13 brilliant ways yachts are used for charity

Billy Joel donated his yacht to the International Seakeepers Society

_Vendetta_ is worth more than $1million

Superyachts can feature beautiful classic designs, take you to remote cruising destinations and offer the ultimate in luxury experiences, but they can also be the perfect conduit in helping charities. For example, celebrity yacht designer Billy Joel donated his luxury yacht Vendetta to the International Seakeepers Society in August 2016.

The best-selling singer/songwriter designed the 17.35 metre yacht in collaboration with Doug Zurn and CH Marine. Delivered in 2005, _Vendetta _went on display at the 2015 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show in hopes of finding a buyer. However, Joel has now decided to support the International Seakeepers Society with this generous gift. CEO Richard Snow said, “We are forever grateful for this donation and would like to thank yacht broker Bruce Leffers of Northrop & Johnson for assisting to make this happen.”

Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust adds Scottish yacht

The charity helps children with mobility issues get on the water

In August 2016, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust revealed that is has used a grant from the People’s Postcode Lottery to buy a new 13.94 metre Bénéteau Oceanis 45 sailing yacht.

The charity helps children with mobility issues caused by cancer to get on the water and the new yacht, based in the Scottish town of Largs, will be crucial in this as it features a lowering transom for ease of access. Frank Fletcher, chief executive of the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, said, “This new yacht will allow us to provide a better experience for our young people with mobility issues from Northern England and Scotland.”

Xavi Hernández donated his yacht to help save refugees

Auction will raise funds for Proactivia Open Arms

In July 2016, the former Barcelona and Spain footballer Xavi Hernández donated his yacht La Pelopina to the non-governmental organisation Proactivia Open Arms. The yacht will be auctioned off to raise funds for the organisation, which was set up to help save the lives of refugees attempting to cross the Mediterranean.

Spanish organisation Proactivia Open Arms is currently based on the Greek island of Lesbos, which received more than 55,000 refugees in the first six months of the year. The organisation has raised more than €500,000 since the beginning of 2016 to help tackle the Mediterranean refugee crisis.

Six celebrities fundraise during a circumnavigation of the UK

As part of Sport Relief

In March 2016, six British celebrities circumnavigated the UK in five days in a bid to raise money for charity. The BT Sport Relief Challenge: Hell on High Seas yacht was skippered by Volvo Ocean Race sailor Ian Walker.

TV presenters Alex Jones, Angelica Bell, Ore Oduba, Suzi Perry, comedian Hal Cruttenden and actress Doon Mackichan are sailed from Belfast Harbour, down the west coast of the UK, through the Solent and up to North Shields.

The stunt was part of the Sport Relief weekend, which aims to get people active and raise money for charities through exercise.

Clipper Round the World Race is working with Unicef

Unicef has become the official charity of the Clipper Round the World Race 2015-16 and 2017-18 editions. As part of this partnership, Unicef entered a team in the current race, the fee for which was donated by race organisers.

William Ward, CEO of the Clipper Race explained: “The Clipper 2015-16 Race is our tenth edition and we wanted to mark this landmark in the history of our biennial international event by giving something back to the global community. Unicef works tirelessly for children in danger in every country we visit on our global race route and is the Official Clipper 2015-16 Race Charity, so it is a fitting cause for us to support.”

Not only is there a Unicef team, but the race crews have also chosen to personally raise money to help build a safer world for children. By the time the fourth leg of the race arrived in Sydney in December, the 600 plus participants had raised over £130,000.

Picture courtesy of Clipper Round the World

Yachtsman donates boat for refugees

In October 2015, a yachtsman from Jersey gave up his sailing dreams and donated his £25,000 yacht to a Channel Island charity set up to support refugees and migrants in the port of Calais in northern France.

Michael de Petrovsky was so moved by the plight of people living in the makeshift camp known as ‘the Jungle’ when he visited that he donated his seven-berth yacht to the Jersey Calais Refugee Aid Group. The group was set up by history teacher Bram Wanrooij, who saw the camp while returning from a family holiday.

