||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (June 2008)|
Stern view at SAIL Amsterdam, 2010
|Owner:||Svenska Ostindiska Companiet AB|
|Port of registry:||Gothenburg|
|Builder:||Terra Nova shipyard, Gothenburg|
|Laid down:||11 June 1995|
|Launched:||6 June 2003|
|Sponsored by:||Queen Silvia|
|Christened:||3 September 2004|
|In service:||18 April 2005|
|Status:||in active service, as of 2013[update]|
|General characteristics |
|Length:||58 m (190 ft 3 in) (inc. bowsprit)
40.9 m (134 ft 2 in) o/a
40.55 m (133 ft 0 in) p/p
|Beam:||11 m (36 ft 1 in)|
|Draught:||4.95 m (16 ft 3 in)|
|Depth:||6.75 m (22 ft 2 in)|
|Installed power:||2 × 180 kW (241 hp) Volvo Penta 103 generators|
|Propulsion:||2 × 550 hp (410 kW) Volvo Penta diesel engines
36,000 l (9,500 US gal) of fuel
|Sail plan:||Full-rigged ship
Sail area: 1,964 m2 (21,140 sq ft)
|Crew:||80 (20 professional & 60 volunteers)|
|Armament:||10 × long guns|
Götheborg is a sailing replica of an 18th-century Swedish East Indiaman. It is the world's largest operational wooden sailing vessel. The original sank off Gothenburg, Sweden, on 12 September 1745 while approaching its home harbour after returning from her third voyage to China. All sailors survived, but the ship was lost. Construction of the replica started in 1995. The hull was launched in 2003, and the rig was fully tested for the first time in 2005. Much of the time was spent researching how to rebuild the replica.
The Swedish East India Company
The Swedish East India Company was established 14 June 1731, its purpose to trade in East Asia. The company followed the Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, French and English East India Companies. The company got a 15-year monopoly on the trade, and the goods exchanged were Swedish timber, tar, iron and copper against tea, porcelain and silk. The company was situated in Gothenburg.
The company existed for 82 years and its vessels made 132 expeditions with 38 different ships. Even though the company in the end went bankrupt it made an enormous profit in most of its years of operation and it has influenced Swedish history in several ways.
The Götheborg revived
When the wreckage of the vessel Götheborg was found in 1984, the idea emerged of making a replica of the vessel. The keel for the replica was laid on 11 June 1995. The vessel was built using traditional means, and is as close to the original as possible. One small change is that the height of the deck is 10 cm more, as today's seamen are taller than their ancestors.
While the exterior remains true to the original, the interior is highly modern. The ship has an electrical system, and propellers powered by diesel engines. The engines are however only intended for port navigation and in emergency situations. In reality they have been used also in unfavourable winds since there was a timetable for the China trip. Other enhancements include electronic navigation and communications equipment, modern crew facilities (kitchen, lavatories, washing machines, desalination equipment, ventilation, refrigerators), watertight bulkheads and fire protection (fire sprinkler systems, fire hydrants etc.). Most of this new technology is necessary to pass national and international safety regulations.
The vessel was launched 6 June 2003 with great festivities, and the Swedish Royal Family were represented. Ten tons of hemp ropes were used in rigging the vessel, together with some 1,000 blocks and 1,800 m² linen sail, all produced as in the 18th century. The first trial under sail began 18 April 2005.
The project has so far cost some 250 million SEK (almost $40 million), some 40% from public funds and the rest from sponsors.
When leaving the home port the ship could have over 130 crew members, this many because it was well known that sailors died in diseases or disappeared in storms. Even though it was a high risk job and difficult conditions, the company didn’t have problems recruiting sailors to this well-paid job. Many of the recruits were very young poor men, sons to farmers, seeing the opportunity to wealth. The replica has a crew of 80 sailors.
