Australian Naval Amateur Radio Society



STS Young Endeavour



Young Endeavour left England on 3 August 1987 on her 21,000km maiden voyage to Australia to be presented to the Australian people on 26 January 1988 as a 200th birthday gift from Great Britain. Seven thousand young Australians applied to be part of the crew for this historic voyage but only 12 were selected. The other twelve were young British volunteers. All told, twelve male and twelve female young people undertook the three month voyage to the Antipodes under the command of Captain Chris Blake, one of the few English masters to hold a masters ticket for square rigged vessels.

Long before she set sail, Young Endeavour had become symbolic of the two centuries of Australia’s and Britain’s entwined history. The $3.7 million barquentine started life in May 1986 in Lowestoft, Suffolk, where she was built by Brooke Yachts - she was originally planned as a schooner but was specially modified for the bicentennial journey. Her designer, Colin Moodie of Britain, is one of the world’s most experienced yacht designers. The man behind the project was Arthur Weller, Chairman of the Britain-Australia Bicentennial Schooner Trust, a body set up to design, build, raise funds for and deliver the vessel. Half the cost was provided by the British Government and half by the people of Britain.

Young Endeavour is 44 meters long and is capable of 14 knots under full sail. Twin- masted with nine sails rigged fore and aft, she has square sails on her foremast. The masts are more than 30 meters high and under them lie a gold British sovereign and an Australian dollar coin in keeping with sailing tradition. The hull, painted “Britannia Blue”, is steel. The main deck is teak and the transom and nameplate depict wild flowers of each State as well as the United Kingdom’s national flowers.

She resembles a 19th century sailing ship and conjures up images of that transportation era but she has many hidden extras. Two diesel engines for port manoeuvrability, a watch and chartroom fitted with complex instruments including GMDSS facilities and a state of the art radio room. Adry store, deep freezers and four water tanks all sit below decks along with a reverse osmosis plant. There is also a small laboratory area for oceanographic experiments, a donated library of 1,00 books and films. There is a twelve berth cabin for the male crew members and two six berth cabins for the girls. Most importantly, there is a mess for the 24 volunteers and a galley. The six Royal Australian Navy crew, Including the skipper use the same galley, but eat in the wardroom locally referred to as the cafe bar.

On 2 June 1987 in the port town of Lowestoft, Suffolk, the Duchess of Kent officially named the vessel and early in July she was a special salutation for Her Majesty the Queen. When the vessel left Cowes on the Isle of Wight on her maiden voyage, she was given a 21 gun salute in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Philip.

Young Endeavour is a unique and special vessel and the Australian Naval Amateur Radio Society is Proud to have been granted permission to feature this very beautiful Tall Ship on its Award Certificate and QSL card.

The Society’s web site has more photographs of the vessel as well as information about the Society. Some of the following photos were taken by Kevin VK2CE during a visit on board in February 1999.
Click on the photos for an enlargement.  

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Young Endeavour
entering Coffs
Harbour 1998

Trainees mess and

Lt.Cmdr Neil
Galletley relaxing in
the RAN mess.

The ship's galley.

Trying out the helm.

The Young Endeavour Youth Scheme can be contacted at:-

PO Box 399,
Potts Point. NSW 2011

Their web site is:-

Telephone: 1800 267 909
Fax: 02 368 0183


This web site is maintained by Kevin [email protected]