Published January 27, 2012
By Lia Sestric
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — The South Carolina Maritime Foundation has turned down the first offer on the Spirit of South Carolina.
Charlie Sneed, one of the Spirit’s founding fathers, made the offer to buy the tall ship, but according to chairman Teddy Turner, the offer fell short of the $2.9 million asking price.
“I’d love to see that happen, but unfortunately, there needs to be enough money to take care of as many people as we can and it’s a great ship worth a lot of money,” he said.
The tall ship cost nearly $5 million to build, but with no other options on the table, the foundation was forced to list its prized possession.
“We don’t really have a choice that’s the sad part.”
For nearly five years, this boat has made ocean voyages with student crewmembers, serving 9,000 in all.
“I really love the Spirit,” 14-year-old Lizzy Walters said. She and her older sister both have been involved in the programs.
“It was a life-changing experience,” Ellinor Walters said. “It teaches you so much about yourself and leadership and how to interact with fellow students.”
Turner said these school programs are at risk.
“The whole program is on the verge of collapse,” he said. “We’ll probably be able to finish this academic year with all our onshore programs. Charleston loses an exceptionally good program not only at sea and what we do there, but really every day the schools that need it.”