Exploring Notorious: A Real-life Pirate Ship
Updated: Aug 25
The Notorious is a full-size, sailing re-creation of a 15th century Portuguese Caravel. This exploration vessel from the Age of Discovery was single-handedly researched, designed and constructed by Australian, Graeme Wylie, over an 11 year period, with 9 of those years on the tools full-time. The Notorious is constructed from Monterey Cypress salvaged from the bonfires of south-west Victorian farms and was launched in 2011.
Her Lantern Rig, borrowed from the Arab Dhow, improves windward sailing and is more easily handled by a small crew. The Notorious is steered by an upright tiller extension called a Whipstaff as steering wheels had not been invented at that time. Caravels were used by European explorers to discover a route to plunder the riches of the East and were often favoured by pirates for their speed, agility and large holds.
The Notorious is Australia's earliest ship reconstruction and she is the only sailing Caravel in the Southern Hemisphere. To see where she's sailing next and when she'll be open for inspection, follow Notorious on Facebook.
Visiting the Notorious is a must for any historians, boating enthusiasts, shipwrights, woodworkers and wannabe pirates alike!
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