STS Leeuwin II is Western Australia's own Tall Ship, a 3-masted barquentine with over 810 square metres of sail and an overall length of 55 metres. Launched in 1986, STS Leeuwin II is Australia's largest sail training tall ship.
Sail Training Tall Ship Leeuwin II
- Specification: Three masted barquentine, 1850’s style rig
- Launched: 2 August 1986
- Construction: Steel hull, teak deck
- Length overall: 55 metres
- Length on deck: 40 metres
- Beam: 9 metres
- Draught depth: 3.4 metres
- Height of the main mast: 33 metres
- Displacement: 344 tonnes
- Sails: 16 sails, over 810 square metres of fabric
- Accommodation: 15 crew and 40 trainees
- Designer: Len Randell A.R.I.N.A
- Builder: Transfield (ASI) Pty Ltd, Henderson WA
- Survey: 1B, 1C, 1D
- Safety System: Australian Maritime Safety Authority ISM Certification
The original Leeuwin (Dutch for "Lioness") Galleon was a Dutch ship that discovered and mapped some of the southwest corner of Australia in March 1622, only the seventh European ship to sight the continent.
The Leeuwin Galleon's logbook has never been recovered, so unfortunately very little is known about the voyage, including the name of the Captain. Interestingly, Dutch East India Company letters indicate that the Leeuwin’s voyage from Texel in the Netherlands to Batavia (now Jakarta) took more than a year, whereas other vessels made the same voyage in less than four months. This suggests that poor navigation may have been responsible for the Leeuwin’s appearance at Australia’s coast.
The south-west corner of Australia has historically been referred to by the Dutch as 't Landt van de Leeuwin ("The Land of the Lioness") which was later shortened to "Leeuwin's Land" by the English. In addition to STS Leeuwin II, the name Leeuwin still survives in the name of Cape Leeuwin, the most south-westerly point of the Australian mainland, so named by Matthew Flinders in December 1801.