Yachtsman Mr de Petrovsky travelled to Calais with crews of construction and aid workers from Jersey to help build emergency shelters for the migrants and refugees. His boat was entered into a raffle to raise money to build more shelters to help protect people who are based there over the coming winter months.

Mr de Petrovsky’s yacht, Contango, is well known in local sailing circles and has competed in the Commodore’s Cup at the Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club.

Ghazi Najib, who has played an integral role in organising aid trips to Calais in recent weeks, said that he had been overwhelmed by Mr de Petrovsky’s generosity. He said that the donation would help him achieve his goal of buying 45 emergency shelters for the ‘Jungle’ at a cost £1,400 each. He said that each shelter can house up to 20 people.

Mr Najib said: “Michael called me and said he knew I was trying to raise the money and said his yacht had been for sale for eight months. He just gave it to me, put it in my name and said ‘do something good’.”

Picture courtesy of the Jersey Evening Post

SailFuture rehabilitates at-risk youth through sailing

Sail For Justice will take juveniles offenders on the ARC

The Sarasota, Florida-based charity SailFuture rehabilitates kids by taking them out of the juvenile penitentiary system and putting them onto sailing yachts. So far, the organisation has transformed more than 150 lives, working with advocacy groups, judges and attorneys to get high-risk youths out onto the water instead of locked up behind bars.

In 2015, five juvenile offenders sailed in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers as part of the charity's Sail For Justice program. The five young men – who had never stepped on a boat before –  were put through an Olympic style training course before sailing 2,700 nautical miles from the Canary Islands to St. Lucia.

Founder of SailFuture, Michael Long, said the program's goal is to use sailing to demonstrate there are "more effective and cost-efficient ways to rehabilitate at-risk youths than sending them into a broken juvenile justice system that fails more kids than it saves."

"Sailing is the basis of everything we do. Through it, we teach responsibility, inspire confidence and build the foundation of lifelong friendships," Long added.

Sailing for the Disabled provides sailing for all

Isle of Man charity christens new boat

In February 2015, the Isle of Man based Sailing for the Disabled christened Pride of Mann III, their latest sailing yacht used for charity. The charity was founded in 1984 in order to provide adults and children with physical or mental conditions the opportunity to sail – most of whom have never sailed or been on a yacht.

Pride of Mann III is a 14.6 metre Beneteau Oceanis 48, which has stern boarding and allows Sailing for the Disabled to bring electric wheelchairs on board.

Sir Richard Branson's yacht comes to the rescue

YachtAid Global and _Necker Belle_ delivered supplies to storm ravaged islands

Yachting charity YachtAid Global were able to get assistance from Sir Richard Branson's yacht Necker Belle and deliver aid to St Maarten following Hurricane Gonzalo in 2014, which caused nearly 40 boats to sink and severely damaged the Caribbean island.

YachtAid Global often looks for help from "like-minded captains and owners" for its humanitarian efforts around the world, tasking them with delivering supplies to places devastated by natural disasters that are often best reached by superyachts.

The organisation put out another request for help after Hurricane Joaquin ripped through parts of The Bahamas in October 2015, calling on yachts in South Florida and those passing through The Bahamas to deliver disaster relief to areas affected by the storm.

Beautiful classic yachts race for charity

Marquita and Eleonora raise £67,000 for Wetwheels disabled powerboat

There is no better sight than that of two beautiful classic sailing yachts battling it out on the water. Unless, perhaps, it's for a noble cause. In 2015, the 104 year old, 38 metre classic yacht Mariquita arranged a match race against the equally iconic 49.5 metre Eleonora and raised a whopping £67,000 for the disabled charity Wetwheels. The money was earned by auctioning off places on board the yachts during the regattas, with the 25 top bidders earning a spot on board.

Wetwheels gives disabled and disadvantaged people the chance to get on the water on board accessible yachts. The funds raised went to helping the Hamble-based charity buy their third boat, a new motorised catamaran that will based at the Royal Southern Yacht Club.

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