Tall Ship Duyfken
The Duyfken tall ship was made over three years at the Western Australian Maritime Museum in Fremantle, Perth. It came to Newcastle this month and I went aboard to
have a look. It is a very small ship(24 meters or about 75 feet), and it amazes me that anyone would sail her half way around the world. All the rigging is original, being made from natural hemp and manila, and the sails are natural flax, hand sewn. The Duyfken has 3 masts, the mizzen mast,
the main mast and the foremast. The mainmast carries a mainsail or course, and a maintopsail.
The foremast carries the foresail or fore course and the fore topsail. Off the bowsprit there is the spritsail which hangs under the bowsprit on its own tiny little yardarm. The mizzenmast has only the mizzen sail. There seem to be no topgallant sails, or staysails.
The Fremantle shipwrights used ancient shipbuilding techniques as they would have done by the original Dutch builders. They only had 3 original sketches so i guess there was a lot of extrapolation going on. In the 17th Century the Dutch were the leading shipbuilders and sailors in Europe. The Duyfken was built plank first and the ribs of the ship were laid onto the keel after the hull planks were nailed together. The Duyfken does not have a wheel , they were not invented until the middle of the 17th Century. Instead the ship is steered with a whipstaff. From the rudder, there is a tiller and at the end of the tiller is a bearing and on this bearing is the whipstaff which points up into the top deck where it is steered by the con, the steersman, or the master. The Duyfken weighs about 110 tonnes unladen and 150 tonnes fully laden. The draft is 2.8 meters.
The original Duyfken was skippered by William Janszoon and had 20 crew on board. In 1606, she was the first European ship to put foot on Australian Soil at the Pennefather River, and had headed down from the Banda Islands in Indonesia to the western Edge of the Cape York Peninsula.
"With her authentic interior and majestic presence, Duyfken is a formidable reminder of our centuries' old relationship with the sea. She is a small yet impressive vessel of enormous strength - a time capsule from the distant past riding the waves to tell her unforgettable story today." - senator Campbell.
To Build a Ship: The Voc Replica Ship Duyfken - this book is amazing. It tells the story of how the Duyfken was built and about the voyage to the Banda Islands to retrace the original Duyfken's voyage to Cape Yorke.
Sent Forth a Dove: The Duyfken Discovers Australia, 1606 - this book tells of the original Duyfken voyage and includes background history of the Dutch East India Company (VOC).
Baudin & Flinders