Just as deciding how to remove the lower mainmast of Victory safely was a matter for the finest calculation, so too was the actual business of lifting itself – because like all sailing ships’ masts, the great ship’s mast does not sit vertically in the ship – it’s slightly off that, raked back to optimize the performance of the vast sails it serves. So the mast had to be drawn out at precisely the right angle, a matter of small degree. When you remember that it weighs 25 tons, a mass of iron and wood which could not be stressed without risk of damage, that calculation became ever more critical. In her heyday Victory afloat would have been brought alongside a ‘sheer hulk’ decommissioned ship to draw her masts out of her. Now it was the task of a massive telescopic crane.