What is a replica?
A replica is a vessel which has been built from scratch as a copy of a vessel.
It should not be confused with a historic vessel undergoing major works which has been ‘reconstructed’ - returned to a known earlier state with the introduction of new material. In some cases, a historic vessel may be subject to ‘extreme reconstruction’ where the majority of the original material is decayed or missing, resulting in a major rebuild using new materials.
Different types of replication:
- True Replica
An exact and complete reproduction of the original vessel.
- Hull Replica
An exact replica of the hull of a vessel, but not the rig.
- Operational Replica
An accurate replica which has adaptations to meet modern-day health and safety, MCA and international regulations in order to allow the vessel to operate within carefully defined parameters.
A theoretical vessel based on archaeological, historical and technical information which can test theories but which cannot be guaranteed as a faithful recreation.
- Operational Hypothesis
A theoretical vessel based on archaeological, historical and technical information but with adaptations to meet modern-day health and safety, MCA and international regulations in order to allow the vessel to operate within carefully defined parameters.
A vessel which draws on known features from the craft it has been designed to represent, but which may or may not take on the appearance of a specific vessel. The emphasis is on overall impression rather than accuracy.
For more information on replica terminology or to see examples of the different types of replication, you can order a copy of the National Historic Ships’ guidance publication Conserving Historic Vessels. When registering a vessel for inclusion on the UK Replica List, you will be asked to make an assessment as to which category of replication the vessel falls into, using the above headings.