HMS Endeavour was the sailing ship of the seafarer and explorer James Cook, with whom he made his first voyage of discovery between 1768 and 1771. She was the seventh ship by that name in the British Navy.The British Navy bought the Collier Earl of Pembroke for 2,800 pounds for the Royal Society initiated expedition in April 1768 and renamed it HM Bark Endeavour (not to be confused with a 14-cannon war sloop (1763-1780) of the Royal Navy of the same name). The commander was Lieutenant James Cook, who had already proven himself as a navigator and cartographer. Cook already knew the vessels of this type from his time as a helmsman in merchant shipping in the North Sea. The Endeavour is often referred to as the “Bark”, which in its case refers not to the rigging, but to the construction of the hull (complete form with flat bottom). She was rigged as a full ship.
The Endeavour’s ship type designation has always led to confusion. Occasionally the ship is called the “Whitby Cat”, or in contemporary naval acts as “Katt-built vehicle” or even “Katt-built bark”. K. H. Marquardt explains this problem in his monograph on Endeavour. Kat and Bark are two different types of ships, and in his opinion the Endeavour was built like a bark. The name “Katt” probably stems from the fact that the ship originally had a light rigging, which was apparently called kart rigging. So the Endeavour was probably a cattled bark before it was rigged. This rigging of the Earl of Pembroke probably consisted of light pile masts with square sails. An indication of the simplicity of the old rigging, which was unsuitable for the expedition, is the low price for which the logs were sold by the Navy. After being purchased by the Navy, the Endeavour was turned into a full rigging. It then had two yards for the blind on the bowsprit, three headsails, three square sails each on jib mast and main mast (lower sail, topsail, topsail), the mizzen sail on the cross mast and a single square sail between the cross and cross marsrah, the cross marsail. A cross or bagien sail (lower sail on the cross mast) was not used. Between the masts, stay sails (three between jib and main mast, two between main mast and cross mast) could be placed, on the frames of jib and main mast still some canvas sails. The Endeavour could lead a total of nine square sails with the two blind people. The Endeavour was 368 grt tall, very fully built because of its original purpose as a coal ship and thus slow but with a shallow hull practical for expeditions to unknown waters, which allowed the ship to be stranded for repairs in need. The large hold held provisions and equipment for 18 months.