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Perception is a 68-foot steel-hulled schooner built in 1985 from plans designed by the famous naval architect L. Francis Herreshoff. She is gaff-rigged, and her masts stand 70 feet tall. She is fitted with teak woodwork throughout. The previous owner, a prominent east coast architect, sailed her from New Zealand to Australia, Brazil, the Galapagos, the Caribbean, and Portugal.

In 2017 Michigan Challenge Traditional Sail Training purchased her to fulfill our mission of teaching traditional sailing methods to youth and adult survivors of military heroes, grieving teens, and veterans and their families. We intend to provide a memorable and life-changing experience to our clients absolutely tuition-free, with no financial burden upon their families. Those of us on the board know from experience that learning a new skill, being in the company of friends who understand and have had similar experiences, and being with nature on a quiet sailboat on a breezy summer day can have a tremendous effect on one’s state of mind and outlook on life. Youth who have experienced the death of a loved one at an early age live daily with a constant reminder of the tragedy that has affected their family and their world. An experience such as the one we offer gives them the opportunity to get away from that environment for a while. Being on a classic tall ship can transcend time and widen their world of experience. It is easier to see one’s part in the universe, rather than the narrow world of grief.

Perception needs a new (or rebuilt) engine! It will cost approximately $12,000.  An anonymous donor will match up to $3,500!  So far we have raised $2,535, or with our matching funds, $5,070!  Won’t you help?Why do we need a new engine? Our current engine is over 30 years old.  It was built in England, and designed for ocean voyages.  It served Perception well on many voyages, but parts are hard to find (we had to send to England for a water pump–a two week delay in programs) and expensive. For safety and reliability, we need a smaller domestic engine whose parts are easy to find domestically.

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