When “Research” was built she had heavy beams running from side to side and a deck, but by the time she was moved to her current home inside the museum these structures were gone.
At almost 80 feet long and 20 feet wide, she’s a very large boat to support out of the water under any circumstances, and without the lateral support of the beams and deck tying her together, her shape has started to change.
Her port side leans against the wall, is well supported and has suffered little distortion. Her starboard side sits on supports underneath the bilge keels with the upper planking unsupported, and over the years the sheer weight of the planking and framing has caused the upper section of the hull to begin to collapse outward.
We’ve been monitoring the situation, and stabilisation works are now being undertaken to ensure that she doesn’t suffer further distortions to her shape. This stabilisation work is possible thanks to funding from Museums Galleries Scotland Recognition Fund.
Phase 1: A combination of methods to return the hull to as close to its previous shape as possible.
Phase 2: Installation of wooden clamps, wire stays and additional hull supports in order to stabilise the hull in this position and minimise future distortion.
Phase 3: Treatment of the materials that make up the boat to protect it from future deterioration such as corrosion, dry rot and insect attack.