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Riggers get Cutty Sark ship-shape ahead of its 150th anniversary

One month before the Cutty Sark turns 150, riggers have climbed to the terrifying height of 152ft in the air to ensure the ship is looking its best for its 150th anniversary. Cutty Sark made its name as one of the fastest tea clippers of its day, and this was partly down to the modern engineering techniques behind the rigging. To help the ship reach speeds of 17 knots, Cutty Sark had over 11 miles of rigging, an original sail area of 32,000 sq. ft. across 32 sails, and a main mast standing at 152ft. Every ship needs ongoing maintenance, whether it’s a sailing ship at sea or in dry dock. The team at Cutty Sark work with TS Rigging to paint and oil everything aloft, mainly to keep the water out and keep things from rusting. Working ships usually go into dry dock and have bits of rigging taken out and replaced every five to ten years. Cutty Sark is out there in the London weather and pollution every day, which makes for some pretty tough conditions and this in turn means a lot of effort goes into maintaining the ship so it can be preserved for future generations.

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