Anyone familiar with a Haynes manual will instantly recognise the book. The usual A4 size with a solid hardback cover with the normal high quality paper used within its covers. The book is broken down into a number of chapters, with a number of sub chapters running for 177 pages.
Written by Peter Goodwin it consists of,
- The Victory Story
- HMS Victory at War
- Anatomy of the Victory
- Victory’s Guns
- General Maintenance and Refitting
- Sailing the Victory
- Manning the Victory
- Conserving and Restoring HMS Victory
Throughout the book there are a number of photographs of the ship and its different parts. There are also some photos from the Hollywood movie ‘Master and Commander’. There are also a number of diagrams helping explain the contents and portraits of figures from history. The book starts by giving a history of the Victory, the reason she was built, who was involved and how she was constructed. The construction theme flows throughout the book. It then rolls onto the wars and battles she was involved in. One of the most interesting chapters is ‘Sailing the Victory’. The author gives lists of sails and ropes used to sail her through the sea and explains the techniques involved. He also, for example, lists the Victory’s different anchors and their weight. The ship’s crew and routines are detailed. Of a total complement of 820 there were only 13 officers. How times have changed!
Whilst you’re never going to own the Victory and have to operate and maintain her, this is a good attempt at recreating what would be involved. The author should be given credit for what I consider a difficult subject to be put into a Haynes manual format. If like me you had little idea about what’s involved in a Seventeenth Century warship and seamanship, this is a great book to start any study.
If I’m being truly honest this is a comprehensive tour guide of HMS Victory without having to leave the covers of the book and visiting Portsmouth, which isn’t a bad thing in my book.
HMS Victory - Haynes Owners Workshop Manual by Peter Goodwin. Published by Haynes
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