The Cutty Sark was designed to bring tea over from China. She was launched in 1869 with a design life of 30 years, and as a result, she was showing serious signs of corrosion in the composite iron frame and timber plank hull. Action had to be taken so that the famous landmark did not disintegrate with the power of the river water.
Beckett Rankine proposed several techniques to preserve the Cutty Sark. These include electrolysis, replacement of damaged parts, and mechanical cleaning. The works are essential so that this major tourist attraction can survive for a further 50 years without any need for more repair.
As the electrolysis could damage the timber planking, the planks had to be removed when this process is carried out. The ship, weighing in excess of 1,000 tons, was lifted and supported by a framework that does not cause any damage to the structure, so an exhibition can be created underneath.