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A ship of the line is a Double or triple decked battle ship from the 17th through the mid-19th century like those used at the battle of Trafalgar.

Ideally I'd like to crew on one for a week or so, failing that just an opportunity to sail on one.

HMS Victory at Portsmouth, while technically still part of Her Majesty's navy, is no longer afloat so is out of the question.

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According to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship-of-the-line, Victory is the only original ship of the line that remains. So is a reproduction ok? (Not that I know if any exist.) –  Kate Gregory Dec 28 '11 at 19:41
    
reproductions would be OK so long as they're authentic. If I can't believe its the real thing then I'm not interested. Ie excessive plastic or 'modified for ease of use' aren't what I'm looking for. –  Stuart Jan 9 '12 at 14:33
    
It appears there are a couple of replica single gun deck 6th rate (30 guns or less) ships of the line. one in America and one in France. It seems everything that sails regularly aren't all that authentic. –  Stuart Jan 9 '12 at 15:43
    
if you are OK with authentic replica, but not a ship of the line, take a look at Duyfken and Batavia –  Jacco Jan 17 '12 at 15:47
    
@Jacco it looks like the Dutch are making an authentic replica of a 76gun first rate en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… –  Stuart Jan 17 '12 at 21:18

3 Answers 3

"tall ships" is the magic google-incantation.

The ships are probably more modern than you want.

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A tall ship is not the same as a ship of the line. googling for tall ship brings up impressive sailing vessels, but they are not the same. –  Jacco Jan 17 '12 at 15:45

In Sydney at present, they're advertising the historic Tall Ship - James Craig, as sailable for a day. It's technically a barque, but is the original fully restored real deal - one of only four still sailing in the world - originally called the Clan Macleod.

enter image description here

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I thought ship in line refer to a ship that has 2 or more storeys ( not including the basement) –  Rudy Gunawan Jan 17 '12 at 10:39
    
From the 18th century they were most commonly 2-4, but some 3-masted variants still were just one storey. More common in cargo ships I guess where they didn't have to store all the armaments? Just hypothesizing there tho. –  Mark Mayo Jan 17 '12 at 12:07
    
@rudy your correct, it comes down to number of guns greater than 74 = First rate ship of the line. As I have found with some research it appears there is not original ship of the line still sailing. –  Stuart Jan 17 '12 at 12:17
    
@MarkMayo that is however an interesting and authentic option. –  Stuart Jan 17 '12 at 12:25
up vote 2 down vote accepted

It appears from @KateGregory's research there are no longer any original ships of the line sailing in Britain or the world.

I have found there is a 6th rate ship of the line(frigate) replica named the Grand Turk which is still sailing, used in the ITV series of Hornblower.

Also of interest for Australians and New Zealanders, there is a replica of HMS Bark the Endeavour

Sadly there are no original ships of the line still sailing. Probably the closest is the Grand Turk.

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Interesting enough, the HMS Bark the Endeavour is rigged as a ship and not as a bark as can be seen on the photos on wikipedia. –  Jacco Jan 17 '12 at 15:42

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