I've just checked a couple of things that were in what's left of my memory. Turner made a few changes to the composition of his painting to make it the gloomy masterpiece it is. The tow is going in the wrong direction (or the sun is setting in the east ). Ships going to the breakers would have had all their masts removed by the navy before being sold. And 2 tugs were used , not one.Don't think there's much doubt about it being intended as a commentary on the end of the age of sail and Turner's sadness. Look at the steam tug in full colour (by Turner's standard) . The Temeraire is a ghost already.
Temeraire would definitely had her sticks removed, prior to her being sold to scrap. She’d been a Prison Hulk, all her masts removed and the upper gun and Quarter decks roofed over.