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“We’ve had offers of help from all round the UK, from Scotland – where the original was built – and also from Portsmouth and Chatham.” Not everyone in the maritime industry is on board, however. “If it is to be a sail training vessel, controls are very stringent.Martyn Heighton, who chairs National Historic Ships, thinks the project is flawed because modern safety constraints will make it impossible to copy 19th-century designs. It would need cabins, which would all need daylight. I don’t think their ambitions are compatible with producing a replica.A campaign to crowdfund an initial 0,000 (£79,000), to cover detailed up-to-date designs, runs until 24 December.The eventual cost is estimated at between £19m and £24m, which compares with the £50m it cost to restore the original ship after the world’s last remaining tea clipper was nearly destroyed by a fire in 2007.“We will copy the ship, but we are living in the modern world.She can’t be the same or no modern maritime organisation would let us sail.
In 2008 a new constitution saw an elected chamber replace The Seigneur, a hereditary overlord who for nearly 400 years prevailed over a feudal parliament of whom the presiding officer The Seneschal was also the island’s chief judge.Mr Martus, 49, who was born in St Petersburg, Russia, said the devastating fire inspired him to launch the project.“I thought it such a pity that they didn’t use the restoration opportunity to build a sailing ship.” Mr Martus knows he faces a huge challenge, not only to raise the vast sums but also to build a vessel that meets modern safety standards.The first thing that strikes visitors to Sark, a tiny island in the English Channel just off the coast of Normandy, is the extraordinary sense of old world peace.Cars are banned and the main way of getting about is either by tractor, horse and cart or bicycling through the bucolic winding lanes.
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