The construction of “El Galeon”

Once the historical research had produced the expected data, the construction process could begin. A completely original and innovative technique was used in the making of the galleon: the hull and the decks were made using a new construction system with fibreglass and later, the whole structure, including the decks and the hull, was lined with wood. It was the first time this method was applied to ships of more than 500 ton meant for oceanic sailing.

The entire ship, except for the underwater body, was lined with wood boards and big pieces of wood of three different types: iroko wood, pine and beech. The masts were made of laminated pine wood, and the pulley blocks were made of oak and iroko wood.

After three years of research, six months developing the constructive project and sixteen months of construction of the replica, with the participation of 126 workers (carpenters, ingineers, historians, and so on), the galleon sailed off on the 30th of November 2009 from Punta Umbría (Huelva), where thousands of people had gathered, excited to see the launching.

From there, it was taken to the docks in Huelva. After three months of hard work, the masts and yards and the standing and running rigging were assembled. More than 3.288 metres of rope were used for the standing rigging. The lines were reinforced on the inside with steel cables and coated with tar. As for the running rigging, 4.803 metres of vegetable fibre rope were used.

The fitting of the masts was finished and the more than 900 sq. m. of sails – one lateen and six square sails – were fastened. Once the winches were placed, the anchors were fastened to their davits, and the helm, compass, bell, stern light and belaying pins were put in their respective places, the galleon was finally ready to set sail on February 2011.


Length overall: 49,40 m. (162 ft.)
Beam: 10,10 m. (33 ft.)
Depth: 6.07 m. (19 ft.)
Draught: 3,00 m. (9 ft.)
Weight: 589,00 Tn.


Mainmast with yards for the Mainsail and the Topsail (square sails)
Foremast with yards for the Foresail and the Fore-Topsail (square sails)
Mizzen with the Mizzen sail (lateen sail)
Bowsprit and vertical sprit topmast with yards for the lower spritsail and upper spritsail (square sails)


Main, Main-Topsail, Foresail, Fore-Topsail, Mizzen, Lower spritsail, Upper spritsail. Sail Area 965 m² 7


10.415 m. (34.169 ft.) diameters between 16 and 80 mm.


iroko or oak wood


10 cast iron cannons on each side with iroko wood undercarriage


2 cast iron admiralty anchors with wooden stocks (800 Kg each)