Restoration- part 1

We thank for valuable financial support:
The State Maritime museums of Sweden
His Majesty King Gustaf VI Adolfs foundation for Swedish culture

After some time of planning and preparation we were ready to face the tuff job of reversing the lentless decay of the hull. Pine timber had been milled and slowly dried for planking. The timber were actually taken out of the same forest in middle Sweden as was the new masttimber of the proud ship Wasa. Oak timber of diameters up to 1 meter were sawed with a hired portable chainsawmill. Autumn 1993 Emma was taken into the Beckholmen drydocks in Stockholm. The project during the winter and spring was to change most of the framing, stanchions and planking astern.

The old frames were in miserable condition and could more or less be shoveld out like soil! In order to restore some of the sheer of the hull, a new keelson made from two long timbers, was fitted fore-to-aft. Support was given from an unemployment project that supported an employee, and the cost of material was financed by the Swedish state funds for the retoration of old Swedish sailships, administred by the maritime museums.

After leaving the docks, we continued the work on the deck, deckbeams and coveringboards abaft and the new davits och aft deckhouse. We also renewed the 4" oak coaming for the cargo lid. New waterboards in 6" oak, inside the covering boards, were fitted around the deck. Finally we finished new bulwarks around the hull, and inside she was equipped with loose cargo floor and a new timber box for storing her 4 tons of ballast.

Finally the hull was documented in drawings with special notice on small details like old holes in deckstructure and traces of colour left from before later rebuilds. This was necessary since by now most of the timber above waterline were beeing renewed.

Emmas structure before rebuilding the deck

R estoration- part 2

Now, only the rest of the hull remained to be done.....Time to search the forests for suitable well grown timber. Loads after loads of oak and pine were transported to Beckholmen were the pile of timber after a while grew to freightful proportions. But, by now we knew how to do and we had constructed our own chainsaw mill so the sawing was easily done. Most of the slowly grown pine for planking were bought, milled and transported from the north of Sweden and laid up to dry in the shipyard.

When Emma was towed into the drydocks again in autumn 1997 the plan was to renew all the framing except a few floor timbers and bottom futtocks, all the remaining planking except in the bottom and all the rest of the stanchions. We also planned to replace the large stern timber as well as sheer ceiling and sheer clamps throughout the ship.

The project proceeded according to the plans. This time we were less surpriced to find the poor condition of the 100 year old hull. Just as in 1993 we had a minor state economical support for restoring sailships, and we also had an employee supported from an unemployment program. The last few days in the docks a team from Swedish national television visited us to make a report from the restorations.

After finally leaving the docks in the spring, the reconstruction of the deck was finished. Also bowsprit, pawl post and the windlass bitts and new inner planking, the bottom part of the ceiling, all were renewed according to the documentation.

Now our palms were callous and the backs were fatigue.....

©2005 copyright M Flensburg