When the sun rises on Shellharbour Marina on Saturday morning, a tar black newcomer will have slipped in amongst the rows of gleaming white watercraft.
She is 'Notorious', currently en route to the Illawarra from Newcastle, straight out of the 15th century.
Well, sort of. The vessel, a caravel, is an all-timber, authentic re-creation of a Portugese ship from the 1480s.
It has become the almost full-time home of Victorians Felicite and Graeme Wylie, after Graeme spent more than nine years building it from scratch at the couple's property in Bushfield, near Warrnambool, using only reclaimed timber.
Mr Wylie spent two years before that fastidiously researching the vessels while suffering the effects of chronic fatigue.
With none of the ships still in existence, and no plans to refer to from the 1500s, he based the underwater shape off work done by European experts in the field.
By hand, he hammered in a staggering 3000 'tree nails" - rustic dowel - to hold the vessel's hull planking.
"I was pretty disabled for two years, and they were the years I did the research and the plans for Notorious," Mr Wylie, who describes himself as "unhindered by formal education" told the Mercury.
"Everything above the water is taken from period artwork.
"She's a very serious historical recreation, but as it turns out she looks like a pirate ship, so we've learned to go with that."
Mr Wylie said his replica was the only sailing caravel in the southern hemisphere.
The ship has visited more than 40 ports since its maiden voyage in January 2012 and turns heads wherever it goes.
Some who come to greet the ship at port (visitors can step aboard for $6 per adult and $4 for kids) dress in pirate costume for the occasion.
"I'm actually really surprised that she's had such broad appeal," Mr Wyle said.
"Little children see a terrifying pirate ship; their mothers see a beautiful work of art. The men see an incredible project."
"We get some varied and interesting and often amusing reactions from people. Just the other day someone said they saw us and thought that someone had put an artwork or statue in the middle of the water."
Lighter, nippier caravel ships revolutionised sea exploration in the 15th century, opening up the Atlantic coast of Africa to Portugese explorers.
They were the first European vessels with a transom - vertical reinforcement to the stern - with the steerboard taken to the rear of the ship. It had a versatile, easily managed sail arrangement and required only a small crew.
"They were fast, manoeuvrable and easily handled, which was much sought after by people who wanted to do piracy," Mr Wylie said.
"That included Portugese and Spanish explorers. They were the worst pirates to ever hit the high seas. They were terrible - incredibly cruel and tough."
Mr and Mrs Wylie spend 11 months of the year on board Notorious.
Conditions have meant the boat was unable to leave Newcastle until Thursday evening, meaning it will arrive in darkness the night of Friday, November 3.
When visitors aren't around, the Wylies reinstate some of the comforts of modern life to the vessel's interior and head for where they like to be - far from the shore.
"We went from a very isolated quite farm life to a life on the high seas," Mr Wylie said.
"It's always exciting. It's a boat - so anything can happen."
Notorious is at Shellharbour Marina November 4-5 and November 11-12, from 9am-3pm each day.
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