With over 100,000 miles, a circumnavigation, and two more Atlantic crossings, the time has come for the 45-year-old Golden Hinde to undergo a major refit. Like all wooden ships, maintenance is vital. In early 2017, we commissioned a full survey to identify the key areas and our priorities. The marine surveyor confirmed what we always knew, that The Golden Hinde very solidly built, and concluded that she would last long into the future providing we adopt a rigorous routine of regular work. In March 2017, Toby Millinder joined us as head shipwright and slowly we have been building a team that will carry out the necessary work. In October, the rig underwent a thorough survey and in December electrical work was carried out.

The current refit is the first major overhaul since The Golden Hinde was launched in 1973. We anticipate the work will take about 2 years and cost around £650,000. The ship’s planking is iroko, a West African hardwood. Whilst the skeletal structure is English oak, the naval architect and Hinks the builders felt that iroko was the best substitute both in terms of durability and strength. For the refit, we sourced an 11 metre iroko log with a diameter of over 1.6 metres. This weighed over 12 tonnes and the sawmill have now cut it into planks to our specification prior to final drying.

The work list is long and varied, calling mainly on the shipwright and riggers skills. With Toby, we have a highly experienced and skilled leader, with a lifetime around wooden craft. We are also lucky to have a handful of “friends” of The Golden Hinde, many who sailed and worked on her over the past four decades. Some have gone on to turn their experience into their current living. These friends have a great affection and knowledge of the ship and will make important contributions to many of the decisions we will face.

Apart from our small full-time team and friends, we will also have the help of a growing team of volunteers. This adds an exciting dimension to the refit and brings together a group of people with diverse skills and enthusiasm to the project. If you are interested in volunteering to help with the refit, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..