Colin Archer "Rakel"

A unique sailing ship

1896 Laurits S. Larsen from Alesund (Norway) commissioned the ship builder Colin Archer in Larvik to build a wooden sailing fishing vessel without a motor. It was delivered in November 1896 and was christened under the name „Rakel“.

The 19 meters long, robust ship was rigged as a gaff-rigged ketch with big top sails and also fished the North Sea in the winter under extreme weather conditions. It did not differ in design from the legendary rescue cutters, which Colin Archer built for the Norwegian Society for Supporting Fishery (Norwegischen Gesellschaft zur Förderung des Fischfangs) since 1893, it was however somewhat larger.

The „Rakel“ was in service for many centuries as a fishing vessel on the rough Norwegian coast. However, in the course of rationalization it was equipped with even bigger motors over the years and little by little the sail areas became smaller, until the proud sail ship was only used as a motor cargo vessel.

After Alesund the ship was also registered in Bergen and the former owners used her for sealing in artic waters. When it was sold to Korvik, it was not only used as a cargo and fishing vessel, rather it was also used as an ice breaker in the Namsos-Fjord in Northern Norway, for this the sturdy round formed hulk at the stern was also well suited.

1977 the head of the shipyard Petter Kjollberg from Borhaug bought the „Rakel“ and used her for fishing cod, which he sold as stockfish to Nigeria. With the downfall of the West African market the days of the "Rakel" were numbered, she was then put out of commission. 1980 Falk Pfau from Bremen discovered the decayed ship in Farsund (Southern Norway), fell in love with her lines and brought the vessel 1981 to the moorings of the Sailor's Guild in Bremerhaven.

Tedious and time-consuming research began. In the course of four years the "Rakel" was restored mainly in self-work according to original plans from the Osloer Maritime Museum and since1984 once again sails the North and Baltic Seas in her original beauty. Up until now her voyages took her to Norway, Sweden and Scotland and 1985-1986 on a longer sail trip from Bremerhaven to the Caribbean and back again.

Type: Colin Archer
Owner: Falk Pfau, Bremen
Homeport: Bremerhaven
Nation: GER
Year of construction: 1896, Larvik (Norway)
Total length: 28,00 m
Width: 5,50 m
Draft: 2,60 m
Sail area: 238 m²

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