Maritime Foundation looks to sell Spirit of South Carolina

Source: SC Maritime Foundation
Source: SC Maritime Foundation

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC/AP) - South Carolina's tall ship, the Spirit of South Carolina, is for sale.

The South Carolina Maritime Foundation wants to sell the ship to pay its debts, including a $2 million bank loan.

The ship took several years to build and cost $4.5 million. It began educational programs for students in 2007. The foundation programs are designed to help curb the dropout rate in local schools.

The chairman of the foundation's board, Teddy Turner IV, says the nonprofit group has struggled to raise money in a bad economy and to pay the cost of building the ship.

Sarah Piwinski, also with the SC Maritime Foundation, says they are currently enlisting a broker to do the listing agreement and they are going to try and get the ship on the market as soon as possible.

Piwinski said the most recent appraisal for the boat came in at $3.65 million. If they were able to sell it for that amount they would be able to pay off what they owe the bank.

"It saddens us that we have to sell the ship but we want to pay off the money that we owe. It's important for us to pay off the bank," Piwinski said.

In addition to a lawsuit by the bank, the foundation is being sued by a former landlord for back rent.

Copyright 2011 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.