National Flagship Britannia
Yachts enjoy a very high status in our society. Being ludicrously expensive makes them the preferred toys of the ultra-rich and just a crazy dream for anyone else. Well, unless that anyone else is a country’s government.

A Closer Look at Gresham Yacht Design's Union Jack Wearing National Flagship Sailing Yacht

National Flagship BritanniaNational Flagship BritanniaNational Flagship BritanniaNational Flagship BritanniaNational Flagship Britannia Double-Height AtriumNational Flagship Britannia HelipadNational Flagship Britannia SundeckNational Flagship Britannia SundeckNational Flagship Britannia Rear ProfileNational Flagship Britannia Sketches
In this case, it’s the government of the United Kingdom that is looking for a superyacht. Of course, with a naval tradition and heritage as esteemed as Britain, the vessel in question has to be something truly out of the ordinary. Obviously, PM Boris Johnson is not just looking to get himself a pleasure boat, although that would make for an interesting subject. No, the government of the United Kingdom is looking to replace its national flagship, the Britannia. The old Royal Yacht was decommissioned in 1997 after serving the Queen for 44 loyal years and traveling over 1 million miles(1.6 million kilometers).

The last royal yacht was built following the Victoria & Albert III being taken out of service. The first Britannia was commissioned with a few key roles in mind. It would serve both as an ambassador ship and double as a hospital ship in times of turmoil. However, the admiralty had one last role in mind for the Britannia. They hoped a convalescence cruise could help King George VI’s ailing health. Sorrowfully, that did not happen, as His Majesty passed away just two days after the John Brown & Co shipyard received the order to build the Royal Yacht.

But let's move on from our quick trip down memory lane and get back to the Britannia 2.0. Naturally, there is a large wad of cash at the end of this project, as it would be suiting for the construction of a national flagship. With that incentive, there have been quite a few competing designs, but none as noteworthy as the one we'll check out today.

Gresham Yacht Design is the builder who came up with this striking and stately take on a national Flagship. The company has been ready for just this occasion since 2020, way before the UK announced the plans to acquire a new national flagship. The idea started to take shape during BOAT's Design Symposium competition, where founder and design principal Steve Gresham first penned a design called Project Albion.

The national flagship is supposed to sail all over the world, promoting British interests. And what better choice for the job than a magnificent 387 feet long (118-meter) sailing yacht to showcase the might of Britain and the heritage of their navy?

The gorgeous ship boasts three masts and sails emblazoned with the Union Jack and a hull that matches the color scheme, finished in navy blue and red. Of course, the exterior is quite understated and classic, considering its role. Propulsion, on the other hand, is not just limited to sails but rather comes straight out of the 21st century. Hybrid power will be used alongside the wind to bolster the speed under sail or take over when needed. Compounding the modern attributes are the swooping lines and flowing design language. Everything about this national flagship strikes a perfect balance between contemporary beauty and traditional class.

The interior is as stately as can be. Everything is centered around a huge double-height atrium. The size alone leaves it on par with any exposition building and, as such, makes it versatile. It will be used as either a ballroom, reception area, or exhibition space. Of course, the meeting rooms or offices will not be absent either. As a national flagship, the Britannia will provide Brits with a space to carry out business both when moored and abroad.

However, the vessel will not be limited to just one role. It provides opportunities for use either as a space for official events or private meetings and dinners for government officials and dignitaries. But such a superyacht would not be complete without some toys. A helipad and a hydrogen limousine tender will be part of the flagship’s arsenal, as VIPs need to be carried in and out quickly and discretely.

National Flagship Concept from Gresham Yacht Design on Vimeo.


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