Replica ship made in Spain headed to St. Augustine

Posted: 08/07/2011 in all marine news

Sheldon Gardner – 

In a boat yard in Malaga, Spain, workers are piecing together wooden ribs and other brigantine parts to produce a replica of the Galveztown, a sailing vessel that was important a couple centuries back to St. Augustine and the American Revolution.

“They are well on the way to getting that started,” said Kathy Fleming, executive director of the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum.

The Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program is a sponsor of the project.

“We’re looking for a little bit of support to get that rolling,” she said.

But the project has been revised.

Several months ago, the naval architect working on the Galveztown found historical documentation that changed the plan, said Samuel Turner, director of archaeology at the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program.

The vessel that workers had been building was too large, Turner said.

The replica was designed to be 68 feet on deck, but the real brig was actually 53 feet on deck.

Turner said starting over was a “blessing in disguise” because it brought down the building time and the cost of the project.

The exact cost is still undetermined.

Officials held a conference to restart the project about a week ago.

ship sails next year

After completion, the replica Galveztown should be sailing to St. Augustine next year, but official dates have not been firmed up yet, Fleming said.

The Galveztown replica will help people learn about Bernardo de Galvez, Spanish governor of Louisiana. He played a critical role in the American Revolution by, among other things, capturing Pensacola in 1781.

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