The Elizabeth II

          The Elizabeth II Historic Site harbors a 69-foot, square rigged sailing vessel, representative of those that brought the first colonists to the New World in 1585. It is berthed at Manteo's quaint waterfront. Guided tours, a video program, "A Roanoke Voyage," and a visitor center are open year round.

The Elizabeth II

          "A 69-foot, square-rigged sailing vessel, representative of those that brought the first colonists to the New World in 1585, is berthed at Manteo's quaint waterfront. The Elizabeth II is a representation of a particular 16th century English merchant ship, Elizabeth, one of seven in Sir Walter Raleigh's 1585 expedition to establish England's first New World Colony. Living history interpreters engage guest with sea tales, legends and historical facts. The Elizabeth II's boat, the Silver Chalice, is 24 feet long and carries up to 15 crew members."

The Elizabeth II

          "A composite design of 16th-century ships, Elizabeth II is 69 feet long and 17 feet wide and draws eight feet of water. Her main top mast is 65 feet. A bark, or three masted vessel, Elizabeth II is rated by 16th-century standards as a 50-tunne ship."

Composite Design of a 16th Century Ship

1. "The forecastle is the section of the upper deck at the bow or front of the ship. The boatswain, who maintains the sails and rigging, stows his gear here.

2. The foremast is the forward mast and carries two square sails. The mainmast, in the center of the ship, is the tallest mast and carries both the large square sail called the main course and the smaller topsail.

3. The bowsprit is a spar extending forward diagonally from the bow of the ship. This holds a small square sail called the spritsail.

4. The beakhead is the projecting structure at the bow used to facilitate handling of the spritsail.

5. The billage is the lowest inner part of the ship's hull. It serves as a collecting space for excess water.

6. The billage pumps are log pipes used to transfer water collecting in the billage to the main deck of the ship, where it is carried overboard.

7. The hold is the cargo space where most of the goods, tools and supplies, including the ship's food stores, are kept.

8. Water casks are wooden barrels which hold fresh water. Acquisition of fresh water is often a problem on long voyages.

9. The capstan, an upright, round winch used for heavy lifting, is fitted with holes where bars can be inserted. Mariners push the bars to raise yards, weigh anchor or shift cargo.

10. The bittacle is a wooden cabinet located in the helm which houses the compass and other navigational instruments.

11. The whipstaff, tiller and rudder aid in steering the ship. The whipstaff is a long vertical pole located in the helm. The steers man moves the whipstaff, which is attached to the tiller, to change the direction of the ship. Perpendicular to the whipstaff, the tiller is used to turn the rudder, the larger wooden timber mounted onto the stern.

12. The powder room is a storeroom for ammunition. Cannon are carried to defend the ship from attackers.

13. The mizzen, or aftermost mast, carriers a lateen or fore and aft rigged, triangular sail.

14. The sterncastle is the super-structure located at the stern of the ship. The captain's cabin, the only private one, is here.

15. The quarterdeck is the deck above the stern castle. Navigational sights were taken here to determine position. The quarterdeck commands the best view."


Roanoke Island Festival Park
One Festival Park
Manteo, NC 27954

The Elizabeth II Gallery

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