Ship ahoy! A new Black Pearl is under construction for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 2!

An article in the Mobile, Alabama Sunday Register announced that construction of Captain Jack Sparrow’s new Black Pearl was underway at Steiner Shipyard in the Alabama seaport of Bayou La Batre. As staff reporter Russ Henderson writes, “A 130-foot, floating piece of Walt Disney fantasy is being built in the heart of this working-class seafood town, a new Black Pearl pirate ship for the Pirates of the Caribbean sequel, set to be filmed this year and released in 2006.”

Zoners who watched the extras on the POTC DVD will recall that the original Black Pearl was not a complete ship; apparently, Captain Jack is getting a upgrade in his transportation for the sequel. The new Black Pearl will consist of a 130-foot wooden hull built over a working 96-foot steel utility boat. The steel boat comes equipped with a motor capable of doing 11 knots. “They’re saving time and money by building the wooden ship over a steel one,” observed boatbuilder Joey Rodriguez. “That way it doesn’t have to be watertight. The wooden hull can just be a prop.” Fans in the Alabama area may find it frustrating trying to get firsthand information, however. The Pearl is being built in a covered shed at the shipyard, and Henderson reports that “Disney representatives, for now, remain as secretive as guardians of unmarked treasure about the ship [. . .] .The project is visible to all who pass by on the street, but Russell Steiner, owner of the shipyard, and Disney officials said they can’t utter a word about it.”

Someone did, however, smuggle out word that the plans on the wall inside the shipyard list the name of the sequel as PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 2: DEAD MAN’S CHEST . . . . Thanks to neophyte for posting the article from the Mobile Sunday Register on the News & Views forum. You can read the whole article, called “Pirates of the Bayou,” HERE. We also thank Lightning Bolt for sharing her photographs of the Black Pearl’s temporary home at Steiner Shipyard.