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An adult and two children are visiting Victory Live The Big Repair, pointing at a screen showing some of the conservation work taking place on HMS Victory

HMS Victory: The Big Repair Information Hub

Join us as we voyage through this once-in-a-lifetime conservation project 

Want an in-depth look at the incredible restoration work happening right now on HMS Victory? Discover key conservation updates, see the restoration milestones, and learn more about the science and stories that make up HMS Victory Live: The Big Repair.

Join us for a front-row look at conservation in action. We are allowing unprecedented access to the three storeys of scaffold surrounding HMS Victory, where experts are working on one of the largest restoration projects in the UK. 

What's more, not only can you see the work as it happens at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard but you can follow along at home as well! Our HMS Victory: The Big Repair Information Hub is home to everything you could want to know about the essential restoration of the Nation's flagship.    

As the project evolves, find out more about the latest analysis results and see our plans for the future. You can also get a sense of how far HMS Victory's restoration work has come from the past with our Conservation Log - covering everything from when she was built to now. 

Conservation Stories

HMS Victory: The Big Repair Milestones

Early 2022

The work to Victory will focus on replacement of the decayed planking of the hull and the damaged frames of the ship. Looking at HMS Victory in early 2022, you might think that she was in good condition. However, in reality a thin skin of paint and filler masked planking that was almost entirely rotten on the ship’s starboard side. 

As soon as the outer, sound, layer was removed, the team of shipwrights were confronted with material that no longer resembled timber and was much closer to potting compost. Carefully removing that layer of decayed material revealed that rot had spread to the frames to a much greater extent than had been assumed, meaning more repair and replacement activity would be necessary.

May 2022

Conservation work began to the hull of HMS Victory. An enormous scaffolding structure has been erected over the central section of the ship. This structure fulfils three critical roles: it protects Victory from the British weather; it provides physical access to the hull for works, and it allows the public to view the works as they progress. 

The protective roof over the ship has allowed Victory to start to dry out – and the ship is now drier than she has been at any other stage in her history

July 2022

Cover Structure and Visitor Scaffold Completed

The outer scaffold structure covering midships was completed, protecting midships from the elements, and the Victory Live area for the general public was completed.

Victory Live, an area of the scaffold structure allowing visitors to the the exposed midships of Victory and to see the shipwrights at work, was opened.

The removal of all of the outer-layer of planking midships was completed, fully exposing the frames of the ship in this area.

August 2022

The removal of all of the outer-layer of planking midships was completed, fully exposing the frames of the ship in this area.

The platforms within the scaffold, running alongside the ship giving the shipwrights full access to the hull, were completed.

September 2022

With the ship partially covered, and drying out, the first of the outer-layer of planks was removed from midships (note the hull is constructed from three layers).

November 2023

With the frames now drying, the repairs have begun. Graving pieces, where small areas of damaged timber are cut out and replaced, are being inserted. For the futtocks that need replacing (each frame is made from at least three futtocks), new ones are being shaped in the workshops.

Family sitting in front of HMS Victory at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

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