Jubilee Sailing Trust (Tenacious) Limited, which owns and operates the tall ship SV Tenacious, has closed due to a lack of funds

Jubilee Sailing Trust (Tenacious) Limited, which owns and runs the tall ship SV Tenacious, has ceased trading.

The company, and its charity arm, the Jubilee Sailing Trust have been facing financial difficulties due to the financial burden of running SV Tenacious, which costs £150,000 a month to run.

People on board a tall ship run by the Jubilee Sailing Trust

Since it was formed 45 years ago, the Jubilee Sailing Trust has enabled 56,728 disabled and non-disabled people to sail on a tall ship. Credit: Jonathan Gready/Alamy Stock Photo

The Jubilee Sailing Trust will be reviewed by the Charity Commission to see if it can continue to operate. The charity’s Deed of Trust could allow it to operate differently in the future.

In a statement on its website, the trust said:

“The last 4 years have seen two large-scale funding appeals, refinancing, several restructures, and a reduction in fleet size to one ship – and of course a pandemic. With much internal and external consultation we have tried different funding models, most of which have been heavily reliant on fundraising, or, trying to attract partners willing to pay full price to charter the ship. For the last 15 months we tried a funding strategy that was more reliant on income from our voyage crew paying for 75-80% of the cost of a voyage (or using bursary funding secured for this purpose).

Unfortunately neither our voyage sales nor our fundraising efforts have been successful in meeting the c.£150k/month required to operate Tenacious and keep her legally compliant to deliver our voyages, nor to repay the historic debt (c.£477k) accumulated prior to the September 2022 change in strategy.

Whilst we have been investigating several options to change our situation, including loans and alternative business plans, we recently learned we were also unsuccessful in being able to raise the full amount required to put Tenacious through her regulatory dry docking in time to deliver our planned Atlantic crossing. If we were to attempt to re-start the programme in the Caribbean, sailing as a ‘delivery voyage’ (without voyage crew having paid to sail and meet the voyage costs) to the Caribbean would incur significant new expenditure that we would not be able to meet with the rest of the winter voyage programme. This means there is no viable way to fulfil our Caribbean voyages, and as such all voyages up to April 2024 needed to be cancelled.

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Without the funds from the balance payments for those winter voyages (of which almost £100k would be due now), and knowing we would be unable to refund the voyage crew whose voyages have been cancelled, we initiated emergency talks with our Board, financial and legal advisors, and other key persons with long-term connections to the JST history.

Unfortunately as we are now without identified income to meet our imminent expenditure in December (including the wages of our crew and shore-based team) we no longer have the time to pursue other financing options, nor a public fundraising appeal, and our legal advisors view closure as the only option available. Tenacious and all assets owned by JST(T)L will pass into the hands of the Official Receiver, appointed by the court. All staff (ship and shore) are employed by the JST(T)L company and as such will no longer be in post.”

All those who booked voyages with the Jubilee Sailing Trust will be contacted and the trust has said it will assist them with insurance claims.

The trust’s phones, website, social media and emails will no longer be monitored, but contact details will be posted on the trust’s website for companies which are owed money, once this has been arranged.

The tall ship STS Lord Nelson sailing

STS Lord Nelson was designed by Colin Mundie and launched in 1986. Credit: Stephen Barnes/Disability/Alamy Stock Photo

In early 2022, the Jubilee Sailing Trust launched a £500,000 fundraising campaign to continue to run SV Tenacious.

It needed to raise a total of £1.2 million by the end of September 2022 to continue operations, but this was not achieved, which resulted in one of the trust’s subsidiaries, Jubilee Sailing Trust Ltd, entering administration; its other tall ship, STS Lord Nelson was seized and put up for sale. STS Lord Nelson was decommissioned in 2019, and the trust unsuccessfully tried to sell it to cover its debt.

Since the Jubilee Sailing Trust was founded in 1978, 56,728 disabled and non-disabled people have been given the chance to see the world from the deck of a tall ship.

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