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HMY Britannia

HMY Britannia (1893)

This is a model of the Royal cutter Britannia which was sailed and raced by King Edward and King George.  The model itself was originally built in the mid 1950s to be sailed so did not have any detail of the deck fittings and had a large lead weight at the bottom of the keel.

The objective of the restoration is to create a model that depicts the ship as she was at launch in 1893.

Below are three images of the model before restoration and two images of the original ship which show what the model will look like when completed.


The existing keel will be removed and replaced with one that follows the lines of the one on the original ship.


The deck will be stripped of existing fittings, cleaned up and varnished.  Companionways, steering gunwales and other fittings will be made and installed.  The mast, sails and rigging will be installed to complete the model.



The Britannia under full sail.


View of the hull and keel as the model will be done but without the propeller.  The propeller and engine were added in a rebuild that took place around 1932.  During this rebuild the sail configuration was changed from gaff rigged to Bermuda rigged.  The model will be gaff rigged.


July 6, 2015

The hull of the model has been completed.   The original model's keel was removed and replaced with one that followed the lines of the original ship.  The forward portion and stern of the model were left as they were but some contouring was required in the center portion of the hull to provide a shape off of the new keel that would allow smooth flow of water around the hull.  A bulwark was added around the edge of the deck.

The deck was cleaned up and re-varnished but left unchanged otherwise  to retain, as much as possible,  the character of the original model.

Profile of the model.  Some of the deck fittings that are now completed  can be seen over the bulwark.


Model's stern.


Bow of the model.


November 2015

View of the completed deck and the fittings required there.  The following pictures provide more detail.  The rigging shown in the pictures below is loose and not belayed.  It will be like this until the sails are installed.


The deck at the stern.  Across the top of the picture is the boom for the mail sail.  The black piece on the top of the boom is a channel into which hooks will be installed to fasten the bottom of the sail to the boom and allow it to slide on the boom when taken in or out.  From the right you can see the sheets for the main sail, the ship's wheel, the binnacle and skylights for rooms below.


Deck amidships.  Again we see skylights and, in the center, the salon.  All of the windows and skylights are glazed.  The bars across the skylights are there to prevent people or objects from falling on the glass.


Forward portion of the deck.  Here we see the mast fitted with hoops that the sail will be fastened to.   Then we have the galley chimney, anchors, companionway to the crews quarters, the capstan and the windless.  The bars across the top of the companionway are used to drive the capstan when it is in use.  The cleats and blocks on the deck will be used to route and belay the rigging lines.


Deck at the bow with the bowsprit fitted and it's standing rigging in place.  The windless is in the step of the bowsprit.


As of November 2015 the hull was complete and I am waiting for sails to be made.  When the sails arrive they will be installed and the rigging completed.


July 18, 2016

All sails and rigging are now in place which completes the restoration.


Profile of completed model. The photograph in the foreground shows the model prior to restoration.


Looking aft.  This image shows the routing of the shrouds through the spreaders.


Top of lower mast showing the spreaders and gaff seated against the mast.


Another view of the top of the lower mast.


Bow and bowsprit showing the rigging in this area.


Stern and aft end of the main boom showing the sheets and rigging on this part of the boom.  The lower edge of the main sail is tied to hooks that run in the channel along the top of the boom.


Bottom of the mast showing lines belayed there and on  the pin rails at the gunwales.  Also, we see the lashing on the deadeyes of the shrouds.


View of the deck.


Burgee which would be flown when His Majesty was on board.