The building process

It took about two and a half years to build and rig the replica, from the laying of the keel on January 12, 1997 to the time of its first trial on July 10, 1999. Thousands of people contributed to the construction of the vessel. Experienced shipwrights headed by Australia's most acclaimed master shipwright, Bill Leonard, were supported by volunteer shipwrights. Volunteer guides showed people over the ship as she was being built, and the Friends of the Duyfken and the Duyfken 1606 Club represented the wider community and business supporters.

Stage 1

The curved stem that shaped the Duyfken’s bow was imported as a whole tree trunk and milled in Western Australia.

Stage 2

The keel was laid by by the then Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of Orange on 12th January 1997.

Stage 3

Planking of the keel commenced once the keel stem and stern post were erected.

Stage 4

Massive traditional wooden clamps were used to hold planks together as the keel was built up.

Stage 5

Planks were bent to shape with direct heat from a fire and then applied to  hull. Shaping was done by eye.

Stage 6

The shell of planks was held together with temporary cleats before frame timbers were fitted.

Stage 7

Meanwhile, hundreds of bent timbers were slabbed to make the hull’s strengthening frames.

Stage 8

After the framing timbers (floors) were fitted into the lower hull, the keelson was lowered on top of the floors to form a girder with the keel.

Stage 9

With the lower hull finished, the internal framing continued ahead of the upper hull planking.

Stage 10

More than 3,500 oak dowels were used to pin planks to the frames.

Stage 11

The main and upper deck were fitted as the planking progressed on the inside and outside of the hull.

Stage 12

All deck beams were racketed to the inside of the hull by huge timber knees, seen here being carved.

Stage 13

Construction began on main deck and gunwale.

Stage 14

Bilge pumps were made by hand from an Elm tree.

Stage 15

Carving for the ship’s stern was created.


Stage 16

After two years of construction, the Duyfken Replica’s shed ‘cocoon’ was removed.

Stage 17

Work continued on the hull for several weeks in preparation for the official launch.