Victory’s original external planking was mostly made from oak planks about 25 feet (7.6 m) long. When suitable oak could not be got hold of a number of beech planks were used. During the restoration the first 12 lines of planks nearest the keel were found to be English Elm, which lasts well when kept immersed in water.
External planks were always vulnerable to rot and attack from marine creatures. Only six years after launch rotten side planking needed repairing. When she was docked in 1922 her planking was so rotten it was near to collapse and a great deal of it was replaced.
Most of Victory’s exterior planking is currently made from iroko, an African hardwood, with a layer of teak laminated over the top. The iroko has performed less well than hoped and Victory’s planking is once again under investigation.