K1 Britannia Brief

K1 Britannia Luxury Yacht Charter & Superyacht News

Classic sailing yacht K1 BRITANNIA ready for completion

November 04, 2013

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

Last month, the majestic 52-metre classic sailing yacht K1 Britannia was successfully lifted from her cradle at Venture Quays in England‘s Cowes, and subsequently transferred to Hythe to be completed. Luxury yacht K1 Britannia is a replica of Britannia yacht, originally designed by George Lennox Watson and built by Henderson’s on the Clyde in 1893 for Queen Victoria’s son Prince Albert Edward of Wales.

Lifting of the 52m classic sailing yacht K1 Britannia at Venture Quays in the UK

Lifting of the 52m classic sailing yacht K1 Britannia at Venture Quays in the UK

K1 Britannia yacht’s 64 ton hull was slowly raised into the air and then she swung over to the pontoon at the side of the crane. After carefully turning her hull she was lowered gently into the water right next to the pontoon and tied up safely.

Towing of K1 Britannia Yacht to Hythe, UK

Towing of K1 Britannia Yacht from Cowes to Hythe in the UK

As superyacht K1 Britannia has had some of her keel removed it was then necessary to bulk her up with ballast so that she would sit correctly in the water and 20 tons of ballast had to be put into her hold – mostly in the form of large bags of water – so that she would be able to make the journey over to Hythe.

The rebuild of sailing yacht Britannia launched on Kickstarter

October 25, 2012

Written by Chelsea Smith

Sailing yacht 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 sailing yacht at her former home in Cowes on the Isle of Wight. The design and engineering of the new Britannia, the famous yacht originally owned by King George V, son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert will be one of Kickstarters first projects, when it goes live in the UK on October 31st 2012.

Panorma of yacht Britannia's refit © K1 Britannia 2012

Panorma of yacht Britannia's refit © K1 Britannia 2012

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 of Britannia at refit by K1 Britannia © K1 Britannia 2012.

View stern to bow of Britannia at refit by K1 Britannia © K1 Britannia 2012.

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 yacht 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.

Sailing yacht 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!

Sailing yacht Britannia

Sailing yacht Britannia

“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.”

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.”

Reconstruction of His Royal Highness’ Yacht Britannia

August 01, 2012

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

In order to revive a maritime heritage, K1 Britannia, a team of individuals, will be restoring the legacy of Prince Albert Edward’s yacht ‘His Royal Highness’ Yacht Britannia’ from the 1800s.

Sailing yacht Britannia

His Royal Highness' sailing yacht Britannia

The reconstruction process will commence with a full stripping of the interior and then a thorough process to refit the yacht to exact requirements and specifications. Sailing yacht Britannia will be fully restored to her pristine condition at her new home. Her former namesake was privileged to be tagged as the ‘King’s Yacht’ and her re-construction will be similarly worthy of royal approval. She will once again be legendary and rekindle memories of a world where nobility and honour were the norm.

The yacht Britannia designed by George Lennox Watson was built by Henderson’s on the Clyde in 1893 for Queen Victoria’s son Prince Albert Edward of Wales. She served him and his son King George V with a long yachting career. Both builder and designer made a fine job of the Prince’s new yacht. It was said of Britannia that a better balanced and better built vessel never crossed the starting line.

Yachting writers referred to her shape as the Britannia ideal. She was a handsome vessel; Henderson’s built her light and strong, a perfect race yacht. Yachting journalist, James Michael, once wrote; “so proud over the building of her were the men that the putting of her together was a real labour of love. It was not difficult to imagine that the framework was woven together so beautifully were the many parts joined into and onto each other.”

Built of wood and planking on steel frames she had a major refit in 1931 where she was transformed by a Bermudan rig. Made of silver spruce, it was the largest mast ever made as one spar for a yacht, weighing over 3 tonnes. During her racing career which spanned over 40 years, in 635 races she won 231 firsts and of a total of 350 prizes. By the end of her first year racing, Britannia had scored 33 wins from 43 starts. In her second season she won all 7 races for the big class yachts on the French Riviera and then beat 1893 America’s Cup defender Vigilant in home waters.

In January 1936 the British people mourned as King George V passed away. It was announced that in accordance with the late King’s wishes upon his death that Britannia would be stripped of her spars and fittings and scuttled. So on the 10th July 1936 her hull was picked up by HMS Winchester and towed out to St. Catherine’s Deep near the Isle of Wight. She was then scuttled and sent to rest beneath the waves with a simple garland of flowers placed on her stem head.

In 1994 the only exact replica of Britannia was commissioned and built in Russia gaining Her Majesty’s blessing. Her then owner shipped her from Russia to Norway but unfortunately the completion of the project came to a standstill. It was not until late 2011 that Britannia was acquired for the purpose of completing her rebuild so that she could be used for charitable projects. Britannia was towed from Norway and arrived in the Isle of Wight on 4th February 2012 where she was lifted and dry-docked in her cradle where she sits today at Venture Quays, East Cowes.

She will be rebuilt according to her 1931 specifications when the original Britannia was refitted with a Bermudan rig and converted to the J Class.

As a floating venue Britannia will be gifted to charities around the world for fundraising and other events that will promote charities or provide direct benefits to the charities.