National Historic Ships UK has published a three volume series entitled Understanding Historic Vessels which provides guidance on conserving, recording and deconstructing vessels. 

Volumes 1 & 2 - Recording & Deconstructing Historic Vessels

First published in 2007 by the Advisory Committee on National Historic Ships, the purpose of these books is to help historic vessel owners deal with a number of technical and sustainability issues. National Historic Ships UK have now produced second editions of both texts to reflect the latest methodology, changes in technology and to include a series of practical case studies drawn from across the sector. Read a message from our Director here.

Recording Historic Vessels and Deconstructing Historic Vessels are available at the bottom of this page to download.

Readers are free to use these publications for reference, but we kindly ask that you quote the source if they are reproduced.

Volume 3 - Conserving Historic Vessels

This guidance is a richly illustrated 200 page printed publication, produced with funding support from The Headley Trust and The Society for Nautical Research. It is an invaluable resource, designed to explain the key principles behind conservation, which will help specialists and non-specialists alike develop an understanding of their project, its significance and the most appropriate conservation route to adopt in each circumstance. 

Copies of Conserving Historic Vessels can be purchased online via our PayPal account form, or by cheque made out to the National Maritime Museum.  Please contact us for further details.

Members of the Old Gaffers Association, the Society for Nautical Researchowners of vessels on the National Registers, and MAST Association members are eligible to receive a 30% discount. 

Price                               £30.00 per copy

Discounted price           £21.00 per copy

P&P                                 £5.50 per copy

The above information will only be used to enable the purchase you have requested via our Paypal Account.  The record of this transaction will be held on our electronic records system and Paypal Account which is only accessible to authorised staff.  If you have requested that your details be added to our electronic mailing list, you retain the right to unsubscribe at any time using the link at the bottom of the newsletter or by emailing

Understanding Historic Vessels

Recording Historic Vessels - front cover

Deconstructing Historic Vessels - front cover


Vol I - Recording Historic Vessels  Vol II - Deconstructing Historic Vessels Vol III - Conserving Historic Vessels 

Copyright for all publications remains with National Historic Ships UK.