85 L x 28 W x 78 H (cm)
The pirate ship was a place to eat, sleep, fight, and attack other ships, enabling the inhabitants to become rich from stolen goods. Once loot or booty, as it is often called, was secured the ship provided a storage place and a method of escape. No ship was originally built for the exclusive use of pirates, so they were often altered to carry more weapons or in some way make pirating easier. Ships were acquired by pirates through force or by mutiny…
The France II was launched at Bordeaux in 1911 for the New Caledonia nickel ore trade to Europe. Although not the last commercial square-rigged sailing vessel to be built, the France represents the apogee of merchant sail and her great size and powerful performance can be seen as a culmination of technological developments from the second half of the 19th century which gave such impetus to the evolution of the square-rigger over that time. France II measured 5,633 tons gross on a length of 419 feet. Her beam was 56 feet and her depth 25 feet.
Armed with two canons, France II surmounted all odds during World War I by regularly skirting the three symbolic Capes: Cape Horn, the Cape of Good Hope, and Cape Leeuwin.
On a calm sea on July 11 1922, the great ship ran aground at the Ouano reefs in New Caledonia. She would remain a familiar silhouette for the next 20 years to those passionate about the sea. In 1944 American bombers destroyed the wreck signaling the death of the greatest tall ship ever built. (164196-3)
In the late 1920s, the Japanese Ministry of Transport ordered the four-masted barks Nippon Maru and Kaiwo Maru for the Kokai-Kunrensho (Institute for Nautical Training), which already operated the four-masted bark Taisei Maru and the four-masted barkentine Shintoku Maru. Their work for the merchant marine is reflected in their names. Maru, which signifies wholeness or unity, is an almost universal suffix for Japanese merchant-ship names. Nippon means Japan, and Kaiwo is the mythological king of the seas, equivalent to Neptune or Poseidon. Commissioned in 1930 and 1931, respectively, the barks were described by Harold Underhill as “imposing rather than beautiful.” Their very high freeboards reflected a desire to maximize the amount of natural light admitted to the crew spaces below decks, while their comparatively shorter yards and smaller sails were designed to accommodate the relatively small stature of the average Japanese before World War II.
Before World War II, the ships’ training voyages carried them throughout the Pacific, and Nippon Maru made four voyages to the United States, five to Hawaii and seven elsewhere in the Pacific. During World War II her yards were sent down and she was used as a motor-training vessel in the Home Islands. Repatriating Japanese soldiers and civilians after the war, she was rerigged in 1952 and resumed training, making her first cruise to the United States in 1954, and her first to the East Coast in 1960. Both Nippon Maru and Kaiwo Maru remained active training ships until the 1980s, when they were replaced by new ships with the same names.