Weekly 'Snaps': Maintaining Britannia

Britannia's dedicated Maintenance team work 363 days of the year on a rolling programme of preservation and restoration. Their overarching philosophy is one of perfection, ensuring everything is done correctly, as would have been expected when Britannia was in service to The Queen and Royal Family.

Britannia is now owned and cared for by a charitable trust. All surplus funds from ticket salesevents, the Tea Room and Gift Shop go back into this preservation work, to ensure she is here for future generations to enjoy.

Below you'll find a photo diary from our Photographer in Residence, Ruth Armstrong, which shows the various tasks the team undertake each week.


Photography has always played an important role on Britannia. While she was in service, there was always a Yottie appointed, nicknamed 'Snaps', to take photographs of life on board the Royal Yacht.

In keeping with this tradition, we now have our own Photographer in Residence, Ruth Armstrong, who has been capturing our very own Weekly 'Snaps' - a collection of snapshots of life around the ship today.

Individuals may request removal of any photos from our website by emailing enquiries@tryb.co.uk.

November 2018

3 - 9 November: Mark L. cut framework for new water tanks for Fingal, as Gary used the router to cut out the curved section of a window blank. Mark S. repaired an audio guide handset, whilst Ian checked the fuel tank on Royal Nore. Paul A. continued painting the intricate details on the Binnacle and Tony put the winter cover on Coweslip.

October 2018

27 October - 2 November: Jay and Martin removed handrails from the Verandah Deck to be varnished, whilst Dean S. reconfigured the grating for a hand wash sink in the Tea Room Galley. Mark S. chiselled a rebate for a door standard, as Ian wired a float switch on Royal Nore. Mark L. welded and painted a support frame for water tanks and Jay painted additional straps to go on the perimeter fence.

20 - 26 October: Gary installed a new light in HRH Prince Philip’s study, before working with Mark S. to remove a deckhead panel in the Royal Chart Room. Mark S. then removed the mirror from the accessible corporate toilet, before Tony applied the undercoat of paint. Jay polished and re-fitted the brass end cap to a handrail, as Stuart tested the water temperature on board. Paul A. continued to paint the intricate detail on the Binnacle, whilst Tony put up a new Union Jack flag.

13 - 19 October: Mark L. welded a support frame for a water tank, whilst Ian removed old bilge pipework on Royal Nore. Gary stained a door frame for a cabinet, as Tony replaced the flags on the poles at the lower gangway. Paul A. continued painting the intricate detail on the Binnacle and Tony removed the old dress ship flags from the rope.

6 - 12 October: Ian checked the chain plates on Prince Philip’s former Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound, whilst Tony prepared and applied gold leaf to the weather vane from Fingal’s foremast. Mark S. manufactured spare Perrybuoy stands, as Jay painted wooden slats for the compound fence. Gary made a small glass cabinet and Paul A. continued to apply gold leaf to the Binnacle.

September 2018

29 September - 5 October: Ian repaired the lights on the hot plate in the Main Galley, whilst Mark L. cleaned and fitted the filters for the air handling unit. Stuart plumbed in a new water cooler in the Visitor Centre, as Gary manufactured picture frames. Paul D., Gary and Mark S. removed light fittings and part of the deckhead in the Royal Chart Room. Tony washed down the Fo'c's'le Deck, whilst Paul A. continued to apply gold leaf to the Binnacle.

22 - 28 September: Mark S. fitted a new door sign to the Junior Rates Dining Hall, our new Training Room, whilst Jay fitted the CCTV notification signs to the perimeter fence. Mark L. fitted the wheels to the new sack barrow, as Dean M. and Cameron painted the new flag locker. After the flag locker was moved into place, Tony folded and placed the flags into the correct pigeon holes. Dean S. repaired one of our audio guide handsets and Mark S. fitted brackets in the Pastry Galley.

