Since first launching renovations of its nearly 27 year-old tall ship in Fall 2018, BaySail has received financial support from prominent area foundations and labor from dozens of volunteers.
Now the Bay City-based non-profit organization is turning to the public to help round out its renovation efforts.
BaySail has launched a crowdfunding campaign for Appledore V, a 65 foot-tall top sail schooner that has called the shores of Bay City home since 2003.
BaySail is attempting to raise $20,000 for routine maintenance and repairs by May 6. The crowdfunding campaign is being hosted on the Michigan-based Patronicity platform.
The organization also owns and operates the Appledore V sister ship Appledore IV.
"People tend to see these ships tied at the dock all the time and maybe walk right by them. But in reality these are very unique and incredible assets that are not available elsewhere," says Shirley Roberts, Executive Director at BaySail.
"This is the only program of its kind on this side of the state and on Lake Huron."
The Appledore IV and V serve the region on multiple levels. BaySail uses the ships for educational programming, jobs training, and scientific and environmental studies. The ships are also available for public sails and private charters.
One popular educational program is Windward Bound, which takes teens between the ages of 14 and 18 years old on voyages throughout the Great Lakes, from Buffalo, New York to Duluth, Minnesota, and many ports in between.
"These are not things one can typically learn in the classroom," Roberts says.
Roberts is also the producer of the annual Tall Ship Celebration Festival, which features both Appledores IV and V as well as many other tall ships from throughout the Great Lakes region. This year’s festival runs July 18-21.
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