An international group of tall ship sailing enthusiasts and traditional shipbuilders has formed a non-profit foundation with the aim to build and sail an exact replica of the famous clipper ship, Cutty Sark.
The Cutty Sark 2Sail Foundation’s myriad goals include promoting traditional shipbuilding skills, educating the public about the art of sailing and promoting environmentally friendly transport.
In the current phase of the project, the Cutty Sark 2Sail Foundation hopes to raise just over $120,000 through a crowdfunding campaign to cover the cost of ship design. The group estimates the full cost of rebuilding a replica Cutty Sark will be between £19-24 million.
According to the foundation’s Facebook page, the project is open to all and is a volunteer effort: “We invite you to join in with the idea of building, launching and sailing an exact replica of the most famous, most beautiful and, arguably the most perfect sailing ship in the world’s history.
“The new Cutty Sark will set both sails and new standards of achievement and adventure … It will be fascinating and educational for the public in general.”
The project is led by Captain Vladimir Martus, a naval architect who has already completed the rebuild of two large wooden sailing ships: the 80-foot schooner St Peter and the 110-foot frigate Shtandart. Martus has captained the Shtandart in tall ship races since 2001.
The rebuild of the original Cutty Sark, at 212 feet will be the largest tall ship project Martus has undertaken.
The sole surviving tea clipper, Cutty Sark was one of the fastest ships in the world when she was built in 1869 to transport goods from Britain to China and Australia. The ship still exists and was turned into a museum in the London borough of Greenwich after a complete restoration.
Once launched, the Cutty Sark 2 will sail historic trade routes to China, Australia and the Americas as a commercial cargo ship carrying tea, coffee and wool. Anyone wishing to will be able to join the crew as a trainee sailor, according to the Cutty Sark 2Sail Foundation.