Tall Ship Pommern
You won’t find another sailing ship in the world like Pommern. She has hardly changed since the day she left the shipyard in Scotland in 1903 and has since been lovingly maintained by generations of sailors, many whom sailed the world’s vast oceans themselves. Pommern is a unique ship, bearing witness to Åland’s long sailing ship tradition. She is the only four-masted barque in the world in original condition, never having had any large structural changes made.
Pommern was built in 1903 in Scotland and was purchased in 1923 by Åland shipowner, Gustaf Erikson. Prior to this, she was owned by several German companies. Pommern sailed in Gustaf Erikson’s fleet until 1939, mostly sailing to Australia to pick up wheat to be sold in Europe. In 1953, Gustaf Erikson’s children donated Pommern to the City of Mariehamn where she has been a museum ship since that time. Today, the ship is still owned by the City of Mariehamn, now consigned to Åland’s Maritime Museum Trust who looks after the exhibitions onboard, as well as maintenance and restoration.
Ship’s Spaces and Deck Equipment
Pommern was built to transport cargo quickly and efficiently. In her time, she was a modern ship, strongly built with all the latest modern equipment onboard, including brass winches, and a steam engine for loading and unloading cargo, to drive the windlass for anchoring, and even operating the bilge pump. Her modern equipment meant Pommern could sail with very few crew members, needing only 26 onboard.
On the weather deck the crew and command had spaces for living and sleeping.
Preservation of Pommern
Pommern has been a museum ship since 1953 and over the decades has been preserved and maintained. The ship is a unique example of a four-masted cargo sailing ship in steel from the early 1900s. Pommern’s construction and equipment, and her history and role in cargo transportation represent both a material and intangible cultural heritage that is important to preserve for posterity. The focus of the work onboard Pommern is to maintain her unique structure and equipment for as long as possible with the least possible intervention.
Restoration work onboard Pommern continues throughout the year to ensure she survives for decades to come.