Brochure for ship-parts from Mannesmann


Letter of measurement


Departure to maiden voyage in September 1921



Yard Number 372 

With their fleet of 12 tall ships, P.A. Vinnen & Co of Bremen was one of the largest German shipping companies at the beginning of the century. At the start of World War I, the company was running a total of fourteen deepwater sailing ships, almost all of which were lost either during the war or, later, through the Treaty of Versailles. In 1919, the company was left with nothing. Like all other German shipping companies, they immediately commenced rebuilding their fleet. 

As early as April 1919, the company placed an order for a new steel auxiliary four-masted barque with Friedr. Krupp Germaniawerft at Kiel, which would become the world’s largest auxiliary barque. 

At the shipyard, it was clear from the beginning that this four-masted barque would require the installation of an engine, although the shipping company did not agree at first. However, after protracted negotiations with the shipping company and the Committee of the Reich for Rebuilding of the German Merchant Fleet, the engine installation received approval after all.  

Therefore, the Germaniawerft was able to lay down the first sailing ship with auxiliary engine designed to modern principles in April 1920.  

The design was to provide excellent sailing performance, assisted by the engine in case of calm and for harbour navigation. In addition, the engine was to support cruising and allow the ship to make way against the wind up to a certain force. In order to compete with steamships, all facilities were to be designed to provide the features usually found in steamships, however, without neglecting the needs of the sailing ship.  

Consequently, rigging and thus sail area were designed to be as large as for sailing ships. The entire standing rigging consisted of top-quality steel fittings. Masts and light yards as well as the gaff sail boom and the gaffs were made from seamless pipes supplied by the well-known Mannesmann pipe works at Düsseldorf. 

Due to the large diameter of the heavy yards, the Mannesmann rolling process was of limited use. Stays and breast backstays were manufactured from iron wire. She had three fully-rigged masts, namely the foremast, mainmast and mizzenmast with one course yard, double topgallant and top yards each as well as a royal yard, i.e. 6 yards in total. The aftermast had top and lower spanker as well as a gaff topsail. In total, the main sails provided a sail area of 3,400 square metres.  

The deck supports were also new. The deck load was transferred onto an iron middle longitudinal bulkhead. In the hatch areas, the longitudinal hatch coaming functioned as girder and was supported with brackets. For the bridge deck, no girders were required as the continuous iron bulkheads fulfilled this function. The cargo holds therefore did not have the otherwise usual rows of supporting beams. For bulk cargos, the middle longitudinal bulkhead had to be located under the hatches. Large winged doors with two or four wings were installed in the hatchway. When not in use, they could be folded away against the fixed part of the middle longitudinal bulkhead. If this part of the bulkhead was needed, the wings were just unfolded, locked into place and fixed to the coaming and double floor with tension chains. 

Due to the many new design features and improvements applied to the entire ship as well as labour-saving facilities on deck and the exemplary living quarters, this four-masted barque was seen as one of the most modern units in the world’s sailing ship fleet.