Key Facts


Built in 2008 using traditional materials and construction techniques, Phoenicia is the only sailing replica of a Phoenician vessel anywhere in the world. Many academics and specialists researched and advised on the construction of the vessel, which is primarily based on the wreck of the Jules Verne 7 that was found in the Mediterranean and dated to around 600BC.

Ship Specifications


  • 50 tons
  • Length overall: 20m
  • Beam: 5.8m
  • Draft: 1.5m
  • Freeboard: 1.3m
  • Number of sails: 1
  • Mast: Height 15m
  • Rig: Square rig
  • Steering oars: 2
  • Yard:2 joined timbers 14m lg

Research, Design & Building Process

Research & Design


In 2004 the Phoenicia team, led by Philip Beale, undertook a research project studying the archaeological data of the Phoenician era.  Having researched the type of vessel which would have been used for such a voyage, a number of leading maritime archaeologists and historians were consulted to develop the design specification based on archaeological data from shipwrecks of this era. Shipwrecks found in the Mediterranean provided detail as to the likely dimensions and construction methods used within ships of this era.  Other artifacts such as coins and pottery have also been examined in a thorough investigation of Phoenician artifacts to ensure that the design and construction techniques for this replica vessel are as authentic as possible.

Professor Patrice Pomey assisted the research team by providing exclusive access to information on the Jules Verne 7 shipwreck, excavated off the coast of Marseille, which provided the primary source of information for the reconstruction.



Building the Ship


Khalid Hammoud, a renowned wooden shipbuilder, was selected from a number of candidates to manage the construction of the replica vessel in the ancient Phoenician city state of Arwad.  The Hammoud family has been building wooden vessels in Arwad for generations and is proud of their own Phoenician ancestry. Khalid worked with a small team of shipwrights with 5-10 people working on the ship at any one time.  The build process was assisted by regular visits from members of the design team. Khalid and his team used traditionally sourced materials (including Aleppo pine Mediterranean oaker walnut, Mediterranean pink pine, cypres pine, handmade olive wood tenons and iron nails) according to the design specification.  Information on the materials was sourced from shipwrecks.




The Ship Building Process


The ship build began in mid-November 2007 on Arwad Island when the keel of the Phoenicia was laid. Over a period of nine months the ship was successfully constructed ready for the expedition. Sea trails took place in August 2008 before Phoenicia set off. You can view the photographic documentation of the ship building in the expedition Photo Gallery.