Collective Spirit returns to the water, with an invitation to sail

Close up details of boat made of 1200 wooden items including coat hanger and spanner

Collective Spirit, the Olympic art project built in 2012, is offering a range of membership packages to enable it to continue its journey. Bought in March 2023 by Universal Yachting – which now acts as a guardian for the non-profit venture – the boat’s been returned to the water and is ready to take people sailing.

Boat made of 1200 wooden items lowered into marina berth while man stands on deck. Collective Spirit was Olympic art project.

It’s a fully functional 30ft sailing yacht, constructed with 1200 items of wooden memorabilia donated by people including children’s toys, wooden sports kit, a piece of a Jimi Hendrix guitar, and sections of vessels from family sailing boats to the Mary Rose and the Royal Yacht Britannia.

Boat made of 1200 wooden items in sling. Collective Spirit was Olympic art project.

The story behind each piece was documented and became part of the fabric of the boat as part of an artistic collaboration with the Lone Twin Boat Project, funded by the Arts Council. Designed by Simon Rodgers, the yacht was crafted in Emsworth with the guidance of local Olympic yachtsman Mark Covell.

While admired artistically since its launch, Collective Spirit has been involved in a few community projects and seen at festivals around the UK and abroad, unfortunately it’s never totally fulfilled its full potential afloat . . . providing opportunities for people to experience it on the water.

One of the goals from the project was always to create a legacy, long after the Olympic Games had been and gone, and now membership packages are available to make that a reality. One opportunity is skippered sailing days, for up to five people. Those depart from Mercury Yacht Harbour on the River Hamble into the Solent.

Collective Spirit at sea with group of sailors enjoying the breeze

There are various membership packages, allowing interested parties to participate both on and off the water. Friends of Collective Spirit will have the opportunity to sail on the yacht.

For those who prefer not to sail but still wish to contribute, Universal Yachting plans to host various social events throughout the year, inviting individuals to participate in Collective Spirit‘s care and maintenance.

Boat made of 1200 wooden items sits in marine berth. Collective Spirit was Olympic art project.

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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