Historic flagship's overhaul continues with the removal of her masts for the first time since 1944

HMS Victory is having her masts removed for the first time in nearly 70 years. Her topmasts and topgallant masts, bowsprit, booms and yards are being ‘sent down’ as part of a 10-year restoration project to secure the future of the ship.

During the operation 26 miles of rigging and 768 wooden blocks will also be removed, catalogued and documented as Nelson’s flagship undergoes her most comprehensive overhaul for more than two centuries. The Commanding Officer of HMS Victory, Lt Cdr DJ ‘Oscar’ Whild RN, said, “The removal of the masts during the summer months is an exciting time in the ship’s maintenance programme, and will give visitors a great opportunity to see the ship in a very different light.”

The

last time that Victory’s masts were removed was in 1944, when they were taken down to prevent possible damage during air raids.