Marine art, figureheads of note





A ship often has an elaborate figure, usually carved from wood - and typically a maiden - attached to the bows or prow of the vessel to bring good luck to the crew on their voyages, act as an inspiration to the men on board and send a message to potential enemies of their resolve.


In the case of a powerful warship such as the Warrior, a maiden would not do. It had to be a classical soldier armed to the teeth, to send the message that this was a ship sailing the oceans to fight. The figurehead on the Warrior is massive; a superbly imposing mythological fighting man brandishing a sword, shield and trailing assortment of weapons, also resplendent with helmet adorned with feathers. Altogether, the sculpture conveys the message that England was trying to send to the world.


The carving is finished in white with gold detailing to add to the godlike statuesque qualities, which envelops almost completely the bows.


A stunning figurehead for the Solar Navigator has been designed to reflect both the traditional and modern aspects of our stated aims - now including artificially intelligent autonomous navigation, to complement the other robotic functions, such as energy harvesting.  Our artist accepts both private and corporate art commissions and may be contacted via this website by simply emailing our webmaster.



HMS Warrior's figurehead front on

Figure head of HMS Warrior - side on

Figurehead: HMS Warrior - head on

HMS Warrior's figure head, outstanding carved merman, white and gold


Warrior Preservation Trust 
HM Naval Base 
Hampshire, PO1 3QX 
United Kingdom 
Tel: (+44) 23 9277 8600 (International) 023 9277 8600 (UK) 
Fax: (+44) 23 9277 8601 (International) 023 9277 8601 (UK) 




     Norman Gaches sculpting the figurhead for HMS Warrior


Norman Gaches creating a masterpiece in his Isle of Wight workshop, from the laminated blocks of timber on the left, to the fine detailing on the right.



Obsolete within a decade of her launch, HMS Warrior was the first British iron hulled warships to be powered by steam. In her day, she was larger, better armored and more powerful than any other ship afloat.

By 1883 she had been removed from service and stripped of her masts and guns. In 1904 she was renamed Vernon III and was used to supply steam and electricity to the Navy's torpedo training school.

In 1924 she was renamed Oil Fuel Hulk C77 and used as a shipkeeper's home and floating oil dock at the Pembroke Dock in Wales.

Today Warrior is the only surviving example of the 45 ironhulls built between 1861 and 1877. The Warrior Preservation Trust took charge of Warrior in 1979 and has carried out a truly stunning restoration considering the near fatal tragedy befalling her, when she was accidentally set on fire.


Class: Warrior Class Sail & Steam 
Launched: 29 Dec 1860 
At: Thames Iron Works & Shipbuilding Company, London, England 
Commissioned: 1861

Length: 418 feet 
Beam: 58 feet 
Draft: 26 feet 
Displacement: 9,210 tons 
Maximum Speed: 13 knots under sail, 14.5 knots under steam 
Armament: 26 muzzle-loading 68 pounders, 10 breech-loading 110 pounders 
Complement: 705 men













Solar Navigator triple hull SWASH trimaran tank test model


The Solar Navigator - SWASSH (Small Waterplane Area Stabilized Single Hull) test model 2012

The latest Solarnavigator is a robot ship designed to be capable of an autonomous world navigation set for an attempt in 2015 if all goes according to schedule. The platform is also ideal for persistent monitoring 365 days year 24/7 - with data streamed back to your command HQ via satellite.





This website is copyright 1991- 2013 Electrick Publications. All rights reserved. The bird logo Bluebird Marine Systems Limited legend blue bird trademark logoand names Blueplanet Ecostar and Blue Max are trademarks .  The Blueplanet vehicle configuration is registered .  The name Solar Navigator is a registered trademark and the boat design is copyright,  All other trademarks hereby acknowledged.  Max Energy Limited is an educational charity working hard for world peaceContacts