Help float Dover's Bronze Age boat!

Canterbury Archaeological Trust (CAT) is using the crowd-funding site Kickstarter to raise funds towards a replica of the Dover Bronze Age boat. 

Help float Dover's Bronze Age boat!
Working on the Dover Bronze Age boat replica [Credit: CAT]
The replica sewn-plank boat has already been built using oak timbers, bronze tools and authentic techniques but more funding is needed to take it to sea for the first time. 

Although half-scale, the boat measures 8m long and weighs about a ton. Having acted as the centrepiece of a major exhibition which has toured France and Belgium, the replica boat now needs to be stripped down and re-stitched ahead of taking it to sea.

If initial sea trials in Dover Harbour can be successfully completed, the intention is to paddle it from Dover along the coast to Folkestone, to test its handling on the open waters of the Channel.

The overall cost of the work needed to make the boat seaworthy and to carry out the sea voyages is estimated at around £15,000. 

The Kickstarter campaign forms a crucial element of this fundraising; it was launched on 1st July and will close on 31st July, by which time it must have raised a minimum of £5000, although it is hoped to raise at least £7500. 

Help float Dover's Bronze Age boat!
The finished replica on display in Ename, Belgium [Credit: CAT]
People backing the project can claim a number of rewards depending on the level of their pledge, the ultimate one of which, for those pledging £300 or more, is a chance to join the crew of the boat on one of its voyages. 

Kickstarter was founded in 2009 and has grown to become one of the biggest global crowd-funding sites, with over 4.4 million people having backed projects on it. As yet, however, only a few relatively small archaeological projects have been funded on Kickstarter, despite its obvious potential for projects with popular appeal. 

The Dover boat project is believed to be the biggest archaeological project on Kickstarter so far, with 90 backers at the time of writing. 

If it exceeds its £5000 minimum target it will also be the biggest to-date in terms of funds raised. 

The more people with an interest in archaeology and heritage who join Kickstarter and back projects like this, the greater the potential of using Kickstarter to fund archaeological projects across the globe.

The link to the Dover boat Kickstarter is: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1989781916/float-the-dover-bronze-age-boat   

Author: Andrew Richardson | Source: Canterbury Archaeological Trust (CAT) [July 17, 2013]

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