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Wright of Passage Mercator

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Excitement Builds as SWD Wright of Passage Youth Program prepares to set sail

Almost one year into the program and the once dilapidated 53 foot wooden ketch is ship shape & will soon be ready to set sail for Hobart for the 2019 Australian Wooden Boat Festival which gets underway February 8-11th.

Stage 1 of the program is almost complete, with the students who have worked tirelessly throughout the year learning new skills, now getting their sea legs ready for the journey.

Stage 1 has been very successful for the 7 original participants. With 2 of them obtaining apprenticeships in the industry, 2 have completed training as deckhands and one has enrolled in University for 2019.

But this whole project could never have worked without the assistance of our many volunteers and those who have donated money or provided items for use during the restoration.

To date we have used 2,000 brass screws in the hull, 2,200 wooden plugs have been installed, 2 km of electrical cabling has been removed and at least 20 metres of sandpaper has been used.

Mercator now even proudly wears her newly refurbished name plate along with an addition to her name 'Wright of Passage' in honour of the youth who have earnt their right of passage while working on her, and will continue to do so as they sail to Hobart.

A huge thank you must go to project leader Andrew for the fabulous work he has done on restoring Mercator's nameplate as well as making the new plate. Thank you also to Graham, SWD crew volunteer, for his workmanship in attaching them to the stern.

But the restoration of the vessel is far from complete with Stage 2 of youth intake to begin shortly after her return from Hobart. The next round of youth will continue work on the restoration.

Restoration of the vessel comes at a cost, with SWD Founder David Pescud estimating that the NFP Charity will need another $127,000 to see the vessel fully restored and allow us to continue to deliver the youth program.

A Crowdfunding Page is being set up to help us reach that goal and will be available soon so please consider a donation to ensure that the program can continue to deliver the fantastic results to the disengaged and disadvantage youth.

Watch SWD's Roving Reporter Renee's interview on Wright of Passage Mercator just 2 weeks out from the scheduled sailing date from Sydney to Hobart.

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