A BOAT built by young people to mark the millennium is continuing to provide once-in-a-lifetime experiences — ten years on.

The 48ft Tenacity of Bolton ketch was the ambitious idea of Mike Whitmarsh, head of technology at Bolton School. It celebrated its tenth birthday this week.

The sailing boat was built by boys and staff at the school with help from parents and volunteers from the local community. It set sail on its maiden voyage with year eight boys in the spring 2009 at Glasson Dock, Lancaster.

The idea was to use the boat to help young people develop team and leadership skills.

Headmaster Philip Britton said: "A lot of hard work went into the building of the ketch, hence it got its name 'Tenacity'.

"It has provided pupils with life skills, including working in confined spaces within small groups and practical skills such as sailing, cooking, cleaning and looking after one another.

"I am delighted that she is still on the water, now under the guidance of the Tall Ships Youth Trust, and still regularly utilised by girls and boys from our Senior Schools, including for Duke of Edinburgh expeditions.

"We look forward to the next ten years."

The boat is currently travelling north from Gunwharf Quay, Portsmouth, to Inverkip in Scotland, ready for another season in the seas off the North West.

Sixth former Hannah Shaw, aged 18, who sailed with a group of sixth form girls to complete her gold Duke of Edinburgh Expedition, said: "By the end of the week, we all agreed that it had been a fantastic experience. We had learnt new skills and had an amazing time whilst improving our teamwork skills and growing closer as a group. We were happy that we took the opportunity to do something different and unforgettable for our Gold Duke Of Edinburgh expedition.

"We are pleased to report that, following our expedition, Bolton School and the Tall Ships Youth Trust are willing to offer sailing on the Tenacity of Bolton to any other group of girls who hope to do this for their Duke of Edinburgh awards. This was an exciting once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we would highly recommend this."