Ships & boats

From the story of the world's only surviving tea clipper, Cutty Sark, and the voyages of discovery made by Captain Cook's sloop HMS Resolution, to the evolution of shipbuilding and design through the ages, we delve into the fascinating history of ships and boats.

Royal George is a great example of a ship model from the 18th century and provides a fascinating insight into the ship design of the period.

HMS Victory was Lord Nelson's flagship in his victory at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805.

From the 19th century onwards, ships began to be built from iron and steel. Sails were also replaced with steam engines and paddles with propellers.

The 74, a Third Rate, was the most important new ship-type of the later 18th century. Bellona was one of the most successful Royal Navy designs and became a prototype for its 74s.

People have travelled by sea using ships and boats for centuries. The Egyptians, Greeks and Phoenicians made some of the earliest vessels. 

During the 19th century scale models of ships were made less frequently, replaced with more detailed ship plans.

England’s dockyards were self-contained communities of highly skilled craftsmen. 

The San José and the Santissima Trinidad were 18th century Spanish warships. Both ships were involved in sea battles involving Nelson.

The Royal Navy ship models from the 17th to 19th centuries are of immense historical value. They are unique records of the development of warship design.