has 3 vertical masts, plus the bowsprit. From the stern (rear) these are: the mizzen mast, the mainmast and the foremast. Each mast is made up of 3 overlapping sections. The lowest section is simply called the mast (e.g. mizzen mast). The middle section is known as the top mast (e.g. main top mast). The highest section is called the topgallant mast (e.g. fore topgallant mast).
Projecting over the bow (front) of the ship is the bowsprit. Like the other 3 masts it is divided into 3 sections. These are: the bowsprit, the jibboom and the flying jibboom.
The masts were made from light and flexible wood such as fir, pine and spruce. These timbers were obtained from the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) and Norway.
The original bottom section of the masts were made from a single tree 3ft in diameter. Know as a 'pole mast', the timber for these were obtained from New England, but the American War of Independence interrupted the supply. Because of this a different method of construction was used. Called a 'composite mast', they were made from between 7 and 9 smaller trees that were carefully shaped and joined together.
The masts currently on the Victory are hollow wrought-iron masts, which were taken from a ship called the Shah in the 1880's. These are lighter than the original wooden masts and require less maintenance.