The cargo ship Kyrenia
In 1967 the wreck of a 4th century BC Greek cargo ship was recovered off Kyrenia, Cyprus. The ship was still 75% preserved. It was 14.75 m long, 4.4 m wide and probably had a crew of four. It had probably been sailing as a cargo ship for 15-25 years when it was built around 300 BC. BC before Kyrenia sank. The ship sailed with a single square sail. The good condition of the planks allowed a study of the construction. The ship was built using the “skin first” method, unlike today’s method of framing and then planking. The planks were joined together with full tenons, and then suitable frames were used.
There are many reports on the web about the discovery and salvage of the wreck, such as this one on Wikipedia about the Kyrenia .
The first replica, the Kyrenia II, was built according to the ancient design in the early 1980s. He sailed from Piraeus to Cyprus in 1986. There is an informative film about the salvage of the wreck, the replica and the voyage .
In the spring of 1987, the Kyrenia II sailed over 800 nm back from Cyprus to Piraeus. On the tour she had to weather three storms with up to 10 Beaufort and reached speeds of 12 knots. She proved absolutely seaworthy, and 12 knots of speed was something no one had previously thought possible on ancient ships propelled by a single square sail.
The sail was set at the yard and taken down using multiple lines without lowering the yard or climbing the rigging. There is an interesting short video of the examination of the handling characteristics of a third replica of the ship.
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