Duyfken nearly ready for Hartog voyage


After ten weeks of toil, all the major renovation and maintenance tasks to prepare Duyfken for her voyage to Shark Bay, and Dirk Hartog Island are nearly done.

This has been a massive undertaking, the first major renovation of the ship since it hit the water back in 1999.

The list was long and included the complete replacement of the old deck with new Oregon timbers sourced from the forests of the United States. Our team of shipwrights, most of whom had helped build Duyfken back in the late 90’s, used many of the traditional timber skills of 400 years ago to complete the task. Oakum was laid between each of the new deck planks, with heated black pitch then poured over the seams to make the deck water tight.

The success of this deck replacement project has been important in extending the life of Duyfken for at least another 30 years, that will make her 46, and she will have lived 34 years longer than the original which came to grief after a 12-year life back in the early 1600s.

Not content with just a makeover of the deck, a hardy team of volunteers set to work in chipping back the old anti-fouling paint in preparation for a refreshing facial of new paint. This is an arduous task, its all done with paint scraper in hand and plenty of elbow grease… and the consequent sweat equity.

With 200 square metres of hull to scrape back, the team of 12 set about their task and had the job done in two days. Being a volunteer as part of the Duyfken crew is viewed by all as a most rewarding experience as each ‘vollie’ puts a little bit of themselves into the upkeep of this magnificent sailing ship that represents so much of significance in the early European engagement with Australia back in the 1600s.

Over coming weeks, the crew that have nominated to be part of this year’s Duyfken 2016 Hartog Commemorative Voyage will hit the water for a series of sea trials and sail training sessions in preparation for the voyage from Fremantle to Shark Bay.

Then on 20 August, 2016 Duyfken will depart from Fremantle Harbour bound for Bunbury, the first of seven ports of call where she will open on exhibition for school groups and members of the local community. Aside from Bunbury, Duyfken will visit Mandurah, Hillarys, Jurien Bay, Dongara, Geraldton, and Denham.

Tickets for the Duyfken/Hartog Community Exhibition are on sale now for all ports at www.ticketek.com.au.

This is one exhibition you and your friends will not want to miss.

Duyfken in dry dock