In the 17th century, the original Golden Hinde which was kept at the Deptford dockyard rotted and was broken up, the best remaining timber was made into a chair presented to the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford. The ship that played a significant role in history was no more, but she was never forgotten and her 400th anniversary of arriving in America inspired two American gentlemen to give her life once again.

The current ship was designed by Californian naval architect Loring Christian Norgaard. He was commissioned by The Golden Hinde Limited of San Francisco, a company formed by Albert Elledge, President of a San Francisco tugboat and harbour-tour line, and by Art Baum, a publicist and Vice-President of San Francisco’s Convention and Visitors’ Bureau.

With a seafaring background and a lifelong interest in the history of sailing ships, Norgaard was the ideal candidate to research and prepare designs for the ship. The difficulty he faced was that no detailed record or design existed of Drake’s ship. He spent three years meticulously studying period manuscripts and historical evidence referring to the Golden Hinde and 16th century ships. The plan for the reconstruction was seen as a milestone in the history of naval architecture. Every element was carefully considered for authenticity even down to the small details such as the bottles of scented water Drake is known to have used.

The keel was laid in September 1971 at the Hinks’s shipyard by J. Hinks & Son in Appledore, Devon with a ceremony attended by people with connections to Drake. The Hinks, established in 1844, had experience of traditional and historical techniques of shipbuilding and this was to be their most ambitious project to date. All components were handcrafted using traditional techniques and materials from the 22 cannons to the furniture and the hinde figurehead. On 5 April 1973, The Golden Hinde was launched, the event was attended by the Countess of Devon amongst many other notable guests. Albert Elledge and Art Baum flew over from America to join the celebrations. Once launched The Golden Hinde was ready for fitting out. With her masts, rigging, and sails fitted and having undergone sea-trials, she was finally complete and ready for her first adventure in 1974.