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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

The first Royal dockyard was constructed during the reign of King Henry VII, when trade between continents was burgeoning. 

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