The voyage to Southeast Asia and China
After various tests and achieving its safety certificates from Det Norske Veritas, the vessel sailed for China in October 2005, as the original vessel did, but it did not follow the same route. The vessel berthed at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town, and then left for Hout Bay before continuing on its voyage. The voyage took some 18 months, and the crew of 80 were rotated during harbour stops. The vessel returned to Gothenburg 9 June 2007, welcomed by the president of China, Hu Jintao, who visited Sweden mainly for this reason, and by the King and Queen of Sweden, Carl Gustaf and Silvia. The ship was also welcomed by thousands of private boats, and a hundred thousand spectators on shore.
- Leg 1 – Gothenburg via Vigo to Cádiz – 2,400 nmi, ca 48 days
- Leg 2 – Cádiz to Recife – 3,100 nmi (5,700 km), ca 32 days
- Leg 3 – Recife to Cape Town – 4,200 nmi (7,800 km), ca 41 days
- Leg 4 – Cape Town via Port Elizabeth – 1,000 nmi (1,900 km), 11 days to Fremantle – 4,800 nmi (8,900 km), 49 days
- Leg 5 – Fremantle to Jakarta – 1,800 nmi (3,300 km), ca 24 days
- Leg 6 – Jakarta to Canton – 2,000 nmi (3,700 km), ca 20 days and Shanghai – 900 nmi (1,700 km), ca 12 days
- Leg 7 – Shanghai to Hong Kong – 900 nmi (1,700 km), ca 10 days and Singapore – 1,450 nmi (2,690 km), ca 21 days
- Leg 8 – Singapore to Chennai – ? nmi and Djibouti (city) – ? nmi
- Leg 9 – Djibouti via Suez Canal to Alexandria and Nice – ? nmi
- Leg 10 – Nice via Gibraltar to London – ? nmi
- Leg 11 – London to Gothenburg – ? nmi
The route to China followed approximately the 18th century original route (around the southern end of Africa), with the added detour to Australia (although in the 18th century, they usually avoided ports to avoid pirates). The journey home took the shortcut through the Suez Canal, which did not exist in the time of the original vessel.
Baltic Sea Tours
In 2008 "Götheborg" completed the first Baltic Sea Tour:
- Norrköping (22 May – 25 May)
- Stockholm (29 May – 6 June)
- Helsinki (8 June – 16 June)
- Tallinn (17 June – 22 June)
- Turku (24 June – 26 June)
- Nynäshamn (28 June – 1 July)
- Visby (4 July – 13 July)
- Norrtälje (15 July – 17 July)
- Gävle (18 July – 21 July)
- Sundsvall (23 July – 25 July)
- Örnsköldsvik (27 July – 29 July)
- Luleå (31 July – 3 August)
- Kalmar (15 August – 17 August)
- Karlskrona (22 August – 24 August)
- Ystad (29 August – 31 August)
- Marstrand (13 June – 14 June)
- Arendal (19 June – 21 June)
- Frederikshavn (26 June – 28 June)
- Sandefjord (1 July – 3 July)
- Stavern (4 July – 5 July)
- Ålesund (10 July – 12 July)
- Stavanger (15 July – 17 July)
- Farsund (19 July – 21 July)
- Halden (23 July – 25 July)
- Lysekil (27 July – 1 August)
- Halmstad (2 August – 3 August)
- Risør (6 August – 9 August)
- Göteborg (11 August – 7 September)
- Strömstad (9 September)
Summer Tour 2010
- Stockholm (14 June – 20 June)
- Frederikshavn (26 June – 28 June)
- Amsterdam (19 August – 23 August)
- Bremerhaven (25 August – 29 August)
- List of longest wooden ships
- French frigate Hermione, a replica of the 1779 Hermione which achieved fame by ferrying General Lafayette to the United States in 1780 to allow him to join the American side in the American Revolutionary War
- Kalmar Nyckel, a replica of the 17th century merchant ship that brought Swedes to "New Sweden", the first Swedish colony in America.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Götheborg.|
- "Welcome Aboard The Swedish Ship Götheborg". soic.se. 2013.
- "East Indiaman Götheborg III Project". soic.se. 2013.
- "Projekt Ostindiefararen Götheborg III". ostindiefararen.com. 2013. (Swedish)
- "Tracklog and latest position in Google Earth".