Maritime Museum

Pembroke Dock once led the world in shipbuilding - it has been a sorry omission that we have not had a maritime museum here to tell the story.  
To right this wrong, the Society set up the Museum in August 2015 aiming to give an insight into shipbuilding, not only in Hancock’s yard but all along the Cleddau, with its associated trades and occupations. 

The setting is ideal: where better than a historic shipyard on Pembroke Dock’s waterfront with its own slipway and dry dock?

On a visit to the Museum you can expect a tour of the museum building which houses smaller craft, a wealth of nautical miscellanea, navigational instruments from times gone-by, working models, tools, photographs and model boats/ships and much more.

Outside in the 'Yard' your guide will show you the 2 main work-sheds, the historic Fishguard lifeboat restoration, the forge and the boat port where several other craft are stored. Children need supervision in the workshops and the yard, one feature of the yard is a Victorian tidal dock.

So what might you do / or find out about in the Museum?

  • How many ships were built in the Royal Dockyard? Were any of them famous?
  • Were any Royal Yachts built here?
  • Where is the reclaimed land in Pembroke Dock?
  • Can you tie a bowline?
  • Can you send a morse code message?
  • What is a fid?
  • How did you get across the Cleddau before the bridge was built?
  • How did sailors navigate before GPS?
The Museum has over 20 boats in its Collection, from coracles to cruisers, from luggers to lifeboats... 

Apart from all the boats, here's a small taste of what else you'll see in the Museum...

Carpentry Workshop

This working model of a workshop was made by Mike & Annette James & donated to the Museum. Come & see it in action. It's amazing!

Station Pointer

The Station Pointer is a brass navigational instrument which allows a ship's position to be determined without the use of a magnetic compass, and allows compass errors to be calculated. This is very important near the North Pole where magnetic compasses are dangerously unreliable. A similar instrument was used onboard the Discovery during the British Antarctic Expedition of 1901-4.
We have many more instruments for you to discover.

Steam Engine

This 'Double Reciprocating Compound Steam Engine' was manufactured by A.G. Mumford of Colchester in 1910, for the Admiralty.

Invented by James Watt in 1782, this type of steam engine made more efficient use of the steam by injecting it in two places instead of the more common one - hence the 'double'.  
In a simple steam engine, expansion of the steam takes place in only one cylinder, whereas in the compound engine there are two or more cylinders of increasing size for greater expansion of the steam and higher efficiency.

Radio Equipment

Phone a friend?
Or try your hand at Morse Code  
. . . _ _ _ . . .

Shipwright's Tools

You'll see a whole range of old craftsmen's tools.
On some days, you'll even see some old craftsmen in the boatyard!

Model Ships

See a varied array of models, including fishing vessels, steamships, schooners and sloops.
The Loyal Moderator A220 (shown on the lower left of photo) was used by the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service in the Bristol Channel. 
A crewman recalls: 
"I had many a trip in force 7 and 8 with the occasional 9. Though I missed out a trip down the Irish Sea in a gusting 10 (the ship survived but the crew almost didn’t). Heading into the seas they were fine and dry forward up to force 6. but they rolled a fair bit on a beam sea. I had been on the wheel a couple of times and had one hand on the wheel one hand on the voice pipe to the skippers cabin and my feet hanging in mid air."

The Museum achieved accreditation in 2023, meaning it complies with the nationally agreed standards that ensure all museums are sustainable, focused and trusted, inspiring the confidence of the public and funding and governing bodies.