"Hanging in shreds": HMS Investigator’s Copper Hull Sheathing

Author(s): Jonathan Moore

Year: 2013


The wreck of HMS Investigator presents a remarkably well-preserved example of copper-sheathing applied to a Royal Navy ship. It is particularly interesting given that most Royal Navy ships engaged in the search for a Northwest Passage, and without exception those entering the Arctic via Hudson Strait and Davis Strait, were fitted with bottom felt and doubled planking but were unsheathed. The planned voyage of the Investigator and HMS Enterprise into the Arctic via tropical waters and the Bering Strait necessitated the fitting of copper sheathing to protect against shipworm. This paper will describe what has been learned about the ship’s copper hull sheathing based on an examination of both the ice-damaged sheets still attached to the hull and one recovered example. It will also touch on the longstanding question as to post-abandonment Inuit salvage of the sheathing.

Cite this Record

"Hanging in shreds": HMS Investigator’s Copper Hull Sheathing. Jonathan Moore. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428188)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -141.003; min lat: 41.684 ; max long: -52.617; max lat: 83.113 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 699