Jeer Capstan

  • Present at Launch - Probably not
  • Present at Trafalgar - Likely
  • Present Pre-1923 - Yes
  • Rarity - Unique
  • Completeness - 90% original

Victory has two capstans, the main capstan and the jeer capstan. These large rotating structures extended down through the decks and could be turned by up to 260 crew members at a time to lift heavy weights. The drumheads (top part) of both capstans can be found on the middle gun deck.

The jeer capstan is towards the centre of the ship and was used to lift stores, boats and guns, as well as raising masts and yards. The main capstan is now a non-working replica made in the 1920s. It is located towards the stern (back) and was originally used to raise the anchors.

Victory’s jeer capstan is believed to survive from the 18th century but not be original to launch. It shows how a simple mechanism can multiply human power. It also provides an insight into the brute force required to run the ship.