Magdalene Vinnen in the drydock
1921 – 1936
The four-masted steel auxiliary bark carrying royals over double topgallant sails was launched in March 1921 and was given the name MAGDALENE VINNEN. She was handed over to F. A. Vinnen & Co., which, after the loss of its entire fleet, had been left with nothing. Down but not out, the company stared afresh with a fleet of six modern auxiliary vessels, one four-masted barque and five five-masted schooners.
Under the command of Captain Lorenz Peters, the MAGDALENE VINNEN sailed on her maiden voyage as the world’s largest sailing ship on 1st September 1921. Her voyage took her from Bremen via Cardiff, where she took on coal, to Buenos Aires. Despite bad weather, the journey from England to Argentina with holds full of coal took just 30 days.
The MAGDALENE VINNEN carried any cargo which was transported on the water at that time: apart form the mentioned coal, she took timber from Finland, wheat from Australia, pyrite from Italy and unit load from Belgium. It was very rare indeed if the four-masted barque had to do a run with ballast only.
Although the MAGDALENE VINNEN proved to be a very fast sailing ship, the decision to fit the auxiliary engine had been correct as the engine made navigation easier and improved the ship’s economic viability. With an average speed of 8 ¼ knots, the auxiliary barque with her greater cargo holds was just a little slower than the cargo steamers while saving on fuel as the engines were not needed all the time. During the voyage to Buenos Aires, the engines were required for 7 days only.
The four-masted barque made 2 voyages around Cape Horn to Chile and the Megillones for Vinnen. Until her last voyage under the Vinnen flag in 1936, the ship sailed to Argentina, South Africa, Australia, Reunion and the Seychelles.