Building Instruction MOCs

“The Pearl – 20th Anniversary” by Marooned Marin

Have ye heard tales of a three-masted galleon with a hull black as the night and sails to match? A vessel built for action and perhaps the fastest in the entire Caribbean; a ship so swift, not even the Flying Dutchman can outsail her!  If these whispers be familiar, yer no doubt heard the tales of the most infamous pirate ships to sail the seven seas; the Black Pearl.

Over the course of past two decades, we’ve gazed upon our fill of Pearls inside the LEGO Pirates community, from small and bulky to huge and stunning. The sheer number of design variations may send the average AFOL’s head spinning as they embark upon building yet another Black Pearl. Doubts and questions race through one’s mind; Has this been done before? Can I do it better? Do I have the skills? Do I even have the time? Should I create something new and original instead?

And yet despite (or perhaps in-spite) the odds, this daunting prospect failed to deter the intrepid Marooned Marin,  who prevailed with a Pearl that is both highly playable and visually stunning, complete with recognisable aesthetics from the very ship that inspired it.


The famous conversation

A memorable scene between Mullroy and Murtogg exchanging quips on the pier of Port Royal from Curse of the Black Pearl

Marooned Marin writes:

And so… I give you another Black Pearl MOC

The design was heavily based on the real Black Pearl from the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series, which premiered in the theatres back in 2003 and thus making the release of this MOC (in 2023) a 20th year anniversary celebration of the highly successful and worldwide beloved franchise.

In my defence, I never really wanted to do the Black Pearl, seeing as there is no shortage of Pearls inside Eurobricks forum and elsewhere, but I didn’t have a choice, they forced me to do it! But who could do such a horrible thing to a humble MOC designer? Well how about two persistent, annoying but all the while lovable nephews who just happen to be in love with the Pirates-theme?

Now to the images!

Inspiration for the Pearl

And what a wonderful anniversary celebration this is! One never tires from a good Black Pearl MOC, and this one certainly captures the magnificence of the original

The Pearl

Now let us take a closer a look at the build…

Front angled view at the Pearl

Marin took the 21322 Black Seas Barracuda design and expanded upon it to ensure the Pearl’s potential as a great play and display set. What, you didn’t notice the similarity?

Close up on the bow

Figurehead — marvelous idea and implementation into the rather sleek bow

Marooned Marin on board the Pearl

Marooned Marin aboard the Pearl – guess he’s not marooned anymore, huh?

Broadside view and the cannons

The Pearl is moderately armed and carries 22 brick-built cannons: 6 on the gun deck and 5 on the upper deck. Its broadside contains 11 round bricks cannonballs

Angled view of the stern

Like the original, she lacks chase guns on her bow or stern giving her a tactical disadvantage, while her high speed only partially negates this handicap

Eagle eye view of the Pearl

The parrot-eye view of ship – taken with one of those surveillance drones parrots

The Devil Davy Jones Is In Details

Now let’s explore the features…

The detachable decks

To provide us more playability, and ensure this be not a mere display model, the part of the upper deck and the quarterdeck can be removed and re-installed quickly and easily

The lower gun-deck

Hey is that Bo’Sun Will Cavendish!? What’s he doing here? This not is not the Classic LEGO Pirates theme!

The detachable quarterdeck

Here we have Blackbeard sharing his vast maritime knowledge with Jack Sparrow on how to win friends and diminish influence people – the pirate way

The Captain's cabin

The captain’s cabin appearance both inside and out is exactly how we hoped The LEGO Group would execute it back in 2011… but oh well — took more than a decade for someone to finally make it properly

Various close ups

Brick built anchors are constructed masterfully…  and exactly what need more of in larger builds instead of the common of LEGO anchor moulded piece

Various close ups

Simple and yet elegant staircases – just like the stairs you would wished the official set came with

Various close ups

The design of the lanterns is both lovely and sinister at the same time

Captain Jack Sparrow

Jack and his compass could be sailing your way in the future

“Wherever we want to go, we go. That’s what a ship is, you know. It’s not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails. That’s what a ship needs. But what a ship is…what the Black Pearl really is…is freedom.” – Captain Jack Sparrow

Specifications & Size Comparison

Following the practice of more meticulous MOC designers, the Pearl was first designed digitally in and later built and tested using 100% legal build techniques with real bricks.

If one allows himself to believe anything coming from a ‘pirate builder’, the finished model is supposedly sturdy, and can be carried around and played with… but don’t take this claim as gospel, for the ship is not indestructible!  I.e. it is sure to splinter into a thousand pieces after an unplanned drop test from World’s End table’s edge.

And while we are at it, the ship does not float, so no Krakens required to sink it – it will sink all by itself if put in open water.

  • Parts: 3,049 parts (does not include minifigures, ropes and sails)
  • Dimensions: W: 25.9cm / 10⅒’ – L: 71.2cm /28′ –  H: 55cm / 26½’
  • Weight: 2,216 grams / 4lbs 14.17oz
  • Difficulty: Moderate/hard build (tested on one 11 year old)
  • Durability: For display and light play
  • IMPORTANT: Model does not float
The Pearl versus TLG Black Pearl

Ah yes… the 4184 Black Pearl looks even worse resembles the original even less when pitted against a humble fan design with 2,200 extra parts

The Pearl and POBB comparison

Here we see how the Pearl compares to the 2020 version of the Blacks Seas Barracuda, both visually and in size.

The Pearl and Triton comparison

The Pearl matched against the Triton – these images evoke HUGE “Black Pearl vs Interceptor” vibes

Building Instructions

If you are anything like Jack Sparrow and would like to get your piratey hands upon the Pearl, you’re in luck! Marin has made building instructions available on ReBrickable.

If yer tight on gold, he’s offering a 25% discount which is expiring sooner rather than later. So don’t miss out!

Use Code


Expires Soon

Before we wrap this blog-post and head to the pub for a round of rum, we have one last treat for ye, a quick build animation video with some overly dramatic music.

About the Builder…

Marooned Marin is based in Dubrovnik, Croatia where he enjoys stunning coastal scenery and a lovely view of a fortress that was incorporated into a popular medieval TV show a while back.

If you’d like to keep up with his work, take a peak at his Instagram account where he regularly shares his impressive feats of writing, since he is a sparodic writer for On rare occasions you may stumble upon a progress image or two of the latest MOC he’s working on . But don’t get overexcited, because he regards himself as a-MOC-per-year type of AFOL, slow but thorough.

If you are interested in know-how, you can acquire building instructions for all his creations via his ReBrickable account and learn almost all his building tricks cheaply for a doubloon or two. If you rather enjoy the imagery, check out his Flickr account and be sure to click follow.

What Do Yer Think?

Is it a bold statement to consider this one of the best multi-purpose Black Pearl design to date? Do yer have another one in mind? Pray tell which one? Do you think battered sails would go better, or do yer prefer current washed-up sails? Would you trade your 4184 Pearl for this one?

Set sail for the LEGO Pirates Forum and pester Marin tell us what you think. We await you!



In Forum
21322 Pirates of Barracuda Bay LEGO set

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