VIC 56

The VIC 56 is an eighty-five foot steam ship, built in 1945 as part of the wartime shipbuilding program, and now preserved in working order in Portsmouth under the care of Boathouse 4.i

Five things to know about VIC 56:

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Hour of need

The wartime expansion of the Royal Navy to over 7,000 vessels (including 400 major warships) was only possible with a fleet of small supply ships, including the VICs to carry stores and ammunition in around RN Bases all over the world ...No VICs, no victuals!

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A unique survivor

The hold, engine room and cabins are unaltered since naval service - VIC 56 is the only VIC vessel to survive in this condition

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Wartime shortages

VICs were built to a simplified design in very small shipyards and most had steam engines to save on wartime materials and production

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Forgotten fleet

VICs were part of the forgotten fleet of the Port Auxiliary Service/Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service supporting the Royal Navy. HMS Vernon at Portsmouth and Gosport (Royal Clarence Yard) operated several VICs including Vic 94

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Secret mission

In 1961 VIC 56 was selected to carry a jeep, sectioned hut and stores to the uninhabited island of South Rona in the inner Hebrides and did so successfuly - the first stage in establishing an acoustic signature monitoring station still critical to today's Royal Navy

Take a virtual tour of the VIC 56 in her new home at Boathouse 4!

Virtual tour

Watch videos of VIC 56 underway

VIC 56 to Stangate Creek

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