HMS Warrior

The World’s First Iron Hulled Warship

Ab-sailing workers reach new heights as they help make HMS Warrior 1860 a Mast-See!

Project Information

Visitors arriving in Portsmouth have been treated to some astonishing displays on the masts of the iconic HMS Warrior 1860. Maintenance workers have been abseiling across the masts and rigging as well as swinging through the water, to ensure the world’s first iron hulled warship was looking her best for her 150th anniversary.

ABFAD Ltd, first assisted the HMS Warrior Preservation Trust in 2006. They returned for 2010 (and 2014), for the coating refurbishment of the fore, main and mizzen masts, the fighting tops and upper platforms, two funnels, ventilation cowls, and vessel hull including propeller; with the use of rope access techniques and their patented Magnetic Positioning Aid.

Alan Fada – Company Director of ABFAD commented: “We are used to working at power stations, shipyards and industrial sites so to come here to Warrior is a pleasure and we truly look forward to it. Everyone on-board, the local people and the visitors to the ship have been so nice, asking the lads lots of questions and really very interested in what are doing. Working on board Warrior is an all round nice experience. The new lads, working here for the first time, have all said it is the best job they have ever done”

Whilst working on board the ship, they have captured some great photos of their unique view of the upper decks and the Historic Dockyard. They have also provided great amusement to visitors, dressed all in orange and swinging through the masts with ease they are not the sight that people expect to see when they look skyward!

HMS Warrior 1860 turned 150 years old on December 29th, 2010. The world’s first iron hulled warship, powered by steam and sail, was the ultimate deterrent, never firing a shot in anger. She was, quite simply, bigger, faster and more heavily armed than any other warship afloat.

See more at:


Work consisted of:

1. Coating and refurbishment of masts, yard arms, funnels, bowsprit and propeller.

2. Protecting original deck work whilst coating evolution was on going.