The RRS Discovery was the last traditional wooden three-masted ship to be built in Britain. Saved from the breakers yard by the Maritime Trust, into whose care she passed in 1979, her future was secured. Berthed on the River Thames and open to the public, the trust spent some £500,000 on essential restoration until she was passed into the ownership of the Dundee Heritage Trust in 1985. She arrived on the River Tay on 3 April 1986to a tumultuous welcome. Moved to a custom built dock in 1992, Discovery is now the centrepiece of Dundee’s visitor attraction Discovery Point. She is displayed in a purpose-built dock, in a configuration as near as possible to her 1924 state.
Her first mission after launch was the British National Antarctic Expedition, carrying Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton on their first, successful journey to the Antarctic, known as the Discovery Expedition. She is now the centrepiece of visitor attraction in her home, Dundee. She was launched into the Firth of Tay on 21 March 1901 by Lady Markham, the wife of Sir Clements Markham, President of the Royal Geographical Society. Discovery had coal-fired auxiliary steam engines, but had to rely primarily on sail because the coal bunkers did not have sufficient capacity to take the ship on long voyages. She was rigged as a barque. According to Shackleton, the ship was a bad sailer, and carried too much sail aft and not enough forward; while Scott worried that the design of the ship’s hull was unsuitable for work in pack ice. The ship had a massively built wooden hull designed to withstand being frozen into the ice. The propeller and rudder could be hoisted out of the way to prevent ice damage. Iron shod bows were severely raked so that when ramming the ice they would ride up over the margin and crush the ice with deadweight. The Discovery rolled badly in the open sea where the flat shallow hull, built with no protuberances to work well in ice, provided minimal stability in heavy seas. (Wikipedia)
Featured in A Love of Boats 19/05/2013