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Oban Sailing Club has launched a £5,000 crowdfunder to get an ex-Kilbowie training boat back on the water.
The Drascombe Gig vessel was gifted to the club last summer by the town’s outdoor centre that was closed due to funding cuts.
Within just 24 hours of the sailing club’s crowdfunding page going live, hundreds of pounds had been pledged towards the target.
Andrew Petrie, who is one of the fundraisers, said he was on ‘Cloud Nine’ because of the support so far and hoped it would continue to keep the restoration project afloat.
One of the earliest supporters was the company who makes the Drascombes, which promised to donate £500 and will be at the boat’s official christening once all the necessary work has been carried out.
The sailing club has spread word of its crowdfunder far and wide on Facebook hoping other water sport clubs and associations, as well as businesses in the town and individuals will come onboard and make a donation.
The money will be used to repair the seagoing Drascombe’s broken trailer, buy a new outboard, as well as lifejackets, get the life rafts serviced and fund any TLC (Tender Loving Care) the boat needs before it is ready to use, said Mr Petrie.
‘The Drascome is 100 per cent right for the job of training and so much more. It means we can get more families out, especially when the weather’s not right for dinghies, as well as more of our young people and older people or those with mobility issues who want to get out on the water. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us. I’m on Cloud Nine with all the support already shown in the first 24 hours of our appeal, it’s a great kickstart to the project.
‘Every penny and every pound donated counts,’ he added.
The sailing club in Gallanach Road has close links with Oban High School, Oban Sea Cadets and Argyll College and runs a popular Monday Mayhem group as an offshoot for non-competitive individuals and families who do not own a boat but want to learn to sail.
‘We saw the potential straight away with the Drascombe for promoting and offering inclusive sailing experiences within our community,’ said Mr Petrie.
Due to the vessel’s design she can take up to 12 people and instructors.
To reward well-wishers giving to the fund, there are also a variety of options that certain amounts of giving will receive, including businesses having their name incorporated into a design or emblem to be permanently displayed on the boat.
Find out more about how you can help by visiting www.crowdfunder.co.uk/help-us-restore-our-drascombe-sail-training-boat