Gorch Fock

Date of launch1933
Place of launchHamburg
Type3-masted steel barque
Length73.8 m (242.0 ft)
Beam12.0 m (39.3 ft)
Draft5.2 m (17.0 ft)

Later names: Tovarisch (1945), Gorch Fock I (2003)

  • 1933
    Built of steel by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg, to be used as a schoolship for the German Navy. She was rigged as a three-masted barque carrying royals over single topgallant sails and double topsails. She was the first of four sister ships built in the 1930s, the other ones being Horst Wessel, albert leo schlageter and Mircea. A fifth sister was built in 1958, a new Gorch Fock.

  • 1945
    Handed over to the Soviet Union as war compensation. Renamed Tovarisch (meaning comrade) and used as a schoolship for the Soviet Navy.

  • 1991
    Ended up in the Ukraine when the Soviet Union was dissolved. Sailed as a schoolship but was in grave need of restoration, but no funding was available.

  • 1995
    Sailed to Newcastle and laid up, hoping to find British sponsors to help with a restoration program. Thus began a long and unsuccessful search.

  • 1999
    Moved to Wilhelmshaven.

  • September 2003
    Sold to Tall-Ship Friends e.V. in Hamburg for 400.000 euros and moved to Stralsund. She was renamed Gorch Fock I, and the new owners' plan is to have her in sailing condition in 2008, if enough funds can be raised.

The Gorch Fock.
The Tovarisch under the Soviet flag.

Note that the main royal yard is broken, probably from incorrect handling when setting the sail.
The Tovarisch under the Ukrainian flag.

Amazingly, they have broken the main royal again!


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