London 2012: Boat Made From Jimi Hendrix's Guitar And Mary Rose To Set Sail (PICTURES)

PHOTOS: Olympic Boat 'Made From Hendrix's Guitar' To Set Sail

A boat crafted from 1,200 pieces of wood, including fragments from the Mary Rose and Jimi Hendrix's guitar, will be launched today as part of a national art project to mark the Olympics.

Created as a "floating collage of memories", The Boat Project has been funded by the Arts Council England's Artists' Taking the Lead project as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

The artists who came up with the idea, Gary Winters and Gregg Whelan, known as Lone Twin, visited 20 locations across the region seeking contributions to be used in the building of the craft.

They also invited members of the public to bring wooden pieces to the West Sussex boatyard where it was built. The only criteria was that the items were made from wood and had a story behind them.

A spokeswoman for the project said: "People from all walks of life responded by giving treasured items from all parts of the world and, more humbly, their garages.

"Each and every fascinating back-story was digitally recorded and photographed with its donor."

The boat took Lone Twin over a year to create

The diverse contributions include a plank from the London 2012 velodrome, several hockey sticks, a Victorian policeman's truncheon, large crates used to transport gold as British securities to Canada during the Second World War and a hairbrush used by a make-up artist at Pinewood Studios in the 1960s.

"We had no idea what was going to be given to us and the first question a designer is asked is 'what are you going to make it of?', and I had 1,500 pieces of wood," Rogers said.

"From a design point of view it was a very challenging brief as we were completely in the dark."

The yacht, which took a year to build and which is capable of reaching speeds in excess of 20 knots, is to be publicly launched at Thornham Marina at Emsworth at 11am today.

It will then begin its maiden voyage visiting locations along the south coast arriving at the Olympic sailing venue in Weymouth, Dorset, in time for the games in August.

See pictures of the boat and its features below...

Before You Go