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
Following the launch of Amore Mio on 12th November, 47m Project Ruya is now ready for outfitting More
Turkey-based Begum Yachting has listed the 40.1m motor sailing yacht Don Chris for sale with an asking price of €6.8 million (VAT paid for Europe). More
Bilgin Yachts has announced that the Bilgin 156 completed her technical launch on 18 November and has arrived at the Bilgin facility in Istanbul More
Within the short period of four months, Oceania Marine, the New Zealand-based shipyard, and the Diverse Projects project management team, have almost completed the comprehensive refit of 'Advantage', the 54m Damen support vessel. More
Superyacht Intelligence Data
Ocean World Marinas
Ocean World Marina is the only full-service marina located between the heavily traveled Florida/Bahamas area and the Puerto Rico/Eastern Caribbean region.
Established in response to demand for a company with a simplified approach, strong personal relationships are the core of our daily business. Focused on yacht sale, charter and build, we offer clear, professional advice to make sense of a complex market.
Exmoor Technology Marine
Building on 5years experience distributing WaveWiFi products in Europe, new YachtSurfer range, focuses on maximising the benefits and availability of 4G-LTE mobile internet worldwide. Yacht Surfer, designed in the UK, deliver 4G Routers with Automatic APN Setup, Superfast Bonded Internet upto130Mbps+ and scalable on-board WiFi & Network
Smart Technical Management
Founded in 2012, with over 40 years combined experience in the technology & commercial arena Smart Technical Management advise & consult with owners, captains, management teams & builders on their new build & refit projects. Delivering unrivalled independent & impartial advice, using the smartest technology at the best price.
Rivergate Marina and Shipyard
Rivergate Marina & Shipyard is acknowledged as Australiaâ€™s premier Superyacht refit and project management destination. With deep water access for berthing vessels up to 80m and refuelling & bunkering from our designated on water fuel wharf, Rivergate offers world class facilities to all incoming vessels.
ASEA POWER SYSTEMS
ASEA POWER SYSTEMS is the Marine Industry Leader for Shore Power Conversion equipment ranging in power from 8kVA - 1000kVa.
GO2 Global Yachting
We handle worldwide sales for GO2, Cerion Energy's DAME Award winning and highly effective nanoparticle based diesel fuel additive. GO2 is currently in use by over 90 superyachts worldwide, with excellent feedback from captains and engineers. GO2 can be supplied worldwide.
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.
Professional Integrated Navigation Systems based on cutting-edge technology and decades of experience. Ultimate knowledge and flexibility in system integration. Dedicated customer care throughout the whole project and beyond.
BEGUM YACHTING - Exclusive Yacht Agent
Begum Yachting proudly extends its bespoke services to simplify the crew recruitment process in yachting. We have tied up with Monjin - My Online Job Interview - as the leading professional in video interviewing for the Superyacht Industry.