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Vessels of National Significance

Reaper on West Coast
Research LK62
Lively Hope

Three of the museum’s boats, the Reaper, the Research and the Lively Hope, (above, left to right), are recognised as being of national significance by the National Register of Historic Vessels and are included in the National Historic Fleet.

Our smaller boats are included in the National Small Boat Register.

There are currently over 1,000 vessels on the National Register of Historic Vessels (NRHV). The database includes details of designer, builder, dimensions, construction, propulsion, service history, current location and ownership, as well as images of many of the vessels.

The Register provides an overview of the UK’s extant historic vessels and can be used to identify and prioritise significant vessels that should be conserved, provide guidance to decision-makers on the allocation of funding, and give an early warning of ships ‘at risk’. The database can also be a useful research tool, although confidential information about ownership is always kept secure.

Over 57% of historic vessels recorded on the NRHV are either privately owned or commercially operated. Museums and charitable trusts account for 14% of the total.

The National Historic Fleet (NHF)

The National Historic Fleet is a sub-group of the National Register of Historic Vessels. There are currently some 200 vessels in the Fleet which are distinguished by:

  • being of pre-eminent national or regional significance
  • spanning the spectrum of UK maritime history
  • illustrating changes in construction and technology
  • meriting a higher priority for long term conservation. The National Historic Fleet may also include vessels from the National Small Boat Register which are a minimum of 50 years old and which fit the above criteria. The composition of the National Historic Fleet is reviewed on a regular basis.

Follow the links for more information:

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