This article provides a brief look at some examples of the use of miniature ships and a series of photographs depicting the conversion of a 42ft naval launch to a quarter sized version of HMS Victory. The idea of converting a ship’s boat was conceived in 1929 by Capt Gerald Boultbee RN in order to demonstrate sail drill and manoeuvres during Portsmouth Navy Weeks.
Boultbee’s successor, Captain James Batchelor, later improved the vessel by fully planking her in. He also had her sailed to prove a wager he had with Admiral John Kelly who had voiced a criticism of the real Victory’s sailing qualities. Batchelor thought these ideas unfounded and it was agreed that there would be an event to prove the matter during the 1933 Navy Week.
Batchelor duly won the bet and the vessel sailed so well that King George V commanded her attendance at Cowes Week the following year, and also at the 1937 Coronation Fleet Review. After this last event it appears she was dismantled.
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