The steamboat Bohuslän is one of Sweden's west coast's oldest and most beautiful ships, built in 1914 at Eriksbergs Mekaniska Verkstad as flagship for Marstrands Nya Ångfartygs AB (Marstrandsbolaget). For over 40 years she went 6 days a week back and forth between Gothenburg and Kungshamn regardless of the weather.
After all these years along the coast, however, Bohuslän's steam-powered machine became ineffective and it was increasingly difficult to compete with the cars, buses and bridges. In the autumn of 1963 she was abandoned for two years later being sold for scrapping. A young crowd of people then got a look at the steamer and asked the scrap dealer if it was possible to buy her. SEK 60,000 was the price that the then newly formed Sällskapet Ångbåten managed to scrape together by selling 600 shares of SEK 100 each. Since then, the ship has been driven by a non-profit crew with regular, open tours and charter trips every summer. The steam ship is today marked and classified as a historic vessel.
For over 40 years, the steamer went on the Gothenburg - Lysekil - Smögen / Gravarne trade. In the summer sun, in storm, snow and ice, the steamer made his trips, 6 days a week, all year round. For 33 years, Carl Johansson was her captain, who did more than 9000 trips, without radar. His compass, clock and a good helmsman were his navigation aids.
The crew comprised over 20 people: captain, two officers, two helmsmen, three sailors, chief engineer, machinist, two fire officers, chef, two waitresses (one in the dining room on the upper deck and one in the stool) , and then a waiter in the parlor, the second-class passengers' dining room. When they were expecting many passengers, for example summer Sundays, the staff was reinforced with two or three extra waitresses. During the fifties, many of the islands got bridge or ferry connections to the mainland, and the old coastal shipping route fell out of grace. One by one, the old boats were sold, usually to scrap, sometime to other shipping routes. Today there is only one of the passenger steamers left, BOHUSLÄN.
In the spring of 1965, BOHUSLÄN was towed from Marstrand to Ringön in Gothenburg for scrapping. Would this be the end of a fifty year old?
Luckily, Ingvar Kronhamn started the rescue operation "Save the Bohuslän". In April, Sällskapet Ångbåten was formed, with the purpose of preserving one of the few remaining passenger ships of Swedish west coast for the future.
The scrap dealer wanted SEK 60,000, which was raised by selling SEK 100 shares.
After intensive renovation work, the steamer went back to its old waters the next summer. Since the takeover, BOHUSLÄN sails every summer in the waters she was once built for. Even though she was modernized, where possible she was restored with engine and boiler in original state and the salons close to what the looked like at delivery in 1914.