15 - 21 September: Stuart manufactured a pipe and valve for a water connection, whilst Ian replaced the bilge pump for the Fast Motor Launch. Jay painted stanchions for the new sign outside the Engine Room and sanded a handrail from the Shelter Deck. Cameron painted the new flag locker, as Mark S. prepared wood to make a sign for the Junior Rates Dining Hall. Ian buffed a light cover and Mark L. changed the belt on No. 4 Air Handling Unit.

8 - 14 September: Jay lightly sanded the new steps to access the Tea Room roof, whilst Mark S. varnished the parquet flooring stage. Nigel washed down the Upper Deck port waist, as Mark L. manufactured brass plates to hang a picture. Tony washed down the Upper Deck starboard aft and Quarter Deck bulwark, whilst Jay fitted a door closer to the port forward cross passage door.

1 - 7 September: Ian carried out service checks and replaced the rudder angle indicator on Royal Nore, as Mark L. replaced the filters in the A AC Fan Space. Stuart fitted a sink connector in the Pastry Galley, whilst Gary worked on the parquet flooring for the stage. Paul A. continued painting the globe and base for the Binnacle, as Jay and Martin varnished the handrails and polished the brass end caps.

August 2018

25 - 31 August: Paul A. continued painting and applying 24 carat gold leaf to the Binnacle, whilst Ian welded support brackets in place in the Junior Rates Dining Hall. Mark S. aligned doors for the new flag locker, as Ian modified a tray for drinks dispensing cups. Jay cleaned the threads on the handrail bolts, before removing dowels, prior to being added to the handrails.

18 - 24 August: Ewan cleaned the red carpets, whilst Paul A. continued the intricate job of applying gold leaf to Britannia’s ornamental Binnacle. Mark S. sanded the pigeon holes for the new flag locker and manufactured a new external wooden ladder. Stuart fitted the new mast stay bracket and secured it in place. Martin scraped back old varnish from a handrail, as Stuart fitted an over flow pipe to the chilled water system for the air handling unit.

11 - 17 August: Dean M. and Cameron painted the anchor cables on the Fo’c’s’le Deck, as Ewan unblocked a drain hole on the accommodation ladder stowage. Paul A. applied gold leaf to the Binnacle, whilst Dean S. fixed nuts and bolts to the new main mast stay, before fitting it to the funnel. Rab and Nigel carried out maintenance on the deck head located on the port Shelter Deck, as Cameron painted the bulwark on the starboard Waist Deck.

4 - 10 August: Ian, Ewan, Tony and Mark L. prepared the trailer to be taken away for its annual service, as Dean M. and Cameron painted on the port Shelter Deck. Mark S. began manufacturing a new flag locker, whilst Mark L. replaced the washable vent filters in B AC Space. Ian serviced the pressure washer and Martin planed the insert on a handrail. Dean S. took down some old DC cables, as Mark S. removed the roof from the bin shed.

July 2018

28 July - 3 August: Nigel removed and applied new caulking to the Fo’c’s’le Deck, whilst Cameron and Dean M. painted and sanded the Perrybuoy. Ian carried out routine maintenance on the Activity Boat, as Gary and Mark S. manufactured a ladder. Ian checked the new fitting for the high pressure washer and Mark L. removed and replaced the bottle trap in a sink. Cameron washed down the port screen of the Royal Bridge, whilst Martin sanded the handrails on the port aft quarter of the Upper Deck. 

21 - 27 July: This week, Martin sanded and varnished the handrails on the Upper Deck port aft, whilst Stuart and Dean S. moved a redundant piece of cable conduit. Mark L. manufactured a door handle spindle, before making angle bar supports for vent filters. Mark S. manufactured a mirror frame, as Ian traced the fuel line on Royal Nore. After raising the new dress flags, Tony put up the Union Jack on the jack staff.

14 - 20 July: Dean S. and Stuart cleaned the filter from the waste management system, whilst Mark L. fitted a new grill and filter for an exhaust. Nigel and Ewan worked on maintaining the base of the starboard waist davits, as Jay varnished a handrail. Ian checked the fuse box on Royal Nore, before testing the navigation lights on the Activity Boat.

