The group that oversees the Pride of Baltimore II, a wooden tall ship that hosts educational programs and serves as an ambassador to the city, announced it is “at a financial crossroads” and will have to dock the vessel during sailing season unless $230,000 is raised by March.
Currently, the ship is undergoing routine maintenance in the offseason, but an email from Rick Scott, executive director of the nonprofit that runs the ship, warns it will remain there if they don’t hit their funding goal.
“As many of our friends and supporters know, Pride has faced significant financial challenges over the years, given the expenses associated with maintaining a wood tall ship and supporting its operations and programs,” Scott writes.
The group is seeking an additional $300,000 between July and December to have a partial sailing season in 2018.
In a longer Q&A posted on the ship’s website, Pride of Baltimore, Inc., explains that the ship, built in 1988 after the first iteration was lost at sea, has had to draw down its endowment to maintain operations since losing the bulk of its state funding during the recession in 2008.
Though they have received help from Annapolis in recent years, it is not enough to cover the $1.2 million operating budget needed to sail the ship from April to October. Annual maintenance costs $200,000 to $300,000 alone, and that figure is expected to rise as the ship ages.
“We have been talking to elected officials, stakeholders, and business leaders as we have
worked to develop additional revenue streams, but have not secured official commitments to date,” the nonprofit writes. “Given our critical financial situation, we wanted to alert the public and our various communities now with our request for support.”
In the past 30 years, the ship has sailed to more than 200 ports in 40 countries, the group says.
Donations can be made at pride2.org/donate.
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