Experience the joy of sailing on a traditionally built and rigged wooden sailing tall ship!
Our vessel (named Enterprize) operates her One Hour Sails from Williamstown.
If you're keen to help out, the crew are always happy to share the workload - just ask one of our friendly sailors if you can have a go - they might even take you for a climb up the rigging!
*Rigging climb at Master's discretion. Must be over 16, physically capable and wearing suitable footwear.
This experience is currently under maintenance and will begin operations in early 2022.
Enterprize is an all-timber, carvel planked, two masted, topsail schooner. She is single decked, square transomed, with crossing yards on her foremast.
She has been traditionally constructed using Australian and New Zealand grown timbers. The original Enterprize was built in Hobart in 1830 by William Harvey and William Pender as part of the early coastal trading fleets of southern Australia. At that time most bulk cargo was transported by sea. Enterprize carried cargo such as coal and, on one occasion, over 180 sheep.
In April 1835, Enterprize was purchased by John Pascoe Fawkner to search for a suitable place to found a new settlement in the Port Phillip District. Enterprize sailed from Launceston on 21st July 1835, but only travelled as far as George Town in northern Tasmania, where Fawkner was forced to remain by his creditors. Enterprize then departed George Town on 1st August 1835 under Captain Peter Hunter.
The Enterprize is a replica of the ship that brought the first white settlers to Melbourne in 1835 and is a member of the Maritime Museums of Victoria.
The Original Enterprize 1830-1845
On board was Captain John Lancey, Master Mariner (Fawkner’s representative); George Evans, builder; William Jackson and Robert Marr, carpenters; Evan Evans, servant to George Evans; and Pascoe Fawkner’s servants, Charles Wise, a ploughman; Thomas Morgan, general servant; James Gilbert, a blacksmith and Gilbert’s pregnant wife Mary.
Searching for a place to settle, the party looked first at Westernport and then at the eastern side of Port Phillip. They eventually found the Yarra River, and after warping (hauling on ropes attached to the river bank) the ship upstream, they moored the Enterprize alongside the river bank at the foot of the present day William Street. On Sunday August 30th the settlers disembarked and at once began to put up their tents, build their store and clear some land for growing vegetables. Permanent settlement at Melbourne had begun.
After this, Enterprize continued operating as a coastal trading vessel for a number of years. She eventually disappeared off the shipping register in 1847, having been wrecked on the bar of the Richmond River in northern New South Wales, with the loss of two lives.
The Replica Enterprize 1997-Present
The Replica Enterprize is held in trust for the people of Victoria by the Enterprize Ship Trust.
Construction: It was determined that the replica Enterprize would be as close to the original ship as possible. This was not easy, as there were no copies of the original plans. However, painstaking work by naval architects and shipwrights using information gathered from the few paintings and sketches of the original Enterprize and shipping registration details from the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England, resulted in the plans which were used for the project.
It was also determined that the replica would use the same materials that were used in the original ship where possible. This meant the sails would not be machine sewn from modern synthetic sailcloth, but hand sewn from flax cloth imported from Scotland. The standing and running rigging would not use modern materials of stainless steel wire and synthetic rope but natural hemp fibre, imported from Holland, protected with coatings of Stockholm tar.
Wooden boat building methods have not changed very much over the years and so craftsmen with traditional skills were acquired. Much of the timber used in the construction of Enterprize was recycled from a variety of sources.