DANA POINT一 The community of Dana Point pulled together to raise money for a last-minute reconstruction effort to save the Spirit of Dana Point.
The replica of a 1770s privateer schooner housed at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point was slated for major restoration, including a new deck, that would have been completed in December 2022 that was in compliance with an approved plan from the United States Coast Guard.
The project had to be accelerated after a 30-day notice was given to the institute from their insurance company stating the coverage of the vessel would be discontinued if the project didn’t start within those 30 days.
The problem was further exacerbated by a clause in the institute’s lease that requires the boat to carry insurance.
The board met and discussed funding of the project; they received support from several foundations including the George Hoag Family Foundation, Marisla Foundation, and the Sahm Family Foundation; and Nicholas Endowment had previously committed to the purchase of new sails for the project.
“As Spirit is a community icon, we were hopeful that we would gain support, but it is a big ask,” said Dr. Wendy Marshall, CEO, and president of the Ocean Institute in a June 24 press release. “We turned to foundations and their speed and generosity was heartwarming. Within 24-hours of making our request, we had foundation Board members pull together quickly on Zoom to discuss the situation. With this base of support in place, we turned to the public.”
To garner public support for the project the institute started the “High Five” campaign with the Sun Family Foundation matching gifts of $5 or more. The ship was set to undergo restoration on June 26.