Building The Replica Vessel

The replica Lady Nelson was never intended to be an exact replica of the original ship as modern safety regulations demand a range of additional specifications for commercial operation but every attempt was made to follow the original ship plans for the ships rigging as a twin masted Brig (2 masts, both with square rigged sails).

The building of the Lady Nelson replica commenced in 1986 at Ray Kemp's Woodbridge boat yard with the first cut made in the 50 ton log for the keel by the late Sir James Plimsoll, then Governor.

The ship was launched from the boat ramp at Woodbridge in 1988 - the year of the Australian Bi-Centenary.

She began her voyages soon afterwards, first as a sail training ship in the Derwent, and soon afterwards sailing her first long voyage to Westernport in Victoria.

The original versus the replica vessels: 

  Original Vessel Replica
Built: England 1798-9 Tasmania 1987-88
Tonnage: 61 Tons 60 Tons
Length: 52' 6" (16.15m) 16.7m
Beam: 17' 6" (5.38m) 5.4m
Armament: 6 guns (carronade) None
First Captain: Samuel Johns  
Crew: 12 6 - 10
Names of crew members: Henry Hamilton,
John Jeur, John Pawsey.
Engine: None Gardiner 118 HP
Keel and Frame:   Tasmanian Blue Gum
Planks and Deck:     Celery Top Pine



Drilling holes in the hull
Replica ready for launch (no masts yet)
bow sprit
replica build deck planking