‘Real’ Pirates are Back
After a 160 year absence, Roatan is home to a Pirate Ship

September 1st, 2010
by Thomas Tomczyk


A sword fencing match

A sword fencing match

Bay Islands have not have a pirate ship docking since 1741 when the English military settlement in Port Royal put an end to Roatan’s pirate history that begun in 1500s.

Enter Czech entrepreneur, artist and (since 1999) Roatan resident Jiri Maska. Jiri has been thinking about pirates since he was a teenager. When he came to Roatan, he built a brewery, launched a naturally brewed Pilzner beer and then focused his energy on his childhood dream of captaining a pirate ship.

Jiri says that he has designed the Black Pearl himself “from pirate sketches” found at the Library of London. “It’s the exact replica of Henry Morgan’s 1645 boat,” Jiri says about his pirate ship.

The two mast brig is 27 meters long, 7 meters wide and displaces 200 tones. It is meant to accommodate 70 passengers and eight crew. Jiri assures everyone that the pirate ship was inspected and certified by the Roatan port captain.

The authenticity of the boat was increased by the casting, in Czech Republic, of six period-style cannons. Four of them are 14 pound and the other two are 16 pound cannons.

The boat’s ribs are made of Santa Maria wood. Honduran mountain pine was used for the boat’s siding. The ship’s bottom and deck was covered in fiberglass.

The construction of the boat took longer then Jiri expected, over four years in fact. The Black Pearl was built at la Ceiba shipyard, then moved to Oak Ridge for equipping. Now it is docked at Fantasy Island where it is destined for tourist shows. [/private]

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