Digital Library

Fuxa Shipwreck (c. 1610)

Filipe Castro


Country: Cuba

Place: N

Coordinates (approximate): Lat. ; Long.

Type: Unknown

Identified: No

Dated: Circa .


Found at los Colorados, Cuba, in 1989 and excavated by CARISUB in the early 1990s, it was thought to be the Nuestra Señora del Rosario lost in Cuba in 1590, but coins dating from the early 17th century have placed this wreck circa 1610.

Description of the site

A large portion of the hull was preserved, containing portions of the keel, keelson, sternpost and knee, maststep, frames, planking and ceiling. One unidentified piece can be part of the bow structure.

Hull Remains

There is no complete plan of the hull.  It looks like 6 floors have been preserved before the master frame and all the structure abaft.  Of this structure it is possible to see 15 floors sitting of the keel and space enough to fit more than another 10 over the deadwood that sits over the keel immediately abaft the 15th floor.

Its hull was raised and preserved with sugar, but its conservation was abandoned after the implementation of new policies in Cuba, allowing for treasure hunting.  The timbers were eventually thrown away and abandoned in a garbage dump.


Keel poorly preserved, is 25 cm sided and 25 to 30 cm molded.  It bears no rabbets.  There is no information on its scarves.

Keelson preserved along 4.3 m, sided 28 cm, molded 25 cm, notched over the frames, fastened with horizontal flat scarves, shows stanchion holes.  Its upper edges were smoothed.

Maststep is an expanded portion of the keelson, 1.70m long, sided 45cm, molded 40cm, sitting over 4 frames.  Its mortise is 60cm long, 20cm wide, and 14cm deep.  Is supported by 4 buttresses on each side.

Sternpost preserved along 1.30m, sided 25 cm, molded 32 cm. No scarves preserved. No information on the rabbets.  It rakes 70º.  An inner sternpost was preserved over 1.73 m, sided 21 cm, molded 23 cm, and showing a hook on the face in contact to the sternpost. Another timber is represented on the drawings, lodged between the inner sternpost and the stern knee.


Looks like a total of 23 frames or positions are represented on the plan.  Floors amidships are very flat.  Dimensions for 5 floors are given: 3.90-4.40 m wide, 16-26 cm sided, 18-26 cm molded.  Room-and-space 35-45 cm.

It seems that all frames had dovetail joints, the mortise on the floor, wide sides up. The master frame has dovetail scarves on both sides.

It is not clear how many floors sit on the keel abaft frame 15.  Closer to the stern the floors and Y-frames sit on a deadwood notched for that purpose.

Before and abaft the maststep were placed 2 riders, notched over the keelson and stringers.


Twenty-nine planks were preserved, 5 cm thick and 20-40 cm wide.  The garboards were 6 cm thick.

Ceiling, thick stuff and wales

Forty-one planks were preserved, 3 cm thick and 20-40 cm wide.


Floors/futtocks: 2 treenails w/ diam. of 3 cm, one on each side of the dovetail scarf; planks/frames: sq. iron nails 1cm sided, 3 on each frame, spaced 8-12cm; stringers/frames: sq. iron nails, 2cm sided;  buttresses/frames: sq. iron nails 1-2cm sided, 5 in each buttress;


Plank 215 showed remains of lead sheathing. The description suggests that the planks in the stern section seem to have been entirely lined with lead sheets.


No information available

Size and scantlings

This ship is thought to have been 25.713 m (45 codos) long overall, with a beam of 8.571 m (15 codos), a depth in hold of 4.285 m (7.5 codos), alength of keel of 17.11 m (30 codos), and a capacity of around 300,58 toneladas (after Veitia and Palacio).

Sided (cm) Molded (cm)
Keel 25 25-30
Floors 16-26 18-26
Futtocks ? ?
Room-and-space 35-45
Planking 20-40 5-6
Ceiling 20-40 3


Most timbers – frames, keelson, maststep, and footwales – were made of oak wood (Quercus pubescens).  However, several other woods were found on this ship, mostly American, on the rigging, capstain and ornamented gradings.


Perez, Alessandro Lopez & Sanson, Cesar Alonso. La Nao Nuestra Senora del Rosario, Naufragio para la Historia, Ed. Dep. Arqueologia, Carisub, Cuba, 1992.

Perez, Alessandro Lopez & Sanson, Cesar Alonso. 1590: La Nao Nuestra Senora del Rosario, Estudio de su estructura, Ed. Dep. Arqueologia, Carisub, Cuba, 1993.