Icebreaker Sankt Erik
International Call Sign: Sierra-Hotel-Romeo-Alfa
The ship is 61 meters long and 17 meters wide. She was built at Finnboda varv (Finnboda ship yard). She has one aft (main) engine, and a forward one.
Along with the large main engine, there is also a forward engine of 1200 hp. Both the forward engine, and the hull, were specially designed for ice beaking.
In the middle, between the two engine rooms, you’ll find the boiler room. There are four boilers, with three burners in each. There is also a donkey boiler in the middle.
The ship was launched in 1914, and taken into sevice in 1915. Then under the name Isbrytaren II (Icebreaker the second). With her 4000 hp steam engines, she was the first icebreaker that could keep the inlet to Stockholm harbour open during the winter months. She also served at sea.
In 1958 she had oil burners installed instead of coal, to heat the four boilers, each of 30 cubic meters.
At the same year her bridge was re-built and raised. 1958 was also the year she got her present name, after the patron saint of Stockholm city.
After more than 60 years in service, Sankt Erik got her retirement in 1977. In 1980 she became a museum ship. In the first years in her new career, she did some tourist sails in the archipelago, but in 2007 she sailed for the last time. At least that was what everyone thought.
But in 2015 she tuned hundred years …
Volunteers were summoned from her friend’s society, ”Isbrytaren s/s Sankt Eriks vänner”, and we started to work on her main engine and to get one boiler certified for use. In the summer visitors could finally see her main engine working again.
To leave port though, her forward engine was needed for manoeuvres. It felt like a lot of job to get one more old engine woking again. But it was worth a try.
During the winter and spring of 2015-16 the focus was on the forward engine, on paint job and to do test runs on the help machines, such as for the rudder chain and the anchor (also running on steam).
In the summer 2016 there were two more weekends when visitors could see the engins work while the ship was in port. This year, both the aft and forward engines were under steam. Also, both boiler number two and three were now approved.
But to leave port, there were also paper work to be done. The poject was met with a lot of help when it came to finding old document or sorting out what was needed. Of course the owner, the Maritime museum, also had to say yes for a technical test sail to happen. And they did.
On September 21st 2016 Sankt Erik left port, under her own power, for the first time in nine years. She steamed out of the harbour, out to Nacka and back. A trip of about one hour. Many agree that was the best hour of the year 2016!
On the way out her main engine was tested att full power. Everything worked fine and on the radio congratulations started to come in from other vessels who saw us.
On the way back, there was even time for a minute in the sun, enjoying the sail.
In the winter 2016-17 focus will be set on maintnance, paper work, cleaning, painting and electricity work for new equipment on the bridge.
Everyone, from the captain to the deckhands, are woking as volounteers, without pay. Work on the hull and deck, and the regular guided tours, are done by employees from the museum.
In 2017 there will be more opportunities to see the engines run again. You’ll find our big black Lady on the seaside of the Vasa museum in Stockholm. A visit in port is free of charge. But we also hope to get the ship classed for some tours in the archipelago.
If you want to support us and keep Sankt Eriks’ engines working, please donate to the volunteer’s swish account: +46 123 56 24 358. Thank you!