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
The four sales include 40.4m Nuberu Blau, 33.5m Naisca V, 47.6m Princess Too and 31.7m Mamay More
On 14 May, Lürssen saw the back of M/Y Dilbar, the world’s largest superyacht by gross tonnage More
44m Sea Star, which was originally built for the German Navy by Lurssen, has been listed for sale with Yacht Marine More
US shipyard Christensen is now officially marking its re-entry to the market with two 50m launches More
ATLAS MARINE SYSTEMS
Atlas Marine Systems, the world leader in the design of marine electrical power systems, offers a full range of engineering services necessary to define the onboard electrical distribution system or simply the application of the Atlas power conversion products.
Integrated Navigation Systems based on state-of-the-art technology and decades of experience in the superyacht industry. Ultimate knowledge and flexibility in system integration. Dedicated customer care throughout the whole project and beyond.
WREDE Consulting is an independent paint consultant and paint surveyor company who has worked for most of the 200 largest yachts worldwide in coating, paintwork and equipment areas. WREDE Consulting engages in quality management and objective quality assessment for the coating of mega- and superyachts. www.wrede-consulting.com
Superyacht Tenders & Toys
Superyacht Tenders & Toys have a high level of expertise in providing new build and custom tenders, chase boats, RIBs & all popular yacht toys. With an unrivalled global service network, maintaining a personal & bespoke service, wherever you are in the world, Superyacht Tenders & Toys can help.
Marlink offers seasonal, flexible contracts to match regional sailing requirements. Through our dedicated account managers & customer services, we develop personal relationships with customers & drive innovations to develop digital solutions & smart applications that take you beyond just connectivity.
Over 40 VSAT providers want your contract. BestVSAT.com is a 100% free service. We find the best deals for you - saving you time and money while increasing internet speed and quality aboard. Give it a try - it is absolutely free.
Viking New Zealand Limited
VIKING is the leading Large Yacht Recruitment Specialists and is continually looking for qualified and experienced Deck, Technical and Hospitality Crew. Also providing Full Crew Management Functions including: Offshore Employment, Payroll Services, Crew Administration, Pre-employment Medical Screening and a dedicated Marine Travel Service.