Geraldo Rivera says he couldn’t possibly sell his beloved 68-foot sailboat since it’s like one of the family. But as the Fox News host wrestled with work demands he didn’t have time to use his aluminum ketch.
So he decided to donate Voyager to the Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, according to the Bangor Daily News.
The sailboat will help train students enrolled in the academy’s vessel operations technology program and small vessel operations program, director of college relations Jennifer DeJoy said. The students will earn sea hours and training time that they need to receive a limited Coast Guard license and to graduate with a bachelor’s degree, DeJoy told the Bangor Daily News.
Rivera said parting with Voyager was a decision he went back and forth on three or four times. He excitedly recalled sailing with his family to Tonga, near the International Date Line on Dec. 31, 1999, where they were among the first to experience the new millennium. He also sailed Voyager up the Amazon River, a trip that was featured on the Travel Channel.
Rivera sailed the boat to Maine this month and spent Tuesday night at the academy, where the school hosted a reception for him and his family.
“I met so many of the cadets and the staff there,” he told the Bangor Daily News. “They were so eager and enthusiastic and such good sailors. It was a bittersweet moment, but it just feels like the right thing.”
The academy has 60 training vessels, according to the school’s website. Another of the academy’s well-known boats is the schooner Bowdoin, which takes cadets on a months-long training voyage to the Arctic.
Voyager was designed by the naval architect and yacht brokerage firm Sparkman and Stephens and built in 1972 for former IBM president Thomas Watson Jr., Rivera said.