A Conversation for The Wreck of the Whaleship Essex

Owen's whaleboat

Post 1


Owen Chase’s story leaves out a lot about how his boat was rigged, where they slept, how they started a fire, how they went to the bathroom!, etc. Does anyone know where I can get the lithograph sketches drawn by the view of the boats rig? Is anyone planning a long open water sail in a boat like this? Has the BBC reenactment been shown yet?


“An ex-Royal New Zealand Montague Whaler is the unlikely star in a forthcoming BBC natural history documentary about the vast Pacific Ocean. The 28 foot boat will be used to part re-enact the harrowing story of the crewmen from the Whaleship Essex. Using lithograph sketches drawn by surviving crew-members, Jay Lawry of the NZ Maritime Restoration School designed the rig and Rick Johnson fashioned the sails from old canvas from the Tucker Thompson, a square-rigger based in the Bay of Islands. A bowsprit carrying a large headsail was fitted and two masts (a mainmast and foremast) were stepped rather than the usual single-masted arrangement on a Montague whaler. Thus her new rig comprised of a sprit mainsail, sprit foresail and flying jib, with the possibly of setting an inner jib also. The rudder was removed and replaced with a long steering-oar which was quite typical of the whaleboats of the era, giving them considerable maneuverability.”

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Owen's whaleboat

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