7 - 13 July: The Maintenance team had another busy week on board as Mark S. and Gary replaced a gustafs panel in the Royal Deck Tea Room. Mark L. replaced a filter in the ‘A’ AC Space. Stuart put in a new particulate filter, whilst Dean S. replaced the temperature and pressure relief valve in the Royal Sailing Exhibition Toilets. With the wonderful weather we’ve had all week, Tony took the opportunity to polish Coweslip.

June 2018

30 June - 6 July: Tony and Nigel washed down Royal Nore, whilst Jay and Martin fitted a dowel in place on a handrail on the Admiral’s Deck. Nigel painted a vent on the Shelter Deck cross passage, as Cameron and Dean M. washed down the Royal Bridge.

23 - 29 June: This week, Tony fixed the awning on the Verandah Deck after heavy rainfall, as Martin and Jay removed and re-fitted scupper boards on the Shelter Deck. Cameron and Dean M. painted the forward screen on the port Upper Deck, before washing down the Shelter Deck with Nigel. Gary applied silicone seal to the column support pad for the Tea Room, whilst Stuart worked in the exhibition toilets.

16 - 22 June: This week, Cameron and Nigel prepared the Admiral’s Fast Motor Launch (FML) before it was lifted back into the water. Jay and Martin worked on handrails from the Verandah Deck and removed the securing bolts from the scarf joint. Dean S. painted the bulwark on the starboard Upper Deck, whilst Nigel and Jos fitted vent grills. Mark S. fitted doors to the cupboards in the Junior Rates Dining Hall, as Solomon painted the blue perimeter fence.

9 - 15 June: This week, members of the Maintenance team tested the bouncy Britannia on the Quayside. Paul A. continued gold painting the Binnacle, whilst Ewan and Cameron painted the forward port Upper Deck deckhead. Stuart cleaned and re-fitted a macerator, as Mark S. measured and fitted doors to the Junior Rates Dining Hall units. Stuart removed and replaced the connection on one of the Quayside water hoses.

2 - 8 June: Dean M. painted the front screen of the Fo'c'l'se Deck, as Martin and Jay worked on removing door standards from the port forward cross passage door. Ian re-sized and re-fitted a bolt to the shaft coupling for Royal Nore. Rab and Nigel painted the overheads on the port forward Upper deck waste, whilst Ewan checked the chargers on the British Sign Language tablets. 

May 2018

26 May - 1 June: Nigel, Ewan and Rab oiled the Fo’c’sle Deck after it had been deep cleaned. Ewan re-connected the chains back in place on the starboard Whaler. Nigel and Ewan painted the stanchions and spars on the Verandah Deck, whilst Mark L. manufactured a seating for the new No.3 fan space. Dean S., Stuart and Derek, Head of Maintenance, discussed a proposed modification to the underside of the Shelter Deck gangway. Gary repaired the stand of the model sailing yacht and manufactured new photo frames.

19 - 25 May: This week, The Queen’s former Royal Yachtsmen, Yotties, were enjoying taking a trip down memory lane at their Annual Working Party week, and helping to keep Britannia in pristine condition for future generations to enjoy. Work was carried out on the Whaler’s boats, the Ex-HMS President Fast Motor Launch (FML) and the Admiral’s FML, whilst the bright work on the Shelter Deck was polished. Material for a fender cover was manufactured, as the Generator Room was cleaned and polished. Scupper boards on the Quarter Deck were cleaned and fitted back in place, whilst the Fo’c’sle Deck was washed down.

12 - 18 May: Dean M., Cameron and Ewan cleaned rust marks on the Fo’c’sle Deck in preparation for Yotties’ Week, as Nigel painted the mooring chains. Mark S. manufactured a cupboard for the Junior Rates Dining Hall and Stuart worked in the Junior Rates Dining Hall Scullery. Nigel painted the spars between the stanchions on the Verandah Deck, whilst Jay and Martin fixed mesh to the stanchions on a spare section of the pontoon.

