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6. Major Structural changes to Steel Work for Island Reach

Updated: Feb 4

A Nautical Transformation

Anyone catching sight of Island Reach in Acton Bridge right now would be forgiven for the double take needed to recognise her.

On the 26th of April we moved IR to a private dock where we were able to concentrate more extensively on the huge project to add four cabins and extra washing facilities on the original deck

During the month of July I was able to visit and see first hand the work that has taken place, with Philipp using his skill and expertise to bring a very high standard of transformation during this stage in the process. You can see from the photo below the amount of extra living space which has been constructed to accommodate the medical staff and crew which Island Reach will carry while she is in Madagascar.

Originally we had been offered a ready built steel unit which we were planning to lift onto the deck and weld in place. However, as the plans were examined we felt able to make some key changes which would maximise our space.

Philipp and Jeremy with the approval of the YWAM Ships Switzerland board made the decision to custom build the unit on-board giving us a better layout and finish, improving even on her sister ships layout to give more spacious deck space above the unit which will eventually be covered with a canvas cover to protect against sun and rain, a patient waiting area.Medical Unit Downstairs

While the metal work has been ongoing on deck we have also been progressing with the development of the medical unit in the hold downstairs.

Separation of the space has allowed us to create units for the dispensary and three consultation / operation rooms for doctors, dentists and nurses to use.

Jeremy has created underfloor units for storage of the medications and supplies needed. It will be important to take stocks with us into areas where it is difficult to purchase equipment.

Click here for a summary video showing the work which has taken place up to this point.


We are overwhelmed with the skill and expertise which have been offered in the development of this project to send Island Reach to Madagascar.

Originally we had planned to sail arriving just before the monsoon season, and finish some renovations there before starting medical ministry.

The change in plans with the steel work and the continued help and support of local communities have had us prayerfully reconsider our timing, and at the end of July the directors along with those overseeing the renovations took the decision to complete the transformation in the UK.

We will delay the sail until spring 2023, after the rainy season in Madagascar, and with the ship completely ready we will plan to register her with the authorities and begin operating on arrival.

We are grateful for your continued prayers and support. Thank you.

Bringing Hope and Healing to the Nations

In the coming months there will be a need for electricians and plumbers who could volunteer for a short period of time to help us complete the next stages in the re-fit.

If you or someone you know would like to give some time to help us in this please get in touch.

info@ywamships.chYWAM Ships Switzerland exists to serve in the

most isolated and disadvantaged french speaking islands

If you would like to see in more detail the progress of the transformation of Island Reach, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel and be updated as new videos are released. YouTube Link:


Is now complete! Celebrate with us - we have purchased the ship.


We are amazed at the generosity of people who have provided so far all that we need for the renovations. A HUGE thank you!

We have volunteer crews for the 8,000-mile delivery voyage, through the Mediterranean, Suez, Red sea and down the Indian Ocean to Madagascar. We also have experienced marine volunteers staying after delivery to get the ministry going and helping to train future local crews.

We are currently in need of finances for fuel and port fees for the delivery voyage to Madagascar


After pioneering this ministry to Madagascar, we estimate we will need to raise £70,000 per year vessel running costs. We will be able to provide free medical services to around 100,000 patients per year.

Please contact us:

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