The "Thor Heyerdahl" under full equipment
After almost 25 years, the traditional sailor was threatened with extinction. The responsible supervisory authority had withdrawn his license for worldwide voyage and put it on the chain (YACHT 16/07 and 17/07).
This was remedied by a comparison of the sailing ship "Thor Heyerdahl" association with the Seeberufsgenossenschaft (SeeBG) before the Hamburg administrative court. This means that the three-masted topsail schooner is allowed to carry out the summer voyages planned until October 20, 2007 in a restricted area on the Baltic Sea.
It didn't look like this for a long time: After a survey of the ship by SeeBG on May 3 of this year, the license for worldwide voyage (A3) was downgraded to coastal voyage (A1) and the certificate was limited to one year instead of five years.
The justification was based on safety concerns. The steel riveted hull of the former cargo sailor, built in 1930, owes its weight stability to the cast-in concrete ballast. However, this makes checking the corrosion of the hull almost impossible. Without a detailed examination of the outer skin for corrosion, the SeeBG no longer wants to issue a license for worldwide travel.
In order to regain this, the association is planning an extensive renovation of the ship in the coming winter. The hull should be slipped on and gutted, the outer skin and the frame structure replaced if necessary. The ambitious plan of the club's board calls for the first test drive after the overhaul on May 7, 2008.
The club veterans associate many memories with this day: it marks the 25th anniversary of the first commissioning. Since then, more than 20,000 young people and young adults have been able to travel to the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Atlantic on the "Thor Heyerdahl". The pioneering adventure education project became known worldwide as the "sailing classroom".
In order to continue this work, however, a little help is needed: The initiative www.rettet-die-thor-heyerdahl.de expects costs of 2 million euros for the complete repair work.