8 Feb 2012
Royal yacht begins long awaited rebuild
A replica of famous royal racing yacht, Britannia, built in 1897 for Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, is due to start her long awaited rebuild in Cowes.
The 40m hull was towed by tug from Son, Norway, taking eight days to reach Cowes on 4 February. The Britannia Trust, which is overseeing the rebuild, has recently launched the website www.k1Britannia.org to track her progress via blog, video and images.
The reconstruction process, right from her docking in the dry-docks to final unveiling of the restored yacht will be filmed. A webcam to stream live video from the dockyard is also planned.
Her short journey to Cowes belies a much longer, troublesome journey to be rebuilt. In 1993, Norwegian entrepreneur Sigurd Coates bought Solombala shipyard in Russia to undertake the massive project.
Problems arose when Coates sold his shares to the yard and had his rights arrogated to the yacht, which was rebranded the Tsar Peter. He managed to relocate her, after much time and many legal wrangles, to Son, Norway in 2009.
Financing the yacht was a further issue with Coates unable to find funds to complete the build. However, Gibraltar company, Minicast Holdings recently bought the yacht off Coates and donated her to the Britannia Trust for the next ten years, to develop her as a charity vessel. The investment is a breakthrough as it allows a long and cherished project to recommence.
The next stage for Britannia is fitting-in new deckware, restoring her interior, mast, rigging and sails. Her cradle is in place at the Southboats Yard in Venture Quays, Cowes and she is expected to be lifted in by the end of the month.
Britannia hull leaving Son, Norway. Photos courtesy of www.Lokalmagasinet.no. Photographer: Badi Batchelor, Norway
The return of Britannia is seen as somewhat of a homecoming, and one coloured by emotion. The original Britannia followed her last owner, King George V (Albert’s son) to the grave on his request. On 10 July 1936, after being rid of spars and fittings, her hull was sunk in a ceremony off the isle of Wight.
Scott Ward of the Britannia Trust said:
“On 4 Feb the Britannia came home to Cowes…This is really a dream come true, and a heart's desire for so many.”
The hull in Cowes, credit Tim Addison at cowes.co.uk
Britannia was a successful racing yacht and a legend of her time. In the year of her launch she scored 33 wins out of 43 races and won all the seven races for large yachts on the French Riviera in her second season. She was later converted into a J-Class with a bermuda rig and at the end of her racing career she had scored 231 wins.
K1 Britannia pictured (far right) in her racing heyday in the 1930s'. K1 denotes her sail class, K standing for the United Kingdom and K1 reserved for the King's yacht.
Elsewhere in the UK another major classic yacht refit is underway with 64m Shemara starting a 3 year refit by Burgess Marine in Portsmouth.
The Britannia Project Website
Burgess Marine Website
Add a comment
Other Fleet News
Ferretti Group held a press conference on the first morning of FLIBS, announcing the group's strategy moving forward following new senior personnel appointments in May earlier this year. More
Heesen Yachts have recently announced details of their 70m motoryacht project, 'Kometa', and plans to build a 90m dry dock. SuperyachtNews.com speaks exclusively to Mark Cavendish, sales and marketing director, about how improving their offering to the su More
Following her sale of the newly named M/Y ‘Milk Money’ this week, Barbara Stork of International Yacht Collection caught up with SuperyachtNews.com. More
The Columbus 45S Hybrid is being built on-spec at Palumbo's Naples shipyard. More
Superyacht Intelligence Data
Tenders and Toys
Evac designs, manufactures and markets environmentally friendly vacuum toilet and wastewater treatment systems for the yacht and shipbuilding industry. With the latest advanced technical innovations we provide quality, reliability and design.
Reckmann Yacht Equipment GmbH
Reckmann Yacht Equipment GmbH is a specialist company for reefing systems, masts and hydraulics and will celebrate the 120th anniversary in 2012. Today, the company is one of the leading producers and traders of headsail reefing equipment and is a synonym for quality, continuity and innovation.
We specialize in quality project mgmt and consultancy services to the Superyacht industry. Our extensive commercial experience ensures qualified over-sight of your vessels refit, build or upgrade. We attend vessels worldwide, providing owners onsite technical representation, and supervision of projects with no margin added on contracted services.
ASEA POWER SYSTEMS
ASEA POWER SYSTEMS is the Marine Industry Leader for Shore Power Conversion equipment ranging in power from 8kVA - 1000kVa.