by Cailah Leask
One of the opening projects off of the starting blocks on Kickstarter, when it goes live in the UK on October 31st 2012, will be the design and engineering of Britannia, the famed yacht first owned by King George V, son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Britannia was the most famous racing yacht in the world at the turn of the last century and now K1 Britannia are re-building this prestigious J Class yacht at her former home in Cowes on the Isle of Wight.
View of Hull during refit of K1 Britannia
Over the course of the next 40 days, through the Kickstarter funding site, sailing enthusiasts, those with a passion for heritage, and philanthropic individuals and organisations who are keen to be involved with this unique project will have a short window of opportunity to make history.
Since Kickstarter’s launch on April 28, 2009, in the US over $350 million has been pledged through the site by more than 2.5 million people; funding above 30,000 creative projects. With each pledge to support the Britannia project supporters will receive a wonderful reward that's been uniquely designed and crafted by the rebuild team and/or the opportunity to be part of her new life when she is completed.
View stern to bow at refit of K1 Britannia
Rewards range from original sketches and blueprints to rigging blocks, crew clothing, beautiful landing mats and oil paintings by world renowned marine artists; everything is custom made, and there is something for everyone. The limited edition rewards at the higher end include experiences aboard the finished Britannia on sailing days during her first regattas in Monaco, Cannes, the UK and Caribbean, where she will race for charity, and the opportunity to dine aboard Britannia with her Captain and Officers.
What makes this project so special is Britannia's charitable purpose. She will be used for maritime education, programs for veterans, and gifted to 80 - 100 charities a year as a marvelous floating venue for fundraisers and events. Britannia will reclaim a lost piece of maritime history and rekindle memories of a world where nobility and honour were the norm.
Britannia is now being stripped and prepared for her refit at Venture Quays in East Cowes. Upon completion in 15 months’ time she will be launched with an overall length of 52m and a staggeringly tall 55m mast; the tallest wooden mast in the world!
'Britannia shares her noble heritage and her history with the people of the United Kingdom,' said Scott Ward, founder of K1 Britannia, the company behind the rebuild. 'By putting her design and engineering on Kickstarter to be crowd funded we are giving people a chance to share in the experience of bringing this part of history back to life.'
K1 Britannia Decking
The spirit of this project is all about 'Gifting Britannia to the People'; it is a project that reclaims a piece of maritime history and elevates charitable giving globally. With Kickstarter’s help, the design and engineering of Britannia will be completed to the standard and specification that made her one of the most incredible vessels in the world.
In order to complete the design of the interior, special materials will need to be acquired, a full laser scan of the interior and exterior of the hull must be rendered and skilled craftsman will dedicate many hours of their time creating each individual piece on board.
'All of us at K1 Britannia cannot wait to see her sail go up, and to witness the beginning of her new life at sea,' said Scott Ward of K1 Britannia. 'We need your help to finish this incredible project. Make a pledge today, and take home a reward and part of the spirit of the Britannia project.'
K1 Britannia website