De Halve Maen (The Half Moon) was the name of the ship in which Henry Hudson charted the river that now bears his name. It was an 85-foot, square-rigged, three-masted wooden sailing vessel, which carried a crew of 15 to 20 men. It was classified as a yacht; from this Dutch word comes our English word for a pleasure boat.
It was built in 1608 - and then again in 1989. That is, a replica of the Half Moon was built in that year. Today, the new Half Moon plies the Hudson River and points up and down the east coast of the United States. Every September, the ship retraces the course of the original as it ventures from New York Harbor north approximately 150 miles to Albany, where Captain Hudson, realizing that this was not a route through the continent to the Orient, turned her around. The New Half Moon is a working museum of Dutch culture. It offers a sea cadet program, training young people in the art of sailing a square-rigged ship.