STS Sedov


In May 2007 I sailed some days on SEDOV in the Baltic Sea. It was a race against MIR and DAR MLODZIEZY, but sadly we had not much wind. SEDOV is an amazing ship.  Her dimensions are unbelievable. A line that elsewhere would be used as brace is here nothing but a buntline and the blocks used for the halyards are the biggest I have seen so far. About 18 kilometres of running rigging are employed to work her 32 sails. She carries 4192 sqm sail area and her main mast is 58 m high (above waterline).  With 117 m length over all and a displacement of more than 6000 tonnes she is biggest traditional sailing vessel still afloat.

Whenever appliccable traditional methods are used to operate the ship. Anchor gear and steering system are the same as they had been when the ship was transporting cargo around Cape Hoorn 80 years ago. The bracing is done with the help of Jarvis bracing winches which at the time when SEDOV was built were considered high tech. In contrast to other windjammers of her time the SEDOV has always been equipped with an auxilliary engine and an electricity generator and a radio station.

When first commissioned in 1921 her name was MAGDALENE VINNEN and she belonged to the German Vinnen Shipping Comany. In 1936 the barque was sold to the Norddeutscher Lloyd Shipping Company who changed her into a school ship for the education of merchant cadets under the name KOMMODORE JOHNSEN. After the war  she was given as a war reparation to the Sovjet Union and being unfit for service she was laid up for some years. The USSR refitted her and changed her name to SEDOV. Since 1951 she sailed again being used for a combination of cadet education and hydrographic surveys until 1965. The ship was again laid up and her future was insecure when the USSR decided a complete reconstruction and modernization which was completed in 1981.

Since 1981 the ship serves as school ship for the education of future officers of the Russian fishing fleet. Her homeport is now Murmansk and she is owned by the Murmansk State University of Technology.

This page was added 10/07.