Today’s Enterprize

Today’s Enterprize is held in trust for the people of Victoria by the Enterprize Ship Trust.


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.
It was determined that Today’s 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.


Her keel was laig in 1991 alongside the Polly Woodside, and construction was completed in 1997, when she was launched in Williamstown on August 30.

  • Her keel is a single piece of blue ironbark, fifteen inches by thirteen inches and forty-five feet long

  • Her stem, sternpost and deadwoods are 100-year-old ironbark wharf timbers, supplied by Nullabor timbers of Echuca

  • She is built on laminated bent ribs. The outer three laminations are New Zealand Kauri, salvaged from the staves of old brewing vats

  • The top lamination is celery top Pine, as is her deck planking

  • Her hull is planked in Jarrah below the waterline. This timber was once the floor joists of a wool store in Fremantle,WA. Above the waterline, her hull is planked in Huon Pine

  • Her floor timbers are Jarrah, salvaged from Station Pier, Melbourne

  • Her stringers and beamshelf are Kauri

  • Her bulwarks are Cyprus Pine from the Royal Melbourne Golf Course

  • Her masts are Californian Redwood Planted by Melbourne Water in the 1920’s as an experimental timber crop at Kinglake

  • Her spars and deck beams are Oregon

  • She is bronze and copper fastened


  • Length over deck 16.1m (53’) 
  • Length overall 27m (88’6”)
  • Beam 5.4m (18’4”) 
  • Draft 3m (10’) 
  • Height Mast to Deck 17.7m (58’) 
  • Height Mast to Waterline 19.1m (62’6”) 
  • Displacement 72 tonnes 
  • Sail Area 185 sq. metres (2000 sq ft) 
  • Engine Cummins 613 T Diesel 
  • Freeboard 1.4 metres (4’7”)