AN EX-naval supply ship which was delivered to Conwy in 2021 is almost finished being converted before it is sent to Madagascar to assist with the country’s medical needs.

“Island Reach” was purchased by Christian charity “Youth With a Mission” (YMAM), and then sailed to Conwy from Greenock, with the aim of making it a more “liveable hospital ship”.

The boat, which has been completely overhauled by a team of volunteers, is a 24-metre ex-naval, two hold, stores tender.

North Wales Pioneer: The boat's new GP unitThe boat's new GP unit (Image: YWAM)

With a draft of only 2.2 metres, a strong hull, and good engines, she is well-suited for going up rivers and small inlets to reach communities in need.


WATCH: Madagascar-bound former naval supply ship makes return to Conwy Quay!

A further £25,000 is needed to be raised for the boat’s air conditioning system and water maker before she leaves on her journey for Africa on April 9, 2024.

North Wales Pioneer: The boat's new dental unitThe boat's new dental unit (Image: YWAM)

The boat is now fitted with a new dental unit, and it is hoped that the refurbishments will be completed by Christmas.

Then, in the new year, the delivery crew will be assembled, before stocking up and fuelling the vessel.

Donating to this project can be done in several ways via

North Wales Pioneer: The boat's new pharmacy unitThe boat's new pharmacy unit (Image: YWAM)

Items still needed by the team are:

  • Air conditioning units
  • A 20-person life raft and emergency flares
  • A freshwater maker
  • A completely new chart outfit
  • A satellite communications unit
  • £50-60,000 in delivery fuel costs, depending on oil prices at the time of the journey
  • A suitable tender and outboard motor

North Wales Pioneer: New cabins for medical staffNew cabins for medical staff (Image: YWAM)

North Wales Pioneer: Island Reach at anchor off Anglesey during sea trialsIsland Reach at anchor off Anglesey during sea trials (Image: YWAM)

YWAM Ships is the legal owner of Island Reach, but the principal of YWAM Maritime Academy is managing this project in Conwy.

Volunteers and members of Coleg Llandrillo have also helped repair and update essential mechanical, electrical and electronic equipment on board to make it fit to sail to Madagascar.