Bark Marques

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Career (Spain) Ensign of Spain
Name: Marques
Completed: 1917
In service: 1917-?, 1947-1971
Reclassified: Barquentine
Fate: Sold to Robin Cecil-Wright in 1971
Career (Civilian, United Kingdom) Ensign of the UK
Acquired: By Robin Cecil-Wright in 1971
Renamed: Bark Marques
Fate: Lost during Tall Ship Races on June 3, 1984 with 19 of 28 crew members
General characteristics
Class and type: Built as a polacca-rigged brig, re-rigged as a barque in 1977
Displacement: 300 Tons
Length: 120 ft (37 m)
Beam: 24.7 ft (7.5 m)
Complement: 28

The Marques was a British-registered barque that sank during the Tall Ships' Races in 1984.

The Marques was built in Valencia, Spain, in 1917, as a polacca-rigged brig. She was used to carry fruit from the Canary Islands to northern Europe. Damaged during World War II, she was repaired in 1947 and subsequently used in the Mediterranean. She was badly maintained and by 1971 she was in poor condition.

In 1971 Englishman Robin Cecil-Wright bought the Marques and had her extensively repaired and re-rigged in Southhampton, England. She saw use in movies, most notably Dracula, and in television shows such as the The Onedin Line and Poldark. In 1977 Mark Litchfield bought a one-half share in the ship. She was again re-rigged, this time as a barque, largely for her part in the BBC documentary on Charles Darwin as his ship, the HMS Beagle. At this time she was renamed the Bark Marques.

In 1983 she sailed from Bristol, England, to Antigua in the Caribbean for use in charter tours during the northern winter. In the summer of 1984 she sailed to San Juan, Puerto Rico to compete in the Cutty Sark Tall Ships' Races.

The Bark Marques won the first tall ships' race, from Puerto Rico to Bermuda. The ship left Hamilton on the second race, bound for Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 2 June 1984. On the night of 2 June the ship ran into a gale. In the early hours of 3 June she was hit by a sudden squall and a large wave, possible a rogue wave, and was knocked down onto her side. Although the ship had been converted to a sail training and charter cruise ship, she had retained the main cargo hatch from her days as a commercial vessel. When she was knocked down the main hatch was breached and water flooded into the interior of the ship. She sank in less than a minute, with the loss of 19 of her 28 crew members.