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All hands on deck! The Burning Man Frigate Monaco is voyaging back to Black Rock to join the 2014 Caravansary. Read more

Alameda, CA Art
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pledged of $5,000 goal
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This project was successfully funded on July 6, 2014.

All hands on deck! The Burning Man Frigate Monaco is voyaging back to Black Rock to join the 2014 Caravansary.

Alameda, CA Art
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About this project


All Hands on Deck!  The Monaco is preparing for her 2014 return voyage to the Playa.  The Monaco is a Burning Man land frigate.  She was built to sail the Black Rock Desert (yes, truly sail...turn off the engine and go!)  She is approximately 45 feet long and holds more than 40 passengers.   She's got 3 masts, a generator for music and lighting, a bar and plenty of room on the deck for both crew and passengers.  Voyaging to Black Rock is hard on our lovely sailing ship, though, and she's in need of some repairs and improvements in port before she makes another journey.


The Monaco is many things. Mobile art. Remembrance of times past. A hands-on experience. The reminder that travel and adventure is out there, ready to whisk you away to some new and magnificent landscape. She’s beautiful, majestic, and yes, she really sails. Making your Black Rock experience just that much more surreal and magical. This year we hope to continue the adventure, joining the caravansary called Black Rock City for our 5th year. 

There are annual upkeep costs, repairs and maintenance as well as some new and exciting improvements in store for the Monaco this year. 

Our necessary upkeep, improvement and repairs come to $5000 and include the following:

  • New transmission cooler
  • Engine bay heat shielding
  • Sail and rigging repair
  • Repaint hull
  • Spare parts
  • Fuel and insurance costs

We are hoping to upgrade the following, which would require an additional $2500:

  • New Mast and Sail Lighting
  • New LED Lighting and color control
  • New Deck, Hull and Undercarriage lighting
  • Improve cabin

In short, our minimum financial need to return to the Playa is $5000, however, we are hoping to reach a total of $7500 for our much need lighting improvements!

In ocean surf, blown in from farthest seas                                                                             Under the August ardors, the grand rush                                                                                 Of crested life assailed me with its waves,                                                                             And cooled me while it fired.                                                                                                  With sturdy joy I sought its broadest billows, and resigned                                                     My spirit to their surge and sway; or stood In sheltered coves,                                               Reached only by the spume                                                                                                   And crepitant bubbles of the yesty floods,                                                                      Drinking the roar, the sheen, the restlessness,                                                                          As inspiration, both of sense and soul.                                                      

I saw the waves of life roll up the steps                                                                                       Of great cathedrals and retire; and break                                                                                   In charioted grandeur at the foot                                                                                                 Of marble palaces, and toss their spray                                                                                       Of feathered beauty through the open doors,                                                                             To pile the restless foam within; and burst                                                                                   On crowded caravansaries, to fall                                                                                                 In quick return; and in dark currents glide                                                                                 Through sinuous alleys and the grimy loops                                                                            Of reeking cellars; and with softest plash                                                                                 Assail the gilded shrines of opulence,                                                                                  And slide in musical relapse away.                                                             

With senses dazed and stunned, and soul o'erfilled                                                             With chaos of new thoughts, I turned away,                                                                           And sought my city home.          

-Josiah Gilbert Holland


Cap'n Greg Barron began dreaming of building a frigate for Burning Man after he had built the Canyou, a BRC outrigger sailing canoe.  In 2010, he decided to bring that dream to fruition.  After studying various plans from 18th century Royal Navy and American naval frigates from 1790-1799, he ultimately decided to use plans for The Raleigh, a Continental Navy ship laid down in 1776, to design his frigate.  He rescaled his design to about 50% of  the Raleigh's size and adjusted the beam to fit the chassis of an RV.   Cap'n Greg and his trusty crew then stripped the RV to the bone and carefully rebuilt it to be the beautiful landship we know as the PV Monaco.


All pledges will be available for pickup in Black Rock City. We'll update you with our docking location as soon as we get it from BRC Placement.

Become a Deckhand

Want to lend a helping hand with the ship's repairs? The Monaco is drydocked in Alameda. If you live in the SF Bay Area, contact us and we'll add you to our Crew workday email list. 

Follow Us

Want to hear more about the ship?  Join our Facebook page here: 

Risks and challenges

The Captain and Crew of the Monaco are a hardy, dedicated and impassioned group. Every year there are folks dedicating their summer weekends, evenings and even full weeks in August preparing the Monaco for her sojourn to the Playa. And on the Playa, the Crew works hard to bring you the magical experience of sailing a ship from times gone by on a lake that has long been without water. Our one obstacle is funding...which is where you, our awesome patrons, come in! We hope you join us in making this journey happen once again.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter


  • Good question. ALL of our backers are invited to cruise with us during the week.
    We typically let out the sails for a mid-afternoon cruise and then head out again around 9ish pm. Sometimes there will be morning cruising as well. You are welcome to meet up with us at Monaco's docking space (our camp) or find us out on the Playa. We'll post the camp address as soon as we have it. We don't give out access to the ship as a pledge reward because it's a Playa gift for all burners, not just for backers and crew.

    Last updated:


  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    4 backers

    "The goal is not to sail the boat, but rather to help the boat sail herself." [Rousmaniere] For $5 you get the warm fuzzy feeling of fabulousness as well as a big hug from one of the Monaco crewmembers. We love you. You are the wind in our sails!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    17 backers Limited (33 left of 50)

    "A sailor’s joys are as simple as a child’s."[Moitessier]
    We'd love to give you a 2014 Sticker of the Monaco and a big hug for donating $20.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    6 backers Limited (14 left of 20)

    "As for myself, the wonderful sea charmed me from the first." [Slocum] Donate $75 and receive an awesome 2014 Monaco T-Shirt! Also, a 2014 sticker and a big hug. We love ya!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $125 or more

    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    "A sailor is an artist whose medium is the wind." [Chiles] Receive a beautiful professional photo print of the Monaco in all her glory on the Playa!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    1 backer Limited (5 left of 6)

    "You may fire when you are ready Gridley" [Dewey] Contribute $250 and light our Cannon. Salute the creativity of all those gathered in Black Rock City with a little gunpowder. We also have a Monaco T and sticker to remember us by.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    "If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to it." [Winters] Take a professional quality photo with the Monaco and Captain. All while you wear your awesome Monaco Tshirt...and bask in the love of the Monaco Crew.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $750 or more

    2 backers All gone!

    "Throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." [Twain] Shanghai a friend or two. That's right...with you helping navigate the way, we'll surprise a couple of friends with an unexpected sail. ('ll need to know when and where your friends are to plan this event! A little trickery and timing needs to be up your sleeve....) We'll have some Monaco schwag for them (and you, their Crimp) in remembrance of getting shanghaied.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (30 days)