This year, the Southampton Boat Show will feature a special appearance from Collective Spirit, an impressive sailing yacht born from a collaborative effort to create a seaworthy boat entirely from donated wooden objects under the patronage of Universal Yachting. This non-profit initiative invites show visitors to become Friends of Collective Spirit and therefore part of her legacy.
Created by the Lone Twin Boat Project and designed by Simon Rodgers, Collective Spirit was funded by the Arts Council. Subsequently, her build took place in Emsworth, under the careful supervision of local yachtsman and silver medalist Mark Covell. A unique 30-foot sailing yacht, she comprises over 1,200 wooden items donated by individuals from the south coast of England. These range from childhood toys to pieces of musical history, such as a fragment of Jimi Hendrix’s guitar. Each item comes with its own story, preserving the memories and history of the generous donors, including remnants from iconic ships such as the Mary Rose and the Royal Yacht Britannia.
Collective Spirit set sail on 7 May 2012 and journeyed to Weymouth and Portland, the sailing venue for the 2012 London Games. Chris Warwick, owner of Universal Yachting, believes Collective Spirit is a remarkable archive of treasured items and also a fun-to-sail modern sailing yacht. He encourages people to visit this unique yacht at the show to discover its history and continue its legacy.
Universal Yachting is calling for supporters to generate funds for the ongoing operation and maintenance of the yacht. Those interested can become Friends of Collective Spirit and choose a support package that suits their preferences, which will allow them to get involved both on and off the water and have the chance to experience sailing on board. For those who do not wish to sail but still want to contribute, Universal Yachting plans to organise various social events throughout the year, inviting individuals to support Collective Spirit’s ongoing maintenance and upkeep.
All funds raised through these efforts will be reinvested into the project on a ‘not-for-profit’ basis to ensure that Collective Spirit remains available for everyone for many years. Any surplus funds will be allocated towards relevant, worthy causes and provide opportunities for others to experience the joys of sailing. This initiative promises to create a bright future for a project that began over a decade ago by uniting those originally involved in the venture with today’s newcomers.
Find out more about Collective Spirit here: Collective Spirit