The Grand Turk was the original name of a three-masted sixth-rate frigate, that was designed to represent a generic Nelson age warship replica, with her design greatly inspired by HMS Blandford (1741). She was laid down in Marmaris, Turkey in 1996, primarily to provide a replica of a frigate, for the production of the ITV series adapted from the famous novels about Royal Navy officer Horatio Hornblower by Cecil Scott Forester. Nowadays the tall ship is used mainly in sailing events, for corporate or private charter, and for receptions in her spacious saloon or on her deck. The ship is currently based in Saint Malo Brittany and has been renamed Étoile du Roy ("King's Star).
While Étoile du Roy has a gundeck lined with 20 cast iron smooth-bore cannons, a frigate was neither large enough nor sufficiently well armed to fight in the line of battle. Her function would have been primarily to scout for the main fleet, attack enemy commerce, giving support where necessary, or carry messages.
The hull is made of iroko planking on a couples mahogany glued on barrotage is pine glulam. The overall length is 46.3 m waterline length of 29.6 m, the midship of 10.4 m and draft of 3.4 m. The rigging of three-masted square, giving a vertical clearance of 35.6 m, can deploy 800 square meters of canvas. The frigate has all the modern equipment, windlass and hydraulic winches; she has two diesel engines of 400 horsepower (Kelvin TAS8) which consumes 1850 liters / day to 900 rpm (speed 8.5 knots), a bow thruster Hydraulic 60 horses and no less than 4 generators (Ford 110, 80, 70 and 35 kVA).
The Grand Turk is familiar as a stand in for HMS Indefatigable in the TV series Hornblower, although the historical Indefatigable was a larger ship. She also served in the same TV series as the French ship Papillon. On 28 June 2005 she stood in for HMS Victory, Nelson's flagship at the International Fleet Review off Portsmouth (GB), commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.
The frigate was purchased by Bob Escoffier of the Étoile Marine Croisières, which already operates a number of traditional sailing ships: Étoile de France, Étoile Molène, Étoile Polaire, Naire Maove et' and the schooner-aviso Recouvrance in Brest (in partnership with its owner, the SOPAB). The final sale price was not disclosed.
After being moored in Whitby for over a decade, the Grand Turk sailed out of her home harbour for last time at 4:00am 16 March 2010 to her current location in France.
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