Under current UK legislation, there is no protection for craft on the National Historic Ships Registers, meaning NHS-UK is not able to prevent a significant vessel from being destroyed or scrapped if a decision is taken to end its life, although we make every effort to seek a viable alternative.  During 2019-2023, in line with the objectives in our Forward Plan, we undertook the following activities to help the increasing number of registered historic vessels finding themselves at risk:

  • published an updated second edition of Recording & Deconstructing Historic Vessels, the first two volumes in our three-part guidance series 'Understanding Historic Vessels'
  • improved the display and type of material held in relation to craft on the National Archive of Historic Vessels
  • undertook an At Risk Assessment of the National Historic Fleet, introducing a traffic light system to highlight and monitor craft  
  • produced At Risk Guidance for vessel custodians detailing the help we can offer in at-risk situations, the best approach to take and what process to follow.

You can read and download a summary report of the At Risk Assessment carried out in Autumn 2023, as well as our At Risk Guidance paper below:

           National Historic Fleet At Risk Report            Historic Vessels at Risk Guidance


Telegraph by Sandy Miller