Like her namesake, Elizabeth II is a square-rigged bark with three masts. She is 69 feet long and 17 feet wide and draws 8 feet of water. Her main topmast is 65 feet tall. Elizabeth II is rated by 16th-century standards as a 50-tunne ship. In those days, estimates of a ship’s tonnage were based on its capacity to carry tunnes, or 252-gallon barrels. Average tonnage for English merchant ships was 121 tunnes.
Elizabeth II is framed with treated yellow pine, with planking and decking made of juniper, also called Atlantic white cedar. The original ship would have been made mostly of English oak. While modern power tools and techniques were used in construction, hand tools such as the adze and ax were used in the final framing to give the ship an authentic appearance. The bright colors are similar to those shown in contemporary illustrations of the time.
Elizabeth II was launched on November 22, 1983, and was presented to the State of North Carolina as a Historic Site on July 13, 1984, during the ceremonies to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first English ships to the North Carolina Outer Banks.
By kjfitz @ 2005-08-14 22:33:47