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Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
Northern Ireland


New Flagship for the Sea Cadets is under way

29 July 2013

The Sea Cadet Corps are delighted to advise that following an extensive tender process the trustees of MSSC have this afternoon signed a contract with the shipyard Astilleros Gondan S.A. based in Castropol Asturias, Spain to build our replacement flagship for the Sea Cadets.  This is to a design by Acubens  based in Madrid.  The contract was signed aboard HQS Wellington and attended by representatives of both parties, a number of Sea Cadets from across the Corps and members of the project team.

The winning design is a 32m brig offering greater use of space, with better all-round sailing ability and performance.

The new brig will be faster and easier to handle than the current vessel and provides much improved accommodation, making her the perfect choice to continue the legacy of TS Royalist in providing young people with a truly amazing and quite unique offshore voyage aboard a tall ship. 

As a charity it was imperative that the chosen design not only provided innovation but also great value for money. The Sea Cadets are not only able to reduce the appeal target to £4.8m, but mindful of the UK’s long and illustrious maritime heritage, 55% of the content of the new vessel’s equipment will be sourced from these shores.

The appeal total currently stands at £3.85m which is less than the previously stated figure of £4.2m.  This reduction is the result of one of our key sponsors having to reduce their pledge for reasons unrelated to our cause.  The good news is that despite this setback, the new ship will still be delivered on schedule for the 2015 sailing season, with our fantastic appeal committee continuing to work hard to raise the balance.

The demand amongst Sea Cadets for a voyage on TS Royalist has never been stronger, a true affirmation of the need for us to deliver a new ship for future generations.  The Offshore team, led by Commander Jerry Bearne RN, are working hard to keep TS Royalist in service with our hope to operate TS Royalist through to 2015, providing an uninterrupted sail training programme for Sea Cadets today and for generations to come. 

 The Sea Cadets look forward to keeping you updated on further progress as they move forward, but would like  to take this opportunity to thank all who played a part in the public Sea Cadet Appeal.  Not only did this generate much needed funds but, critically, raised huge profile for the project and showed how much the Sea Cadets want their new flagship.  Sea Cadets HQ has more to do, but from hereon in a new flagship for the Sea Cadets begins to become a reality.