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Spring into Discovery’s Repairs

The urgent works to the Royal Research Ship Discovery are well underway, with all hands on deck to work to conserve this incredible ship and her legacy.

The beginning of May has seen the ship’s sail locker, deck and bridge transformed. This pictorial post takes us through some of the work undertaken, with a sneak peek of what is yet to come, as we look back at what has been a very busy couple of weeks for JPS Restoration, Industrial Heritage Consulting Ltd., Mackay Boat Builders, Blast Clean Scotland, overall Project Managers Beckett Rankine, and our very own ship’s crew!

The ship and museum remain open as usual during these major works, so step aboard and see Scotland’s heritage engineering experts conserve the RRS Discovery, and find out how you can become part of Discovery’s ongoing story below.

Perhaps the most notable difference to the appearance of RRS Discovery from the waterfront comes in the form of a cover over the Bridge. This area has been covered in order that as the works progress, it can be caulked in all weathers.


Covered bridge of RRS Discovery

Discovery’s aft skids have been carefully removed by Mackay Boat Builders, due to be replaced with Douglas Fir panels. The removed skids will now be repurposed by JPS Restoration during the works, with the metalwork primed ahead of being repainted before the new panels are installed.

Mackay Boat Builders removing aft skids

Below deck, Blast Clean Scotland have been glass blasting the ship’s sail locker, to remove paint and allow the historic timbers to breathe, and to be assessed and repaired. The beauty of the Discovery‘s construction and materials are emphasised, as woodgrains shine through.

Cleaning after glass blasting. Before and after is illustrated on the left of the scene

It’s been a delight to welcome visitors aboard and share Discovery’s remarkable ongoing story, and to witness heritage engineering experts undertake repairs to this world heritage asset.

RRS Discovery’s major works come with thanks to essential funding from the National Heritage Memorial Fund.

Despite this, RRS Discovery needs your support more than ever, with more care continually needed in order to preserve her and to share her inspiring stories with explorers of all ages around the world. It costs Dundee Heritage Trust over £2million each year to continue to care for RRS Discovery, its two Recognised Collections of National Significance, and to operate its two five-star visitor attractions in Dundee. Less than 2% of this is publicly funded, with the Trust – an independent charity – generating the remaining 98% through fundraising, museum admission, and hospitality.

With your support we can continue to preserve Dundee’s heritage and portray it in ways that educate, inspire and enlighten.

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