5 - 11 May:This week, Cameron, Dean M. and Nigel washed down the hull, whilst Ian welded a t-bracket for holding up the deadlights at the portholes. Stuart laid tiles in the new in-house Laundry, as Gary put some wood through the planer. Mark S. manufactured a new cupboard and Gary fitted carpet tiles in the Junior Rates Dining Hall.

April 2018

28 April - 4 May: Martin and Tony washed down the Admiral’s screen, as Mark L. and Ian re-fitted a repaired handrail back to the pontoon gangway. Ian grinded old hold points in the Junior Rates Dining Hall, whilst Stuart and Dean S. painted in the Junior Rates Scullery.

21  - 27 April: Paul A. applied base layers to the Binnacle, whilst Mark S. and Gary fitted skirting in the Junior Rates Dining Hall. Tony cleaned the Fo’c’sle Deck, as Ian carried out routine maintenance checks on the Royal Barge. Stuart drilled drainage holes in a flower pot barrel and Martin cleaned the starboard side hull.

14 - 20 April: This week, Gary sanded the edges of a Perspex board before attaching the Royal Tour supplement. Tony secured a rope in place on the Verandah Deck awning, as Mark L. fitted a new filter for the No.6 Air Handling Unit. Martin repaired a scupper board, whilst Mark S. fitted beading around a pillar in the Junior Rates Dining Hall and Jay framed the new onboard staff Laundry.

7 - 13 April: Ian, Stuart and Dean S. worked on the flange for the Royal Galley drainage, whilst Mark L. fabricated the seating for the washing machines in the new onboard staff Laundry. Jay framed the new staff Laundry, as Gary fitted a new panel in place in the Junior Rates Dining Hall and Martin repaired a scupper board.

March 2018

31 March - 6 April: With the ship’s binnacle undergoing a complete refurbishment, Paul A. removed old base paint and prepped the binnacle for the fine paintwork and gold leafing to follow. Martin and Jay re-fitted a handrail on the Port side Verandah Deck. Mark L. worked on a base plate for the seating in the new in-house Laundry, whilst Ian carried out his monthly checks on the Activity Boat. Stuart fitted a temporary repair to one of the Royal Galley drainage pipes and Ian adjusted the hinges on the new gate on the pontoon.

24 - 30 March: This week, Martin and Jay washed down the Starboard hull, whilst Mark S. sanded the wooden panelling from Royal Nore. External contractors, Greco-Tech, had to be called in this week to replace Britannia’s snapped halyard. Meanwhile, Martin from our Maintenance team, repaired a scupper board. Mark L. manufactured a seating for our in-house laundry machines and Stuart tightened the adjustable pipe clamp in the Boiler Room.

17 - 23 March: Tony applied a black undercoat to areas of silver primer on the Royal Brow. Stuart worked in the Junior Rates Shower Room checking the drainage, whilst Martin and Jay fitted the repaired scupper boards on the Verandah Deck. Martin then changed a lightbulb in the Wheelhouse display in the Visitor Centre. Gary made a flexible vent for the punkah louvres and a connection piece. Mark S. added silicone to seal the joint and fitted the vent in place. On the pontoon, Jay and Ian measured the space for a new gate. 

10 - 16 March: Ian carried our winterisation checks on the Royal Barge, as Mark L. tightened up the belt tensioner. Stuart vacuumed a water leak from the washing machines, whilst Tony prepared the dress ship flags for changing during the summer. Martin repaired a scupper board and Jay gave a Verandah Deck handrail a light sand, prior to varnishing, as Paul D. ran a cable to the Security Suite.

3 - 9 March: Paul A. worked on preparing the Ship’s Binnacle for gold leafing, as Ian grinded and soldered the bow plate from the Admiral’s Fast Motor Launch. Gary manufactured and fitted panels in the Junior Rates Dining Hall, whilst Dean M. painted the Junior Rates Scullery. Dean S. painted drain pipe work from the Royal Galley and Ian repaired a silver candle stick.

