The purpose of a Shipwright working is to maintain, repair and restore the historic ships mostly working on the wooden parts, such as, external hull and deck planking, structural beams and knees and even right down to the finer joinery of the officer’s cabins. Jobs of all sizes are under taken by shipwrights, ranging from 6-24 month rebuild projects to daily tasks such as surveying or deck caulking. Shipwrights have to make sure all work is done safely and to a high standard so it will last for years to come.

To get a job as a Shipwright on historic ships, you would need:

  • Experience working with power tools and woodworking machinery
  • Knowledge and good practice of health and safety
  • Knowledge of different timber types, where they are best used and how to work with them
  • Specialist knowledge of the construction, conservation and maintenance of historic ships
  • Passion for history and an enthusiasm for conserving traditional skills

For more information, visit the National Careers Service: Boat builder | Explore careers | National Careers Service

Possible pathways to this job

City College, Southampton: Boatbuilding NVQ Level 3 Boatbuilding Apprenticeship (
International Boatbuilding Training College (IBTC) Lowestoft: Boat construction & wood training International Boatbuilding Training College (IBTC) Lowestoft – Boat Construction & Wood Training (
The Oyster Apprenticeship Academy: Southampton & Wroxham: Boat Builder Apprenticeship Sailing & Marine Apprenticeships | Oyster Yachts

Information about the employer

National Museum of the Royal Navy

On 28th June 1911, The Dockyard Museum opened in Portsmouth, growing and evolving into the Royal Naval Museum, which then became a part of the newly formed National Museum of the Royal Navy in September 2009. The Museum changed its name to The National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth, as the overall organisation grew to also encompass The Royal Marines Museum, The Royal Navy Submarine Museum, the Fleet Air Arm Museum and Explosion! Museum of Naval Firepower. In 2015, we opened First World War Monitor HMS M.33 to the public, and in 2016 we added HMS Caroline in Belfast, and the Hartlepool Maritime Experience and HMS Trincomalee to the National Museum of the Royal Navy family.

The NMRN has a simple Vision, ‘to be the world’s most inspiring Naval Museum, underpinned by a spirit of enterprise and adventure”, and our goal is to promote the traditions and public understanding of the Royal Navy and its constituent branches, past, present and future’.

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