VIC 56

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. She has recently moved from Chatham, and is now in Portsmouth under the care of Boathouse 4.
 

VIC 56 in Sea Reach. Photo Alan Jenner.

VIC 56 in Sea Reach. Photo: Alan Jenner

 
For most of her working life, the VIC 56 was used in Rosyth naval base as an ammunition vessel. She was due to be disposed in September 1978, but was bought for preservation by J. H. Cleary.

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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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