The Royal Navy has committed to funding the upkeep of HMS Victory - the warship on which Admiral Lord Nelson was killed at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
The ship is on display in dry dock in Portsmouth as a museum and is one of the area's main tourist attractions.
About £1.5m a year is spent by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on the maintenance of the vessel, the oldest commissioned warship in the world.
The MoD is about to put a 10-year contract for the work out to tender.
The Battle of Trafalgar reached its peak on 21 October 1805.