The foundation which owns the Götheborg says it can no longer afford to run the replica ship. It is the world's largest operational wooden sailing vessel.


The Ostindiefararen Götheborg Foundation is now looking for new owners for the replica 18th century Swedish ship.

In a statement, the chairman of the foundation, Lars G Malmer, said that despite negotiations with “various interested parties”, it had no choice but to sell the Götheborg “as the financial conditions do not allow to continue to run the operations”.

“This is a tough decision that we’ve been forced to make,” he said.

The ship is a replica of an 18th-century Swedish East Indiaman.

The original ship sank off Gothenburg, Sweden, on 12 September 1745, while approaching the harbour on a return voyage from China.

Construction of the replica at the shipyard at Hisingenlt started in 1995, and took 10 years.

It was built with the same materials and construction methods as the original, including hand-forged nails, hand-made blocks and hand-woven rigging.

To build the 58.5 metre ship, 1,000 oak logs and 50 kilometres of pine were used.

The original was built in 1738. No drawings or plans survived, so the builders had to research the construction process. The rigging alone took 100,000 hours to produce.

Götheborg is also fully equipped with modern technology to meet current safety standards.

The ship was built to sail to China, which generated a very high level of interest from the People’s Republic of China and its leadership.

On its return home to Gothenburg after the trip to China, the ship was met by the Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, together with the President of China, Hu Jintao, who had come to Gothenburg for the ship’s arrival.

There were also hundreds of thousands of spectators lining the shore to welcome the ship home.

During the last 10 years, Götheborg has called at 93 port in 23 countries. Around one million visitors have been on board.

Since 2008, around 3,000 deckhands, approximately 40% of them female, from 45 countries have worked on board.

The chairman of the Ostindiefararen Götheborg Foundation, Lars G Malmer said he hoped the ship would continue to sail.

“We would have preferred her to continue sailing, but can confirm that the financial conditions do not exist, so the Foundation will now try to find the best solution for the ship,” he said.

“One part of this process is to see whether there are any interested parties with different conditions in Gothenburg, Sweden or somewhere else, who are prepared to commit themselves to taking over the ship, thus making it possible to continue sailing,” concluded Malmer.