At anchor in Moorea
Sea Trials in the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand
HMAV Bounty is a faithful replica of the 18th century ship, built for the 1984 movie “Bounty” starring Mel Gibson(as Fletcher Christian) and Anthony Hopkins
(as Captain Bligh) at a cost of over $4,00,000. The original Bounty, scene of the now infamous mutiny near Tahiti in 1789, was burned at Pitcairn Island.
The new HMAV Bounty was launched on December 16, 1978 by Whangerei Engineering and Construction Limited in Whangerei, New Zealand.
Bounty is built out of steel, clad with a variety of timbers-New Zealand tanekaha for the decks, kauri for the ships boats, Purpleheart, elm and ash rigging fittings
and blocks, with a 1 1/2 ton cutwater at the stem, hewn out of solid Australian blue gum and New Zealand matai. In an effort to simulate the original Bounty's
copper sheathing, metal beading has been welded onto the hull giving the appearance of copper panels when painted with a copper tinted bottom paint. Laid end
to end Bounty’s halyards, sheets, braces, bunts, down hauls, clews and vangs would stretch over a phenomenal 11 1/2 miles. In strict accordance with their 18th
century sail plan. Bounty spreads 10,000 sq. ft of authentic Scottish flax canvas sails. The spritsail nestled under her 35 foot long bowsprit, and the loose footed
driver, the gaff rigged fore and aft sail on the mizzen mast, have both been retained. The new Bounty's 120 foot main, 114 foot fore, and 75 foot mizzen mast,
yards and gaff was fashioned from over 700 cubic feet of seasoned Douglas fir timber. To simulate motion when shooting sequences at quiet anchorages, Bounty
possesses two sets of tanks on either side of her hull and in her bow and stern. The controlled passage of water between these tanks by several large capacity
pumps produces an artificial heel or roll. Above decks all is 18th Century – Bligh would feel right at home scanning her decks and gazing upon her rigging.
Below decks is a different story. Everything is modern, with showers, air conditioning, washing machine and dryer, etc. All the “below decks” filming was done
in the studio.
While the Bounty is a compromise between practicality and authenticity, the practicality bit is cunningly tucked away out of sight. Inside her hull are twin 450
horsepower eight-cylinder Kelvin turbocharged diesel engines for increased maneuverability and getting to film locations on schedule, and an electric windlass to
handle the anchors and a water desalination system that supplies freshwater. The metal hull from the water line up is disguised with two layers of 1 1/2 inch
thick teak planks, each 8 inches wide. The first layer of planks is bolted on with stainless steel bolts stud-welded to the hull, and a second layer is fastened with
bronze screws. Then the planks are caulked in the traditional manner using oakum and cotton. The tanekaha deck is also traditionally caulked and then payed
The Kelvin diesels exhaust systems are fitted with special scrubbers to absorb carbon, leaving only hot and hopefully invisible gases to be exhausted. A
sophisticated valve system enables the exhaust from both engines to be discharged at the water line on which ever side of Bounty is not being filmed.
The electric windlass concealed below decks, is there for safety-to speed up letting go and recovering anchors, raising and lowering the ships boats, and helping to
send aloft other gear. But above decks, authenticity is the keynote, and Bounty’s anchors can also be handled by a replica of the 17 foot long hand powered palled
timber windlass. This windlass is eight sided and tapered toward the ends with several dozen square holes to take the hand spikes used to turn it just does was
done 200 years ago.
Being a special-purpose vessel tilt for the film industry, below decks. There are 2 90KW, generators, with more than enough power to supply an entire film
Launching 16 December 1978
Sea trials early 1979
Below Deck Views
|Yes, it is a steel hull
beneath that timber
|Over 600 English ash blocks
|Mizzen shroud carried away off
|Crossing the Line
18 July 1986
133° 37.00´ W