October 21, 2020

Catalina Island tall ship sold to Caribbean company

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Catalina Tall shipBy Jim Watson

The legendary tall ship Tole Mour, which graced the waters around Catalina Island for many years, has been sold to a windjammer charter company in the Caribbean.
Island Windjammers, which offers casual cruises on tall ships, recently purchased the three-masted schooner, making it the third vessel in the company’s fleet.
The schooner was used for many years at the Catalina Island Marine Institute at Toyon Bay northwest of Avalon as a training vessel and “sea-going classroom.”
With the change in ownership came a name change as well, and the Tole Mour has now become the “Vela,” the name of a constellation in the southern hemisphere as well as the noun for “sail” in both Latin and Spanish.
The ship was built in 1988 by Nichols Brothers Boat Builders on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound.
In her pre-Catalina days, she had onboard medical, dental and ophthalmological offices and was initially used as a floating medical center in the Marshall Islands in the South Pacific.
(The name “Tole Mour” means “a gift of life and health” in the language of the Marshall Islands).
According to Island Windjammers Marketing Director Shannon Manno, the ship is currently undergoing a major restoration and is set for her inaugural voyage as the Vela in late December.
“She’s being gutted and all the cabins are being added from scratch,” according to Manno.
The ship will feature a saloon below decks, an outside bar forward, as well as indoor and outdoor dining areas.
All plumbing and electrical systems will also be replaced and updated.
According to Island Windjammers’ website, the first scheduled sailing dates for the Vela are not until December and include such destinations as the French West Indies, the Virgin Islands, and the Leeward and Windward islands.
Prices range from $1,975 for Cadet Cabins up to $3,275 for the “Owner’s Suite” for sailings generally lasting six days.
IMAGE: The three-masted schooner Tole Mour, once a common sight in Catalina waters, was recently sold to a Caribbean-based cruise ship company and renamed the “Vela.” (Photo courtesy Island Windjammers)
For more on this story go to: http://www.thecatalinaislander.com/article/catalina-island-tall-ship-sold-caribbean-company

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