Over £3,000 raised during Southampton Boat Show charity auction, but reserve price for PBO Project Boat not met

Oarsome Chance, the youth support charity that took over building the PBO Project Boat in late 2018 has declared the PBO Project Boat stand at the Southampton Boat Show a success despite not finding a bidder for the biggest lot in the charity auction – the Secret 20 Harvey.

A statement issued by the charity reads as follows:

“We’ve had some lively bidding on the great range of exciting lots donated to our PBO Project Boat auction and we’re happy to say we’ve raised over £3,000 which will go directly towards helping us with our essential work changing young lives. We’d like to send many thanks to PBO Magazine, British Marine for gifting us the space at the Southampton International Boat Show, all of our auction partners and to the winning bidders for all their support.

“However, we are yet to find a new owner for Harvey, the Project Boat, as on this occasion the highest bidder didn’t meet our reserve price. Despite this, there was a huge amount of interest in the Secret 20 at the Southampton Boat Show, so we are in no doubt that we will still find the right owner for Harvey before she is completed next Spring.

“If you would like to enquire about owning Harvey (the new owner will be closely involved in selecting the bespoke finish for the boat) you can contact Oarsome Chance through our website: www.oarsomechanceorg/contact.

“We’d like to thank all of the PBO readers who came to meet us during the Southampton Boat Show, we have been absolutely delighted to find out how many fans Harvey has out there and truly enjoyed having the chance to chat with some of you. We hope you continue to enjoy following Harvey’s story.”

Boat Show visitors

Hundreds of boat show visitors came to view the PBO Project Boat, a kit-built gaff cutter design based on an Essex smack, including two MPs and record-breaking solo circumnavigator Dee Caffari.

Dee Caffari at Southampton Boat Show

Round the world sailor Dee Caffari visited the PBO Project Boat at the Southampton Boat Show

Read all the articles in the series here.

Named Harvey, in honour of Oarsome Chance volunteer Tony Harvey, who passed away in March 2019, the boat has now returned to the charity’s base in Gosport where the rig, sails, ballast, final coatings, deck gear and finishing touches to the interior will be completed over the winter.

An RCD test has been donated by CEProof/HPI once the boat has been launched.

The Secret 20 is a build-your-own kit imported from Australia that has been constructed in two distinct phases. The frames and the hull were laid in the PBO garage in Poole by the previous Editor and Deputy Editor. The rest of the work has been completed by the students, instructors and volunteers at youth support charity Oarsome Chance in Gosport.

The charity, which teaches vocational skills to young people excluded or at risk of exclusion from mainstream education, set themselves a target of finishing the boat in time for Southampton. Unfortunately that timeline has slipped, but her roughly finished decks and untreated veneer were barely noticeable up next to the smooth, painted hull and varnished counter stern.

6 images: Final touches before the boat show

1. The deck is laid and sheathed with glass-fibre. The cockpit cushions and hatch cover were made by Oarsome Chance as were the starburst pattern decorative cabin front pieces

2. The cabin top is also sheathed and the hull has had a lot of filling, fairing and painting

4. Cabin bulkhead trim – the gap is to let sail controls and halyards back into the cockpit

5 Dedication to detail: cockpit-to-coaming capping pieces

6. What lies beneath the coatings and the trim on the cabin front