Touch Cutty Sark's copper hull

Essential information

Opening times: 
10.00–17.00 daily
Admission: 
Ticketed
Location: 
Cutty Sark, Lower Ground: The Dock
Free to members

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.

Visit Cutty Sark