Restoring a historic ship is not for the faint-hearted but, at Fenton Holloway, we possess the unique skillset and experience required to undertake even the most challenging of conservation projects.

Conserving or repairing a historic ship is unlike any other civil engineering project. With highly complex structures, unconventional assembly, and timeworn materials, historic vessels present unique problems that most engineering firms are unable to tackle. Restoration, which must respect and preserve the heritage of the ship, can take years to plan, implement and complete.

Our specialist engineering team are able to take on historic ship conservation projects within the UK or abroad.

Our Award-Winning Historic Ship Restoration Service

Before embarking on a historic ship restoration project, it is vital that you identify a civil and structural engineer who has the experience and skills to manage the project sympathetically, retain the vessel’s heritage, and complete the work in a pragmatic way and to the highest standard.

At Fenton Holloway, we provide full conservation, restoration, and structural repair advice for large historic ships, afloat or in dry dock, and firmly believe that our experience and expertise are unmatched anywhere in the world.

When choosing an engineer for the restoration or repair of a historic ship, it’s essential to work with a company that has direct experience with similar large-scale, long-term projects. We have worked with industry-leading partners to carry out conservation work on four major vessels:

  • SS Great Britain
  • HMS Victory
  • HMS Unicorn
  • Fregatten Jylland

Our Services Include

Each historic ship is unique and requires a different level of intervention to ensure the vessel is stable, to establish to what extent it is affected by rot or corrosion, and to inform conservation and repair strategies. Our services include:

  • Condition survey and analysis of the hull of historic ships to ascertain strength and stability
  • Creation of digital models to assess the extent of rot or corrosion in structures
  • Feasibility study of conservation strategies and repair priorities
  • Development of digital models to support analysis and simulation of vessel assembly and condition
  • Strengthening of the historic hull and internal structures to make them safe and prevent irreversible damage
  • Design of support systems in dry dock, to support historic ships in a sympathetic way, and enable unique interpretation opportunities 
  • Structural assessment and design of civil works and dockside structures

For our work on the SS Great Britain, we were awarded the IStructE Award by the Institution of Structural Engineers (Heritage Award in the infrastructure category).


Contact Our Team

Javier Gutierrez


Javier Gutierrez

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Richard Fenton


Richard Fenton

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