After seeing the blockbuster movie series “Pirates of the Caribbean”, Alexander Marchenko, a 38-year-old entrepreneur from the small Russian village of Cheryomushki decided to build his very own replica of the Black Pearl pirate ship.
Alexander Marchenko has traveled all over Russia, and is now convinced there is no land more beautiful than his native land of Krasnoyarsk and no people more friendly and welcoming than his fellow locals. Upon returning from his travels a few years ago, he decided to take advantage of the beautiful surroundings and build a hotel. He had noticed the other resorts and lodgings in the area all looked the same way, so he tried to come up with something special that would attract visitors. As luck would have it, the movie Pirates of the Caribbean was running at local cinemas, and as soon as Alexander saw Captain Jack Sparrow’s beautiful pirate ship, the Black Pearl, he instantly knew that’s what he wanted his unique hotel to look like. Although he didn’t have any ship building experience, he went online and downloaded photos and schematics of the famous ship to use as guides, and started working on it immediately. It’s been two years, and now, his own Black Pearl is starting to take shape on the Yenisei River.
Photo: Alexander Marchencko
The 21-meter-long vessel is made almost exclusively from locally-sourced pine and cedar wood, and its “captain” says he plans to add all the tiniest details of the original Black Pearl. But, just like the Hollywood ship, it doesn’t really float. Yes, unfortunately Marchenko and his pirate crew will forever be bound to a sturdy wooden pontoon, unable to pillage and wreak havoc along the Yenisei River. The ship’s maker says he was surprised to learn the original Black Pearl model actually had a heavy metal frame covered with chipboard sheets that made it useless in the water, but ultimately decided to make his replica un-sailable as well. A wooden ship sailing in the freezing river waters of Siberia just wasn’t a very good idea, so he decided to attach it to a military pontoon, for stability. Even if he won’t be able to take tourists on a tour in his Black Pearl, he plans to offer them a genuine Pirates of the Caribbean experience, by adding every little detail of the original ship. Alexander promises everything from the sail masts and rope ladders to the gun holes will be done according to the Pearl’s schematics.
Photo: CTV7 video caption
Right now, the Russian Jack Sparrow is working on the interior decorations, trying to copy them as closely as possible. He spends most of his time in the workshop, carving all the little designs by hand, while three guards protect the ship from vandals and thieves. So far, he has spent 3.5 million rubles ($115,000) building his dream from wood. Alexander hopes to finish work this summer, but it’s hard to estimate when the vessel will finally be complete. Regardless of what hurdles he’ll face moving on, he doesn’t plan on giving up until the Black Pearl of the Yenisei is finished. Judging by the attention his ship is getting in its current state, he is convinced that upon completion, tourists will flock to Cheryomushki to see his wooden wonder.