Maintaining the Royal Yacht

Members of Britannia's Maintenance team

Members of Britannia's dedicated maintenance team

Maintenance Team

We currently have 18 in our maintenance team which is led by a Royal Navy trained naval architect/shipwright. There are an additional 7 in our Housekeeping Team who keep the public areas spotlessly clean.

We have all the skills and experience required for all of Britannia's day-to-day maintenance, and only bring in external assistance when absolutely necessary, for example, specialised engineering work like servicing our lifts. In the team we have mechanical and electrical engineers, electricians, a bosun and deckhand, painters, joiners, and a plumber. The vast majority served in the Royal Navy (RN) or worked at the Royal Navy Rosyth Dockyard. We are also in the very fortunate position to have the self-generated funding available to undertake any works that are required to maintain Britannia in keeping with her former role.

The maintenance team also provide an essential and invaluable support role to all other departments, whether it is unloading stock for the shop, reorganising the dining tables for evening events, or fixing the 101 little things that can often go wrong on the visitor route. Like any 'ship's company', they will stop doing their normal jobs and come to the assistance of their colleagues in other departments.

Philosophy

We often compare maintaining Britannia to trying to weed a very large garden. One day, one area can look great, but the next day there is always much more to do in another part of the ship. Our overarching philosophy is to do everything correctly, taking the time required to get it exactly right, as would have been the case when Britannia was in service. This might mean stripping back years and years of paint, maybe 4 millimetres thick, to bare metal, then applying up to 6 coats of primers, undercoats and topcoats to achieve not only a very smooth appearance, but more importantly, adding to the long term preservation of the steel work. This approach means there is a rolling programme of preservation/restoration. So when visiting, you will see some areas in a perfect condition, some areas in the midst of repair, and some areas waiting to be done, which you can be assured will be tackled shortly. 

Read more about preserving the Royal Yacht
  

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