Spars include all of the long timbers, such as yards, booms and gaffs, used to carry the sails. At sea spars could be damaged by storms and gales, and were one of the first things to go during a battle. Wooden spars also fell apart simply due to the weather. When a ship was not sea it was usually stripped to the lower masts and the spars were stored in dry airy conditions. Victory’s spars, and even her masts, were replaced on and off throughout her active life.
Until the late 1960s most of Victory’s spars were wood. Maintenance was a big problem and some even needed replacing every few years. It was also becoming harder to get hold of good timber of the right length.
Some spars were successfully coated with resin and fibreglass to make them last longer. Today her spars are a mix of treated wood and steel.