Royal Yacht Britannia (Restoration)

Her Majesty’s Yacht Britannia is the distinguished former royal vessel that proudly sailed the seas from 1954 to 1997. Holding the distinguished title of the 83rd vessel since King Charles II’s ascension in the year 1660, Britannia is the second in a line of royal yachts bearing this name, with its predecessor crafted in 1893 for the Prince of Wales, which actually partook in a number of races.

Over its remarkable 43-year service, Britannia covered an impressive one million nautical miles! It sailed to 600 locations across 135 countries. Now retired from its royal duties, Britannia finds itself at Ocean Terminal, Leith in Edinburgh, Scotland, serving as a prominent visitor attraction with an annual attendance exceeding 300,000.

This particular model is a faithful reincarnation of the real thing, complete with a terrific level of intricacy and detail.

It was bought to us in early 2023, in serious need of repairs and a deep clean. The rigging was shoddy and so needed a total overhaul, the hull was scratched and worn, and the lifeboats had come off, requiring reattachment. They also needed some basic repairs. Furthermore, the four flags were faded and worn, also needing replacement.

This project was completed for a private client, and so not much can be said here, except for the fact that the client was immensely happy. They are pleased with the speed and quality at which worked, as well as the level of transparency provided throughout.

Restoration projects require a great deal of communication, both before and during the process. Our model restorer will first liaise with both the client and our team, ensuring every requirement is both achievable and affordable.

Different tools and methods will need to be discussed, with older and more delicate models requiring more care and precision. Rigging can be especially tricky due to its complexity, but our restorer carried out the work to an expert degree of quality.

As mentioned above, the initial stages of a restoration project require our team and our model restorer to liaise with the client as closely as possible, ensuring their vision and expectations are clear, whilst also establishing a realistic and satisfactory timeline for all parties involved.

An invoice is put together for the client as early as possible, allowing everyone to work to schedule within a defined budget.

Our restorer can then start working on the model, usually starting on the larger things such as the hull and the rigging. He will buff out any scratches and paint over where necessary, making sure to use the precise paint colour to match.

He then uses a rigging tool to fit the new material, discarding the old rigging. This is perhaps the most tedious part, but it was done brilliantly.

Final touches usually include any accessories, in this case being the reattachment of the lifeboats which had fallen off.

One new addition was an acrylic display case with a lovely navy blue felt lining, composed of light oak wood. This ensures the long-term protection of the model, allowing it to retain its fantastic quality.

This project was completed on-time, within the agreed budget, and to a brilliant degree of quality. All parties were thrilled, us with the work carried out and the experience, and the client with the new quality of their model.

Restoration projects are always enjoyable, as they involve restoring some passion into old, damaged models, ‘restoring’ them to their former glory.

It was a pleasure to be able to work on a Royal Yacht Britannia model, large in part due to its extensive historical significance.

We now look forward to our next restoration project!

Commission your own model

If you would like to have your own bespoke model built, please complete the contact form below.

Before Restoration:

After Restoration: