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Largest tall ship in the world, meet Gotheburg

by Lee Mylchreest on 4 Jan 2014
Gotheburg - an adventure waiting, in the longest tall ship in the world (operational) SW
A few days ago we published an article about the largest motor yachts and sailing boats in the world today. But that didn't include tall ships. With so many countries and cities in the world embarked on enterprises to keep old sailing ships working or build replicas of past tall ships, it's worth looking at the largest operational tall ship in the world today.

It's the Swedish 'Gotheborg', a mere 47 metres in length compared with 96 metres for the largest sailing boat Sea Cloud, and a staggering 180 metres for Azzam, the longest powered yacht.

In 1984, the shipwreck of the original Gotheburg was discovered, after having been sunk since 1745, and this inspired a decade of activity aimed at reconstructing the great ship. No original plans for the ship were in existence, so this made her construction a long and difficult affair.

According to Gcaptain, the Ostindiefararen Gothborg, an organisation set up to reconstruct the vessel, opted for historically accurate building methods, rather then going for faster modern methods. She is reputed to have coast around $40 million to build, about half and half private and public money.

About the Gotheburg:
Gotheborg is a full-rigged, squared-sailed vessel with three masts and three decks and twenty cabins for a total crew of sixty; she has 26 sails, including the studdingsails, made of canvas, and 1,964 m2 total sail area. The mainmast and the foremast have topgallant sails, topsails and courses. The aftermast has a topsail and a Latin type spanker sail. In the bow is the bowsprit with a jib boom, and hanging below that are two more square sails: the spritsail and the sprit-topsail. The hull is 47m in length with 11-meter beam, 5.5m freeboard and 47m air draft.

Gotheburg is preparing to set off from her eponymous home town of Gothenburg in March this year, to undertake a mammoth journey to China the second time she will have done it. She is scheduled to arrive by October 1st, after a circuitous journey, on October 1st, in time to celebrate China's National Day.

If you would like to learn more about this lovely tall ship, or join the crew for a leg or two, click here.

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