Full Scale Replica Of The Popular 18th Century Vessel Götheborg To Re-Sail In 2022
The original Götheborg was a popular trading vessel that belonged to the Swedish East India Company. It had sunk in 1745. Even though it had sunk in Götaälv river near the Gothenburg harbor, divers had been first to explore its wreck in the 1980s.
A full-scale replica of the merchant ship, which has been dubbed Götheborg II, has been built. It stands proudly in Stockholm waters.
The replica, currently docked in Sweden, has approximately 80 crew members. The exact route has not been finalized yet. However, it will set sail in April 2022 from Sweden.
It is expected to stop at London, Palma de Mallorca, Lisbon, Alexandria, Muscat, Djibouti, Singapore, Chennai, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, and Shanghai.
At each stop, a new deck is expected to come in handy and the number of crew members is to increase by 50. This indicates that there will be about 600 seamen on board to help Götheborg II pass through Asia safe and sound.
If everything goes per plan, Götheborg II will reach Shanghai by October 2022. The mission of such a trip is to strengthen and expand Swedish-Asian trade relationships. The emphasis will be on developing innovative solutions for a more sustainable tomorrow.
The Past vs The Present
One of the challenges of rebuilding this ship was sourcing similar types of woods and equipment that were widely used back in the 18th century.
During its lifetime, Götheborg was the largest wooden ocean-going ship in the world. The team that was building Götheborg II did not want the ship to have a new or modern appeal – rather, they focused on finding the most appropriate materials and tools to rebuild a ship that existed two centuries ago.
The Götheborg II, like its predecessor, is also 58.5 meters long, 11 meters wide, has a vertical clearance of 47 meters, and can reach a speed as high as almost 11 knots. Eventually, it took over a decade to complete.
The Swedish East India Company was the original shipowner. The ship aimed to establish trade between Sweden and Asian countries, mainly China. The company had been in business actively between 1731 and 1813. it had been responsible for introducing Chinese products in Sweden for the first time. Some of the notable items were rice and tea.
And the name of the ship, Götheborg, is appropriate. Gothenburg is located on the west coast of Sweden, making it the ideal entry and exit point for ships. In the 18th century, Gothenburg as a trading centre flourished. It was also popular as the second-largest Sweden city, which now remains.
In today’s time, over 200 years later, the modern, busy city continues to boast a glimpse of the by-gone era. For instance, the one-time office of the Swedish East India Company is currently home to Gothenburg’s City Museum.
In 1993, the Swedish East India Company was re-established but with a different mission. The focus no longer was on trade—the new mission of the company was now to extend its support to the Sweden shipbuilding industry.