Fastenings

  • Present at Launch - Yes. A good proportion of original fasteners will exist in those parts that also date from the launch
  • Present at Trafalgar - Yes. Many of them
  • Present Pre-1923 - Yes. Many pre-date the modern reconstructions
  • Rarity - the number and different kinds that exist in Victory represent a unique group
  • Completeness - Many are intact

Victory is made from thousands of different parts. They are all joined together with many different sorts of fasteners and fixings. The large range of types shows how fastenings have changed over the years and the different materials available.

Some of the different types of fastenings found on Victory:

  • Treenails – large round oak dowels with pitch pine wedges.
  • Copper bolts – with roves (metal plates) and peened (hammered) heads. These will have the Ordnance broad arrow mark stamped on their surface every 2 cm (3/4 inches). These were used below the waterline as they didn’t corrode. Some extremely large such bolts have been found during the course of the reconstruction – up to 3 metres feet in length.
  • Iron bolts with a forelock (a wedge) piercing through it.
  • Iron spikes - these were typically square section, 2 cm thick at their widest point, and used for securing the deck planking.
  • Iron tack bolts - round section bolts with barbed points and round or countersunk heads.
  • Iron dumps - these were round section tapering bars with flat or slightly rounded heads, also used for deck planking.
  • Coaks - these were either block or round dowels of oak or lignum vitae (a hard durable wood) used to locate two pieces of timber together.
  • Copper or iron staples. The copper version was used for securing the different parts of the keel.
  • The reconstruction work in the 1920s used mainly galvanised steel bolts with nuts, rather than traditional forms of fasteners.