Tall Ship Enterprize
The Tall Ship Enterprize was at Geelong for the long weekend in March. So off we went for a ride on her. The Enterprize is fully made from timber and is carvel planked. She is a two-masted topsail schooner, with single decks, square transom and crossing yards on her foremast. She was traditionally constructed using Australian and New Zealand grown timbers. We set sail from the pier next to the yacht club on the Geelong water front.
Tall Ship Enterprize showing the foremast with topsail
We set sail and the crew hoisted the sails after motoring off from the jetty. There was not much wind so it was a bit hard to go about, and the wind was swinging around all over the place. There is a windlass up the bow which is quite interesting and shows the original was built before capstans became in vogue. The original ship was built in Hobart in 1830 and was used as a cargo ship for such things as coal and sheep. Its also interesting in that it has a tiller and not a wheel.
Tiller of tall ship Enterprize in operation
The topsail schooner Enterprize was made as a replica of the original tall ship built in Hobart. It was made as close as possible to the original ship as was possible. As there were no plans, research was done in sketches and paintings of the original Enterprize as well as shipping registration records in archive in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich England. In 1835, the Enterprize sailed from Launceston to Westernport Bay and then finally settled at the eastern side of Port Phillip Bay, warping to a spot that is near William Street in Melbourne. The Enterprize continued to work as a coastal trader for a few years after this until she was wrecked on the bar of the Richmond River in northern New South Wales.
Sails and rigging of tall ship Enterprize
The keel of the new Enterprize was laid in 1991 and the rest of the work was done at the old Ports and Harbour's yard at Williamstown, near Melbourne. The sails were hand sewn from flax cloth imported from Scotland. They were not made on a sewing machine. Likewise the standing and running rigging were made from natural fibre hemp, not modern synthetics, and coated with Stockholm tar. The work of building the new Enterprize took more than six years of hard work by a dedicated team of volunteers, and is now sailing the waters of Australia giving the general public a feel of what it was like to set sail in a tall ship under canvas.
Length over deck: 16.1m
Length overall: 27m
Height mask to deck: 17.7m
Height mast to waterline: 19.1m
Displacement: 60 tonnes
Sail Area: 2000 sq. ft.
Engine: Cummins 613 T Diesel