Saturday 4th February saw the arrival in Cowes of the replica of King George V’s J-Class Yacht Britannia, built in Arkhangelsk, Russia.
The vessel is a replica of the original which was scuppered off St. Catherine’s Point on 10th July 1936 in accordance with the King’s dying wish that the “boat should die with him.”
In October 2011, the South Boats Service Centre was approached to enquire whether the vessel could be brought to Venture Quays, East Cowes.
The winter weather has delayed her leaving Norway until now, whilst a problem en route delayed her arrival further. Towed by the tug Danasund from Svendborg Bugser A/S, she was met off Cowes by ‘Mabel Alice’ the ex-Penlee Lifeboat and ‘Abersoch Bay’, the latest South Boats offshore wind farm service vessel.
She will be at the South Boats Service Centre for between twelve and eighteen months, while the Britannia Trust undertake her final fit-out after which she will be used for charitable causes.
South Boats Service Centre is a state-of-the-art boat refit, boat repair and boat maintenance facility for vessels of up to 30m, with 24-hour tidal access to the yard’s ship lift and a hall height in excess of 10m. South Boats Service Centre has involved the following suppliers in the project to date – 1st Choice Scaffolding (scaffold tower and tent), Blade Runner Shipping (supply of cradle, management of lift) and Harry Pound (floating crane).
World Maritime News Staff, February 8, 2012; Image: South Boats Service Centre