The Trust plans to establish and operate a Youth Development organisation on Waiheke Island, enabling young people to discover their potential through learning the traditional skills of sailing and seamanship and at the same time preserving our nautical heritage.
The idea of creating a local organisation to build and operate a small Sail Training Ship was first discussed in 2011, and the Waiheke Working Sail Charitable Trust became formally incorporated in May 2013.
Waiheke Island is fortunate to have a community of mariners whose experience covers the spectrum of boat building and sailing. These sailors want to see skills and experience preserved and passed on to a younger generation.
The Trust wants to extend opportunities already available on the island, such as Sea Scouts, the Waiheke Boating Club’s Junior Learn-to-Sail programme, and the Waiheke High School Sea Sports Academy for senior students. It plans to make affordable voyages of adventure available to all youth on Waiheke Island, with a focus on ages 13 and 14.
Sail training teaches timeless, universal values: courage, teamwork, leadership, tolerance, communication, empathy, trust and innovative thinking. It offers true youth development in a safe, fun and challenging environment.
Those already learning to sail will round out their skills, while some who have never been in a boat before will discover a new world at sea in the supportive community of the crew. This project will also teach skills in all the departments needed to build and outfit a sailing ship.
The programme developed over 40 years by the Spirit of Adventure Trust has proven of lifelong benefit to young people. With their enthusiastic support, we intend to develop a similar programme. Experience has shown that at-risk youth, powerfully motivated by peer pressure and leadership example, can turn their lives around to the great benefit of society.