Today saw a significant mile stone reached in the construction of the 80-foot-long aluminium hull that Team Britannia will use in their multi-million-pound British bid to circumnavigate the globe for the much coveted UIM world record.
Construction of the boat started at the beginning of June 2016 and later that year the hull was turned over to allow the completion of over 2,000 closing brackets.
The installation of the final bulkhead and six massive fuel tanks came next followed by the deck, wheelhouse and flybridge being fitted.
Now, in order for the team to be able to complete the boat it was moved out of its temporary accommodation set up in the ABC Marine boat yard on Hayling Island and swung around 180 degrees then place stern first back into the workshops.
This complicated lifting process was overseen by former offshore powerboat racer Gordon McMath who last raced back in 1996 at the Rib World Cup.
McMath, General Manager at GM Lifting told me:
This lift went as expected, establishing the centre of gravity on a completely bespoke hull was always going to be a time-consuming issue, then once that was sorted it was plain sailing.
The man behind the project, ocean adventurer Alan Priddy, described the day as going into the unknown:
Everyone told me about what and how I should go about today’s process but none of them have actually done it themselves, but GM Lifting has a massive track record on difficult product lifts, so speaking to Gordon McMath, who I’ve known personally for a long time now and getting him onboard was the obvious thing to do.
The next stage will see the completion of the wheelhouse and transom, then fitting out can take place.
After the boat is in the water, there will be a comprehensive programme of sea trials and record attempts prior to the circumnavigation itself which is expected to take place in early 2019.