Boleh yacht to set sail after vital restoration

Boleh is currently lying in Chichester Marina before heading west in August
Boleh is currently lying in Chichester Marina before heading west in August

A HISTORIC junk yacht has been brought to Chichester Marina after being restored in Portsmouth.

After a seven-year restoration project, the vessel Boleh is back in the water and preparing for her next journey.

Boleh will be heading west in August to join the inspirational charity Sea Sanctuary in Falmouth, where she will be based.

Sea Sanctuary employ larger, traditionally built wooden sailing vessels to improve the mental wellbeing of adults and young people from around the country.

‘Boleh’ means ‘can do’ in Malay, and this positive philosophy drove Project Boleh to restore the boat.

Boleh was originally designed and built 60 years ago in Singapore by artist and naval war hero Commander Robin Kilroy, DSC, sailing for the UK on January 18, 1950.

The junk yacht was then registered in Salcombe, and began to provide sailing experience for young people.

When Commander Kilroy died, Boleh initially remained in his family but was later sold, and was severely damaged by arson in 1978 just as she was completing a refit in Rye.

Although the boat was almost totally destroyed as far forward as the mast, Roger Angel, a skilled carpenter and joiner and keen sailer, decided to return her to her former glory.

Roger worked from photographs and plans, and in July 1981, the task was complete.

Eventually Boleh arrived in Portsmouth for a full restoration before she sets off on her next journey.

For more information on Project Boleh, visit