Over Labor Day weekend, the news broke that Oliver Hazard Perry will not sail this winter. Instead, she will be tied to the dock while her parent organization, OHPRI, goes back to the drawing board to try and figure out a sustainable business model.
In the five years that Marlinspike has been published, the failure of sail-training programs has been a recurring theme. Bounty was sailed into a hurricane and sank. Ocean Classroom Foundation went under after 20 years at the forefront of the industry — prompting a 7,000-word analysis that stands as this publication’s raison d’etre. Amistad was placed in receivership, and the recently-built schooners Virginia and Spirit of South Carolina went belly-up and were sold. Pride of Baltimore II was forced to restrict its summer programming to Chesapeake, also due to lack of funds.
This winter, Pride II issued a public appeal for donations after another financial crunch threatened their summer programming. When that call went unheeded — at least in the short run — Pride II ended up not sailing at all in 2018.
All these announcements were painful, but the predicaments of OHP and Pride II in particular sent a wave of dismay through the sail-training and tall-ships communities...
Subscribe to read more