SEDOV near Madeira 1995
Part of the Crew 1995 - left from the compass Captain Mishenev
Sedov at Wilhelmshaven
Since her hand-over to the Russians in 1945, the four-masted steel auxiliary barque was renamed after Georgij Sedov, the celebrated Russian Artic explorer who lost his life during an Artic expedition in 1914.
The Soviet navy used the SEDOV as training ship from 1952 to 1957. She made several friendly visits to South America and Africa and was under the command of several marine captains during this period.
From 1957 to 1966 she was used as an oceanographic research ship in the North Atlantic. During these voyages, the Russian Navy also used her for cadet training. The complete standing rigging was replaced during that period using the original rigging plans. In 1966, the SEDOV passed into the hands of the Soviet Ministry of Fisheries.
Her home harbour was Newa in Leningrad. In 1981, after several further voyages in the Gulf of Finland as a training ship, she underwent an extensive re-fit. “The ship now has accommodation for 240 people in the extended tweendeck. Her special attraction is the glass-domed banqueting hall with stage, which is probably unique on a sailing ship. Next to it is a small museum detailing the ship’s history and the life of her namesake. A film and video room with bar completes the leisure facilities on board. The former tweendeck cargo holds were refurbished for their use as training facilities. The ship is now exclusively used as a training ship. It achieves the required stability with 500 tons of solid ballast and 1000 tons of ballast in the double floor tanks, i.e. drinking water and fuel.”
Her rigging was not altered in any way. Her sail area is stated as 4,192 square metres, of which 3,117 square metres are made up by square sails and the remaining 1,075 square metres go to fore-and-aft sails. However, when compared to old yard records, in which the sail area is stated as 3,392 square metres, there is an unexplainable difference of 800 square metres.
From 1981, the SEDOV was part of the Baltic Division of Training Ships with Riga as her homeport. “Like the phoenix from the ashes”, the SEDOV sailed into the Danish port of Horsens in August of 1981 as the first western port. Nowadays, she is a frequent and popular visitor at the many Tall Ships meetings. In May 1982 she put in a surprise visit at Hamburg on the occasion of 793th anniversary of the Hanseatic city’s port.
Her old skipper, Captain Gottfried Clausen, took the opportunity to visit “his” ship and was made to feel very welcome by the crew and Captain Prevozchikov. In 1982, the former Lloyd cadets had their traditional annual meeting on the barque in Bremerhaven. To coincide with the ship’s visit in her old homeport, the city of Bremerhaven organised an exhibition about the history of the former KOMMODORE JOHNSON ex. MAGDALENE VINNEN. In a time when a 25-year-old ship is already regarded obsolete and hardly fit for use, it must almost seem a miracle that the four-masted barque is still seaworthy. Apart from the Russian owners this is surely also due to the shipbuilders at the Kieler Förde.
Since 1991, her homeport has been Murmansk. She is part of the Murmansk State Academy of Fishing Fleet which became the Murmansk State Technical University in 1996. As before, her main purpose is the training of cadets from this and other universities. Since 1989, people from all over the world can take part in training voyages on the SEDOV, an offer so far taken up by more than 5000 enthusiasts.
More than ever, the SEDOV as a ‘swimming museum’ attracts many thousands of visitors wherever she is moored. The list of her port visits reads like a list of tall ship events: Port of Hamburg Birthday, HANSE Sail Rostock, SAIL Amsterdam, Sail Bremerhaven, Sail & Steam Wilhelmshaven, the Grimaldi’s 700th Birthday in Monaco, “Festival of the Seas” in Porthsmouth, Brest 2000, Maritime Days in Chatam … the list is endless.
More and more often, the SEDOV spends her winter lay-up in German ports, as she did last in Rostock. Since 1987, she has to renew her class certificate every 2 years. In addition, the SEDOV qualifies for a German Safety Certificate that entitles her to have trainees on board between German ports.
Since 1986, the SEDOV has taken part in 9 Cutty Sark races as well as in the Columbus Regatta in 1992. She won the Cape Horn Trophy for the fastest ship in her class in 1988 and 1995.