Work to stop the iron hull of an historic steamship corroding beyond repair was due to begin on Tuesday.
The Victorian ship was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel
The first panel of a horizontal glass plate, which is designed to protect the hull of the SS Great Britain, will be put in place.
When all 170 laminated glass sections are secure, a thin layer of water on the glass plate will give visitors the impression that the ship is afloat.
Work on the £11m conservation project in Bristol should be ended by summer.
In October 2004, the Brunel-designed vessel received £362,809 of added funding to help with conservation.
The Victorian ship is maintained by the Great Britain Trust.
The trust is trying to raise a further £600,000 to fund a museum and for further restoration and conservation.