Since 2017, YWAM Solomons have had a dream about using a sailboat as part of their ministry in the islands. Also since my start in YWAM in 2017, I have dreamt of using a sailboat as part of my ministry. Now these two dreams have collided, and we are working on making it a reality. On this page I will try to explain to you clearly why and invite you to take part in this project.
Remote Community Development
Solomon Islands is a Pacific nation consisting of 992 islands, whereas 347 islands are inhabited . The infrastructure in the islands is very limited, and some islands only have ships come by a couple of times a year. Within the islands, there are usually a very limited road access (if any), and in many places the boat is the only transportation besides their feet.
YWAM Solomons have had an increased reputation within Community Development in the Solomons, and are now in demand by district members of parliament to do community development projects in more and more remote areas. We see that a sailboat could transport people and equipment to these remote areas, which would be a huge advantage in our mission going forward.
The sailboat we are currently working on buying is a professionally built Wharram Design Tama Moana that is for sale in the Philippines. The Tama Moana is an ethnic design based off a double sailing canoe from the Solomon Island; Tikopia [2,3]. This is believed to be similar to the original design that the Polynesians may have been using for their migration from Asia to Melanesia. It’s simplistic design is not as comfortable for western cruisers, but it is perfect for the islanders who are used to simple living conditions.
Serving the locals
The simple design is also perfect for our community development work ideal; to come and serve the locals and meet them on their own level. We don’t want to come in a fancy boat, implying that our organization has a lot of money (because we don’t). We are dependent on the cooperation and ownership of the locals in all the projects that we do, for them to be successful.
The way forward
We have decided to start fundraising for the Tama Moana that is currently for sale in the Philippines. The asking price is 32,000 USD for the boat in its current condition. We also have to equip it with safety gear and an outboard motor for the passage to the Solomons, in addition to the costs of preparing the boat and getting in crew to sail it down, which in total we estimate to cost an additional 20,000 USD.
If we are able to get the required funds in time, our plan is to sail it down to the Solomon Islands sometimes between September 2021 and March 2022, for the ideal wind conditions. We have the help from an experienced captain from NZ, who also owns a Wharram catamaran, and that has done a lot of work in the Solomon Islands. On the crew we also aim to have at least one local Solomon Islander that will help us with the boat going forwards.
Join our mission by praying for us or by donating towards the project. YWAM Solomons is a local independent organization, and they will need our help and support in order to make this vision a reality. Our goal is to raise 52,000 USD by June 2021. Contact me on email@example.com for ways to support or if you have further questions!