Søren Larsen (ship)

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Søren Larsen
Søren Larsen (ship) - Crossing "The Line".jpg
NamesakeNamed after the builder and designer Søren Larsen.
BuilderSøren Larsen & Sons
In service1949
General characteristics as brigantine
Length42.7 metres (140 ft)
Beam7.8 metres (26 ft)
Height30.5 metres (100 ft) mast height
Draught3.2 metres (10 ft)
PropulsionB&W Alpha auxiliary diesel engine, 240 horsepower (180 kW), 7 knots (13 km/h; 8.1 mph)
Sail planBrigantine, 627 square metres (6,750 sq ft) sail area

The tallship Søren Larsen is a brigantine built in 1949 in Nykøbing Mors, Denmark. Her current homeport is Sydney, Australia.

Design and construction[edit]

The vessel was constructed by Søren Larsen and Sons at their shipyard in Nykøbing Mors.[1] She is 42.7 metres (140 ft) in length overall, with a beam of 7.8 metres (26 ft), and a draught of 3.2 metres (10 ft).[2] The hull was carvel-built primarily from oak and beech.[1] She was originally galeas-rigged, with an auxiliary engine.[1] The 240 horsepower (180 kW) B&W Alpha diesel could propel the ship at 7 knots (13 km/h; 8.1 mph).[2] The ship's single hold was accessible through three hatches.[1] Søren Larsen was named after her builder, and was one of the last ships produced by the shipyard.[1]

Operational history[edit]

In Botany Bay, Sydney, 1988

The ship was employed on the Baltic trade routes, hauling cargo throughout Scandinavia and northern Europe.[1] On occasion, Søren Larsen ventured as far afield as the United Kingdom and Iceland.[1] In 1972, the ship was gutted by fire.[1] She was laid up until 1978, when the hull was purchased by Square Sail Britain.[1] Søren Larsen was re-decked with iroko, she was re-masted with Douglas fir, and re-rigged as a 19th-century-style brigantine.[1] The new masts gave the ship a mast height of 30.5 metres (100 ft), and she was outfitted with 627 square metres (6,750 sq ft) of sail.[2] The vessel's homeport was changed to Colchester in the United Kingdom.[2]

Søren Larsen, painted by the Belgian painter Yasmina

On resuming operations in 1979, Søren Larsen saw extensive use for television and film.[1] She appeared in BBC series The Onedin Line, the film The French Lieutenant's Woman, In Search of the Mary Celeste, and Shackleton.[1] During the 1982 filming of Shackleton, Søren Larsen became the first sailing ship in 70 years to reach the Greenland Arctic Circle.[1] Between 1982 and 1985, the ship was chartered by the Jubilee Sailing Trust: the success of the sailing program, which saw sail training provided to both able-bodied and disabled students, led Jubilee to order the construction of the sail training ship Lord Nelson.[1] Søren Larsen was chartered for the 1987-88 First Fleet Re-enactment Voyage, and served as flagship for the journey: departing from England in May 1987, and sailing via Tenerife, Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, Mauritius, and Fremantle before arriving in Sydney on Australia Day (26 January) 1988.[1][3]

In 1991, Søren Larsen sailed around Cape Horn.[citation needed]

In late 2011, she was purchased by Sydney Harbour Tallships.[4] Søren Larsen continues to sail in the South Pacific.[citation needed]

In October 2013, Søren Larsen participated in the International Fleet Review 2013 in Sydney, Australia.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Clarke & Iggulden, Sailing Home, p. vii
  2. ^ a b c d Clarke & Iggulden, Sailing Home, p. 2
  3. ^ King, The First Fleet. p. 89-90
  4. ^ "Sydney Harbour Tallships".


  • Clarke, Malcolm; Iggulden, David (1988). Sailing Home: a pictorial record of the First Fleet Re-enactment voyage. North Ryde, NSW: Angus and Robertson. ISBN 0207159653. OCLC 21041747.
  • King, Jonathan (1987). Australia's First Fleet: the voyage and the re-enactment, 1788/1988. North Sydney, NSW and Waterloo, NSW: Robertsbridge Limited and Fairfax Magazines. ISBN 0947178163. OCLC 23869501.

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