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.

  • 1
    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.) Dec 28, 2011 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, 2012 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, 2012 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, 2012 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, 2012 at 21:18

4 Answers 4


"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, 2012 at 15:45
  • 2
    tall ships are about as as close as you're going to get to an old naval ship of the line
    – HorusKol
    Jun 29, 2015 at 4:45

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, 2012 at 15:42

Checking for ships used in movies is a fruitful source of replica fighting sailing ships. As an example HMS Surprise is a replica of a sixth-rate post ship HMS Rose - not a ship of the line, ut at least a genuine fighting ship.


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

  • I thought ship in line refer to a ship that has 2 or more storeys ( not including the basement) Jan 17, 2012 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, 2012 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, 2012 at 12:17
  • @MarkMayo that is however an interesting and authentic option.
    – Stuart
    Jan 17, 2012 at 12:25

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