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S/V Denis Sullivan stays docked for 20th anniversary due to COVID-19 and needs funding to remain afloat

The S/V Denis Sullivan announced some good news on June 23, along with COVID-19 related bad news.

The bad news was that the replica Great Lakes Schooner would not be sailing in 2020 for her 20th anniversary season.

The good news was that Captain Tiffany Krihwan received the prestigious award for “Sail Trainer of the Year” from Tall Ships America for 2019.

“It is with a heavy heart we announce that the S/V Denis Sullivan will not be sailing nor open to the public for the 2020 season,” said Abby Werner, Engineer and Social Media Manager for the S/V Denis Sullivan. “This season we were hoping to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the launching of the S/V Denis Sullivan from Pier Wisconsin, where we still dock today. Instead, the ship will be remaining docked with the bare minimum of crew continuing maintenance work as long as we are able.”

One of the worst things for a wooden vessel is to be neglected. The funds generated from taking public sails and operating programs for students and trainees, go to paying the crew to care for the vessel.

As a result, the crew of the S/V Denis Sullivan is asking the public for help to provide at least a crew member on to continue caring for the ship while it remain docked. It does not matter if the ship if docked or if it sails all 5 Great Lakes in a season, the minimum annual cost to maintain the S/V Denis Sullivan is about $300,000.

The only re-creation of an 1850s era three-masted Great Lakes cargo schooner in the world, the S/V Denis Sullivan was built by nearly 1,000 dedicated volunteers who generously gave more than one million hours over five years to see their vision become a breathtaking reality. The S/V Denis Sullivan embodies the sweat, souls, and spirit of citizens who labored to help build the first tall ship to take shape in Wisconsin during this century and was ultimately designated as Wisconsin’s Flagship.

The goal is to reach $25,000. Donations to Support Education Aboard the SV Denis Sullivan can be made on the GoFundMe page. Non-electronic donations can be mailed to:

Captain Tiffany Krihwan, S/V Denis Sullivan, 500 N Harbor Dr., Milwaukee, WI 53202

Captain Tiffany Krihwan received the prestigious “Sail Trainer of the Year” award from Tall Ships America during its annual conference in March, just before COVID-19 put most of the country on lockdown to prevent the pandemic from spreading. The award is presented to a member of Tall Ships America who has made a significant contribution to sail training through the demonstration of leadership by means of empowerment and inspiration.

“We will try our best to continue posting updates about the ship and continue maintenance, but please note that how nearly everything after today turns out will be based on our donors and the decisions of the Discovery World board,” added Werner.

© Photo

Lee Matz

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