HMS Bounty is a ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Supporting Actor, but No Star

It’s hard to say who’s the real pirate in this story, but as it recently came to my attention that the touring tall ship, the HMS Bounty II, is being touted as the Black Pearl in promotional material for its current stop in Newburgh, NY, I felt interested parties deserve a warning: the replica ship originally built for the Marlon Brando film Mutiny on the Bounty did sail in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies alright, but she never was, nor never shall be the Black Pearl.

The particular flyer in question specifically mentions the first film of the series when in fact, there was no actual Black Pearl ship for the first installment, which used a combination of floating stages and CG to create the phantom ship. A ship was built for use in the second, third and fourth installments, but it was built around the hull of the HMS Sunset and is currently in Hawaii where it’s being prepared to shoot Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides this Summer.

Although it could simply be chalked up to an uncorrected misunderstanding, there appears to be no goodwill on behalf of the HMS Bounty Organization to correct it. In fact, this isn’t the first time the HMS Bounty has been promoted as the Black Pearl. The ship’s official site is of little help in that it doesn’t outright make the claim, but does make a questionable assertion on the homepage in which it notes ‘in 1960, it was Marlon Brando as Fletcher Christian in Mutiny on the Bounty. Today, it is Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.’ However, if one had the patience to dig a whole lot deeper, one would also find the following on this page: ‘They had Bounty brought down to Bayou-La -Batre, Alabama, in the winter of 2005, to the same shipyard where the Black Pearl herself was built. The site was chosen both for its highly-skilled crews and sheer size. As Captain Walbridge observed, “They could do everything there, and on three ships at once.”‘

So for those wondering, yes, the HMS Bounty II was in POTC 2 & 3 but her credited role is that of the Edinburgh Trader, not the Black Pearl. On that same token, the Flying Dutchman is ‘alive and well’ and has its own permanent residence in Disney’s Castaway Cay where she can be viewed, but not boarded, by guests of the Disney Cruise Line.

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5 thoughts on “HMS Bounty is a ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Supporting Actor, but No Star

  1. The HMS Tall ship Bounty Organization cannot be responsible for information that is incorrectly reported time and time again. Many attempts have been made by those who love Bounty and the organization for the truth to be known. Is it not the responsibility of the media to get a few facts straight?

  2. I do agree. I didn't intend to suggest the organization is doing
    anything deliberate and the real onus is on whoever produced the flyer
    and is organizing the tours and we need to examine where any
    relationship between the ship and the movie first came into play. That
    said, I really do believe that the organization's homepage is
    misleading by saying the ship went from the hands of Marlon Brando to
    Johnny Depp. Brando was on the ship, Depp was not, so given the
    wording, I can see how someone would infer that the Bounty is the Black
    Pearl.

    In any case, this post is just to alert consumers of the facts
    regardless of who says what, so that they aren't duped by anyone into
    thinking they're paying for the Black Pearl experience.

  3. Sorry, but Johnny Depp WAS on Bounty and I have photos of him at the helm. :) The very dedicated and professional Executive Director, at the time, Margaret Ramsey, shared little bits of fun facts with me. Depp was quite taken with Bounty.

  4. Where do I begin??? Proudly….Bounty was the Edinburgh Trader ship in POC II and very briefly in the last 5 minutes of POC III as well. The Black Pearl misinformation was started overseas a few years ago, not here in the states and after a time of constant struggle by the Bounty Organization, it was finally corrected where it began. The Bounty would never purposely mislead the public about who they are. The ship and the Organization have no reason or need to falsely make claims. The HMS Bounty is history that you can see and feel. She has been a film star many times and will be again some day, but most importantly Bounty is a sail training vessel and one of the few wooden square-rigged tall ships that is still sailing in the world. The Navy and Coast Guard have worked this ship in the past for the experience and knowledge of a time long ago, which is also available to you. As far as Johnny Depp, he did not do any filming on the Bounty, BUT he did come aboard and visit for awhile, because of the great respect he had for his late friend, Mutiny on the Bounty star, Marlon Brando. He was thrilled with the ship. Even stars can be star struck! I gave deck tours for the Columbus ship The Nina a few years ago and last summer and so many kids and some adults asked the crew and myself if it was the Black Pearl! See how these things can get started? If the Nina was 75 ft. bigger, she would be more convincing as the Black Pearl than Bounty ever could be. The Bounty Organization is well aware of the local newspaper misprint and have already been active in getting it corrected.

  5. I would like to take this opportunity to go on the record as an official member of the HMS Bounty Organization that it was simply an error on Newburghs part in a rush effort to promote our appearance in no way was it an intentional on the wonderful people in Newburgh NY. As soon as it was brought to Bounty Organization's attention they were very apologetic for the error. This particular appearance in Newburgh NY was put together in a very short time frame. They graciously hosted and advertised our appearance for free and did not receive any proceeds from our appearance. As far as the Organization is concerned, in no way do we want to be misleading as to our involvement with the Pirates movies. Yes we were part of the Pirates 2 so it is no way a mislead on our part to promote the movie on our site. It simply states that we were in Mutiny on the Bounty with Marlon Brando AND Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man's Chest with Johnny Depp. We do not say Johnny Depp sailed the boat, just that we were part of that movie. But as another commenter pointed out, our first and foremost agenda is to sail the ship and show people how things were all those years ago and to try to preserve the art of square rigged sailing. We enjoy being part of any and all movies/documentaries and give credit where credit is due. It is flattering that such a small misprint has caused such a flutter, it just proves that Bounty has a huge following to which we are eternally grateful. Without those who love Bounty we would not be where we are today. My apologies for any confusion and misleading, as it was completely a misprint.
    Thanks for understanding.

    Tracie Simonin
    Acting Director
    HMS Bounty Organization, LLC

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