Sunday, February 19, 2012

J Class Yacht Britannia Arrives in Cowes

"On King George V's death in January 1936, what should happen to his massive (120ft) and famous J Class yacht Britannia. He'd left instructions that she was to follow him to the grave. She was stripped of all her spars and fittings and her hull was towed out from Cowes and sunk off St Catherine's Deep, somewhere west of the Ventnor and south of the Needles on July 1st 1936."

Arriving at Cowes, Photo by Hamo Thornycroft -

On the 4th of February 2012 J Class yacht Britannia arrived at the dock at her new home in Cowes, England after her long journey through some hash weather conditions from Norway. She started life in 1993 where her hull was built at a frozen shipyard north of the Arctic Circle, in Russia's port of Arkhangelsk, and financed by a Norwegian magnate she moved to Norway in 2009. Britannia and the rebuilding project have been acquired by Minicast Holdings Ltd, Gibraltar, which upon her completion will be donating the use of the yacht for a minimum of 10 years to the Britannia Trust.

The plan for her is that she will be used as a flagship for charity, reaching out to underprivileged children, war veterans and to be used as a fundraising venue for upcoming charities in the UK and across the globe. Her completion is set to commence and the Britannia Trust that owns her are set to invest in the fitting of new deck ware, restoring her interior, her mast, rigging and sails back to what they were in the classic days of Cowes yachting.

Leaving Son, Norway, Photo by Badi Batchelor

An amount of 2.3 million pounds has been budgeted for the full reconstruction process to be completed as well as for the various related costs. The reconstruction team has already approached a number of companies to assist in sponsoring the capital required, and is confident that the reconstruction work can be completed in budget and on time.

Mr Giuseppe Longo has agreed to project manage Britannia's reconstruction process and Stefano Faggioni from Studio Faggioni Yacht Design will be in charge to fully restore her interior to pristine condition. Her new interior will have the same look and feel as the original but with modern additives, giving a wonderful fusion of modern and old.

Her full reconstruction process will be documented via video and digital media, from her arrival at Cowes to her final unveiling as a finished yacht. A live video steam via webcam can be used by anyone in the world to track the progress of her reconstruction.

More information can be found on the Britannia web site

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