The first restoration work of the mast and rigging began on HMS Victory on 12 July 2011 ready for an exhibition next year.
The work will see 26 miles of associated rigging and 768 wooden clocks removed, some of which are 100 years old.
The first restoration work of the mast and rigging began on HMS Victory on 12th July 2011. The fore topgallant yard and fore topsail yard were removed from the ship by crane safely. The restoration work will see 26 miles of associated rigging and 768 wooden clocks removed, some of which are 100 years old.
The ship’s three masts, bowspirit and rigging will be dismantled over the coming weeks. The last time HMS Victory was seen without her topmast was back in 1944 so this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see her under-going such extreme maintenance.
Royal Navy’s Director General, Professor Dominic Tweddle said, “HMS Victory is a national icon. It is both a relief to see the next stage in her restoration begin, but also a real challenge. We are determined that Victory will be open to the public throughout so that they can share in excitement and even thrills of the restoration story.”
Most of the highly skilled work will be carried out by master shipwrights and other specialist staff. These workers are experienced in the cutting edge technology of modern warships but maintain age-old wooden shipbuilding skills which are needed for historic ships such as HMS Victory.
The ships age means that constant upkeep is needed to keep her in top condition but her Commanding Officer will make sure that HMS Victory will remain open to the public and urges visitors to come and see the ship whilst the work is underway.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard will soon open an interactive exhibition exploring how HMS Victory was original built in 1759, how she was preserved and cared for during war and out of service and finally cover the restoration process that will span the next ten years.
For visitors information about HMS Victory at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard visit www.historicdockyard.co.uk