Jubilee Sailing Trust ceases operations

The Jubilee Sailing Trust (Tenacious) Limited (JST(T)L), the company that owns and operates the tall ship S.V. Tenacious, has closed. Tenacious was a common sight in Weymouth, but her future is now uncertain.

The Jubilee Sailing Trust group, which includes the company JST(T)L and the charity Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST), has been facing financial difficulty for many years due to the high costs associated with running two tall ships and trying to reach new communities.

The last four 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 they tried different funding models, most of which were heavily reliant on fundraising, or, trying to attract partners willing to pay full price to charter the ship.

For the last 15 months they tried a funding strategy that was more reliant on income from the voyage crew paying for 75-80 per cent of the cost of a voyage (or using bursary funding secured for this purpose).

Unfortunately neither voyage sales nor fundraising efforts were successful in meeting the c.£150,000 a month required to operate Tenacious and keep her legally compliant to deliver voyages, nor to repay a historic debt (£477,000) accumulated prior to the September 2022 change in strategy.

While they have been investigating several options to change our situation, including loans and alternative business plans, it was recently learned they were also unsuccessful in being able to raise the full amount required to put Tenacious through her regulatory dry docking in time to deliver a planned Atlantic crossing.

Attempting 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.

Without the funds from the balance payments for those winter voyages (of which almost £100,000 isdue now), and knowing they would be unable to refund the voyage crew whose voyages have been cancelled, emergency talks with the Board, financial and legal advisors, and other key persons, with long-term connections to the JST history, were initiated.

Unfortunately without identified income to meet imminent expenditure in December (including the wages of crew and shore-based personnel) pursuing other financing options, or a public fundraising appeal, is not possible and legal advisors viewed 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.

Photo by Paul Dallaway

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