Boat project is officially launched in Thornham

A BOAT made from thousands of pieces of wood donated by the public will be officially launched tomorrow (Friday, May 4).

The Boat Project, conceived by Lone Twin artists Gary Winters and Gregg Whelan, is the south of England’s exciting contribution to the Cultural Olympiad and was commissioned by Arts Council England.

The boat has been built by Olympic sailor and boat builder Mark Cavell with the help of scores of volunteers at Thornham Marina and has been taking shape over the last 18 months.

The boat is a living archive of people’s stories and lives, and includes donations as diverse as a piece of a Jimi Hendrix guitar, wooden spoon and cricket bat – all the donations have a personal story behind them.

The boat will set sail along the south coast next month, in celebration of the 2012 Games and will be crewed by volunteers.

After departing from Emsworth it will stop off at a number of locations including Brighton, Hastings, Portsmouth and Margate before travelling to Milton Keynes.

The boat’s construction has been well-documented and a special book with details about all the donations, collected from across the south, will also be published.