Christiania's sinking

Sunk september 1997

Salvaged 3 mai 1999

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Why did "Christiania" get a leak?

"Christiania" was sailing in a strong wind on her way to England. She had left the south of Norway in the evening. The wind rapidly picked up to a force 9. They carried staysail and mainsail with one reef. She was then struck by a huge wave. Lamp glasses down below were smashed. The crew in their bunks were wakened and heard water coming in. Pumping were started and a search for the leak started. However, the water rose above cabinsole and further search for the leak became impossible. Rescue helicopters came with 2 petrol pumps, but after 4 hours of pumping the water was so high inboard that the had to leave the boat. The boat sank as the last crew entered the helicopter.

She sank on 500 meter deep water. Later she was localised with a ROV and was seen to stand upright in the mud with no visible damage. It was therefore decided to have her lifted up.

When she was lifted to the surface, she was tight. Lifted on land, we could see that the garboard from the mast and forward, had come out 3/8" and that caulking was loose here.

Colin Archer building specification says that each double frame shall have double grown floors. This was not the case on "Christianias" frames from the mast and 2 more frames forward. This was probably due to that one half of the frame was oak (the other half was pine) and that the boatbuilder did not have grown oak knee big enough. There were no strap over this but in the frame and the bolts originally holding the double frame together, had rusted away many years ago. When the boat was struck by the wave, the frame was straightened and the oak half moved out like opening scissors.


See "Christiania's" page with picture from the salvage. 

Tilbake til Jeppes åpningsside

Jeppe Jul Nielsen

Trebåt: Konstruktør & Konsulent
PB 172 - 4951 Risør
Tlf 3715 3144 Fax 3715 0104 Mob 9077 8929