The design and engineering of Britannia, a replica of one of the most famous racing yachts at the turn of the century has now opened its doors to public funding on Kickstarter so that her refit can be completed and so that she may sail again!
The aim is to reclaim the legacy of this historic vessel and leverage her for a whole range of activities and projects around the world.
Upon completion, it’s envisioned Britannia will be used for maritime education, programmes for veterans, and gifted to 80 - 100 charities a year as a floating venue for charity fundraisers and events.
The K1 Britannia Kickstarter will run for 60 days and the clock is ticking.
Over the next 60 days every pledge to the project will be acknowledged with a wonderful and unique gift; a choice of a reward to match the pledge.
Funds are currently being raised for Britannia's interior design and engineering, to recreate every item that would have been on board Britannia at the turn of the century. By pledging to the project you have a short window of opportunity to be able to own a special piece of Britannia crafted by a team of specialists.
The Britannia refit team will bring to life a limited quantity of incredible replicas of the crew and officers' clothing worn on the original Britannia. There are oil paintings and design prints from world renowned marine artists, hand signed and finished litho prints of Britannia's deck plan, sail plan, and interiors. Everything is custom made and for some items, the quantities are limited.
Scott Ward, K1 Britannia's Director said: "The spirit of this project is all about gifting Britannia to the people. It is a project that reclaims an iconic piece of maritime history. Without your help the design and engineering of Britannia won't be completed to the standard and specification that made her one of the most incredible and admired vessels in the world."
See the K1 Britannia Kickstarter page for more information.
His Majesty King George V was a sailing and racing enthusiast. His beloved racing yacht "Britannia" was built in 1893 for Queen Victoria's son Prince Albert Edward. She served King Albert Edward and his son King George V with a legendary racing career.
Britannia set the standard for yacht design and yachting writers referred to her shape as the "Britannia ideal". She was a handsome vessel; Henderson’s built her light and strong, "the perfect race yacht”.
In 1920 King George V triggered the revival of Big Class Yachts by announcing that Britannia would be refitted for racing. Although Britannia was the oldest yacht in the circuit, regular updates to her rig kept her a most successful racer throughout the 1920s. In 1931 she was converted to the J-Class with a Bermuda rig. During her 40 year racing career she won 231 races and took another 129 flags.
King George V's dying wish was for his beloved yacht to follow him to the grave. So upon his death in 1936, in honor of the late Kings wishes, Britannia was towed out to St. Catherine’s Deep near the Isle of Wight and sent to rest beneath the waves, with a simple garland of flowers placed on her stem-head.
Bringing Britannia back to life
In 1994 an ambitious project to build a replica of Britannia gained Her Majesty the Queen's blessing. Britannia's hull was commissioned and built however the project was never completed and Britannia sat unfinished for nearly eight years.
In late 2011 her hull was acquired to be used for maritime education, charity fundraisers, and a whole range of charitable causes. K1 Britannia was born with the goal to complete the rebuild of the vessel to the same standard and specification of the original and to reclaim the history of this iconic vessel.
Britannia's hull was towed from Norway to East Cowes on the Isle of Wight in February 2012 where she was lifted and placed in her cradle so that the designing, engineering, and refitting work could commence.
“Who’s doing the design?”
Studio Faggioni has been in operation since 1966, run by two generations of ship builders, naval architects and yacht restorers. Over the years the studio has taken part in restoring of some of the most beautiful vessels in the world, such as Marlin, the famous 1930 commuter yacht commissioned by Henry Ford, belonging to J.F. Kennedy, Charles Nicholson’s Candida, Black Swan, and Patience, Big Class Gaff Cutter Lulworth and 1910 gaff schooner Orion.
Stefano Faggioni, Britannia's chief architect and designer has now taken on this extraordinary task, to design the deck plan, sail plan, interiors, and each item that will be on board Britannia to her 1931 standard and specification. The deadline to have the full blueprint of the interior completed is May 2013. From then, each item will be crafted and installed on board thus bringing Britannia to life!
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