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

Commissioned by National Historic Ships UK, the purpose of these books is to help historic vessel owners deal with a number of technical and sustainability issues. They are available below in downloadable form. 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 (£30 + p&p) can be purchased as follows:

  • If you own a vessel on our Registers, you can purchase a discounted (30%) copy from us directly by cheque only. Please email us to confirm your order and be advised cheques are to be made payable to the National Maritime Museum
  • Discounted bulk orders (9 copies or more) and review copies are available directly from us. Please email us to confirm your order.

Conserving Historic Vessels contains a series of case studies offering examples from which to draw, but National Historic Ships UK has also published an on-line bibliography and technical resource section to offer greater in-depth support to readers.  This material is on open access and will be regularly updated as new information is received.

 Understanding Historic Vessels




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.