Wednesday, December 07, 2011

World's Oldest Commissioned Warship to Get $25M Restoration

HMS Victory, the world's oldest commissioned warship will undergo a restoration to restore the iconic battleship. It will be the most extensive restoration to HMS Victory in more than 200 years, when she underwent repairs following the Battle of Trafalgar.

BAE Systems has been contracted to carry out the works for five years with an option to extend the work for a further five years. HMS Victory was commissioned in 1778 and during three decades of service she saw some of the most legendary clashes. She's the only surviving warship from the American War of Independence, the French Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic wars. But it’s the Battle of Trafalgar in the Napoleonic Wars for which she is most well-known. As Lord Nelson's flagship, HMS Victory served at the front of the battle on the Spanish coast.

Only 20% remains of the original ship that is currently located in Portsmouth, England. The structure of the 246-year-old warship still marvels modern day experts. The outside of the hull will be re-planked, repairs will be made to the masts and work will be carried out on the interior. Much of the restoration will be done by hand using traditional specialist skills, particularly when it comes to carving and shaping the wood. They hope to be able to train new apprentices so that the art of repairing these types of ships is not lost.

This historic beauty can be seen at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard,open everyday throughout the year, except on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

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