Since the launch in 1973, The Golden Hinde has sailed over 100,000 miles, with a full circumnavigation, and two more Atlantic crossings to its name. In 2017, knowing that the necessity of a major conservation project was looming, we commissioned a full survey, and the marine surveyor confirmed what we always knew - The Golden Hinde was a solid build, and that it would last well into the future, providing we adopted a rigorous routine of regular work. In March 2017, Toby Millinder joined us as head shipwright and is working with a small but skilled team, carrying out the work whilst the ship remains open to the public – no mean feat!

The water in the dock was drained to enable the team full access to every part of the ship in need of their attention. The work list is long and varied, calling mainly on the shipwright and riggers skills. With Toby, we have a highly experienced and skilled leader, with a lifetime around wooden craft.

The ship’s planking is iroko, a West African hardwood. Whilst the skeletal structure is English oak, the naval architect and Hinks the builders felt that iroko was the best substitute both in terms of durability and strength. For the refit, we sourced an 11 metre iroko log with a diameter of over 1.6 metres, and weighing over 12 tonnes.

The conservation project is completely funded by visitor admissions and private hires. We also source specialty materials from a trusted community of suppliers, such as our ship's paint, from Regal. Their article on our collaboration can be read here.