To preserve the unique shape of Cutty Sark’s hull and relieve the pressure on the keel, Cutty Sark was lifted over three metres (10 feet) as part of the 2006-2012 Conservation Project.
Included with entry ticket to Cutty Sark
- Reach up and touch the beautiful, gleaming copper hull of the tea clipper Cutty Sark.
- Learn all about how the shape of the hull contributed to Cutty Sark becoming the fastest clipper in the world
- Discover the story of how all 963 tons of Cutty Sark was built
Cutty Sark's hull is covered in copper alloy sheathing of 70% copper and 30% zinc. The hull was innovative for its composite design, which combined wooden planks with an iron 'skeleton' of frames, beams and cross bracing. The result was a very strong, rigid ship, with more room for cargo, because the iron framework took up substantially less space than a wholly wooden hull.
Originally the hull was covered in Muntz metal, a composite that was developed in Birmingham. The current sheathing has the same appearance, but is more readily available today.