remarkable 40ft wooden junk yacht which was designed and built after WWII in Singapore by a Naval Officer, Commander Robin Kilroy, DSC, who then sailed her back to Salcombe, Devon in 1950. She is constructed from traditional materials to a mixed junk/Bermudan rig design with many novel features – such as portholes made from Japanese fighter windscreens.
In 2008 the Boleh Trust started a total restoration of the vessel in City Council workshops at 199 Henderson Road, Southsea. With generous Heritage Lottery Fund support the restoration was successfully completed in 2015. During this period the Trust trained local apprentices in traditional shipwright skills, worked with the local community and introduced children from Portsmouth’s Charter Academy to Boleh and her maritime heritage.
Boleh is now fully operational and has recently returned from Falmouth. She is fitted out to the highest standards and, in keeping with the innovative approach of her original designer, has an auxiliary propulsion system with the latest diesel electric technology. Currently based in Chichester, Boleh’s main purpose is to sail those with a challenge in their lives but, when her programme allows, she can also be hired commercially.
Boleh will be open to the public at Gunwharf on Saturday 15 October from 10.30 to 4 pm. She will also be alongside Gunwharf on the Friday and Sunday and can be visited by prior appointment.

The Boleh Trust is a Portsmouth-based registered charity (No. 1135117) formed with the twin aims of preserving the unique historic junk yacht ‘Boleh’ (National Historic Vessel No. 2281) and giving people the opportunities to develop practical and life skills. More details of the Boleh Trust can be found at www.bolehproject.com
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