February 2018

24 February - 2 March: This week, Tony cleaned the Royal Barge, as Martin cleared the bolt threads on the handrails. Tony and Martin re-fitted the handrails on the starboard Shelter Deck and port side Verandah Deck. Dean S. dug an access trench to the forward access gate, whilst Ian and Tony loaded the air compressor to take to Royal Nore. Tony washed down the hull and Solomon painted the perimeter fence.

17 - 23 February: Martin moved the newly varnished handrails back to the Shelter Deck, as Tony checked a life jacket. Ian machined the shaft couplings from Royal Nore, whilst Gary fixed strapping in the Junior Rates Dining Hall. Mark L. and Dean S. re-positioned a small lathe in the engineer’s workshop and Stuart painted in the electrical workshop. Martin repaired some scupper boards, as Gary removed a redundant bracket in the Junior Rates Dining Hall. 

10 - 16 February: This week, Jay sanded and oiled scupper boards from the Verandah Deck, whilst Paul A. sanded and prepared handrails, prior to varnishing. Stuart fitted and riveted the non-slip tread in place on the gold level gangway and Ian continued work on the ring spanner, to enable removal of the shaft locking nut from The Royal Nore. Mark L. manufactured a rabbit’s head tool, used for welding, as Tony and Mark S. worked in the Junior Rates’ Mess.

3 - 9 February: This week, Tony worked on a new gold rope barrier for the Grand Staircase, as Paul A. continued to varnish the final pieces of the display units for the Gift Shop. Mark S. re-fitted the soap dispenser and air freshener in the Visitor Centre toilet, whilst Martin sanded a scupper board. Stuart measured and cut the non-slip tread for the lift tower gangways, before Dean S. riveted them in place. Ian assembled a jacking fitting to assist removal of the shafts from The Royal Nore.

January 2018

27 January - 2 February: Mark S. removed the mirror from the Visitor Centre toilets before Dean M. painted the walls. Jay worked on the top of a rope box as Martin removed the damaged sections of the scupper boards from the Verandah Deck. Martin buffed a brass end cap for a handrail, whilst Ian removed the grub screws from the propellers from The Royal Nore, in preparation for collection to be repaired. Stuart cut the non-slip treads for the lift tower gangways and Ian manufactured a ring spanner, to remove the shaft locking nut from The Royal Nore.

20 - 26 January: Tony and Ian measured the mast on Bloodhound, whilst Mark S, Gary and Paul A. prepared and varnished new wall display units and side panels for the Gift Shop. Martin glued wooden plugs to the handrails, before Jay sawed off the excess wood. Jay and Dean M. removed varnish from the handrails and passage way door. Stuart dismantled the lathe in the electrical workshop, before relocating it to the engineer’s workshop.

13 - 19 January: Mark S. replaced the door handle on a toilet door in the Visitor Centre, whilst Stuart lifted and re-laid the popped tiles in the Laundry. Jay prepared a handrail from the Starboard Shelter Deck for varnishing and added the brass end cap back in place. Nigel washed down the Quarter Deck and scupper boards on the Verandah Deck, as Mark L. removed redundant ventilation trunking from No.1 Fan Space. Tony washed down the Fo’c’sle whilst Mark S. worked on a new display unit for the Gift Shop.

6 - 12 January: Jay retrieved the two fenders from Royal Nore as Tony and Mark L. re-aligned the plate at the bottom of the Laundry gangway. Ian worked on a new plinth and Stuart removed the No. 1 pump from the after Sewage Treatment Space. Dean S. grouted new tiles in the Royal Galley, whilst Gary repaired a door lock. Mark S. and Gary moved a completed display unit for the Gift Shop, as Jay and Martin took down some Christmas decorations. Gary made a new display door for the Bridge Chart Room. 

1 - 5 January: The New Year got off to a busy start for the Maintenance team too, as Ian checked dimensions on HRH Prince Philip’s former Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound. Martin fitted handrails on the Royal Bridge as Paul A. painted fine details on to the cypher. Mark S., Gary and Ian built a display unit for the Gift Shop whilst Jay and Martin worked on the Quayside fence. 

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