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The "Statsraad Lehmkuhl" brief history

The "Statsraad Lehmkuhl" is a 3-masted steel bark, built by Johann C. Tecklenborg in Bremerhaven- Geestemünde in 1914 as a training ship for the German merchant marine, and given the name "Grosshertzog Friedrich August". During most of World War I the "Statsraad Lehmkuhl" was used as a stationary training ship in Germany, and was, after the war, taken as a prize by the English.

On an initiativ by the current director of Det Bergenske Dampskibsselskab (Bergen Line) and former minister Kristofer Lehmkuhl , the Norwegian Shipowners Association purchased the ship in 1923 for NOK 425.000. As a token of appreciation and gratitude to Kristofer Lehmkuhl for his work for the school training ship issue, and for his work in the 1905-cabinet, the ship was renamed "Statsraad Lehmkuhl" (Minister Lehmkuhl).

The Bergen Shipowner Association did, in 1923, carry out a 5 month cruice for some 200 boys, where after the ship was transferred to the "Bergen School Ship Foundation". Exept for the period 1940-1945, when the Germans confiscated the ship during World War II and renamed it "Westwärts, the "Bergen School Ship Foundation" operated the "Statsraad Lehmkuhl" until 1966.

Despite major public contributions, the "Bergen School Ship Foundation" could not afford to operate the ship beyond 1966. The interest in School Ship Training Ships was declining, and in combination with increasing operating costs this resulted in serious considerations of selling the ship. Shipowner Hilmar Reksten purchased the ship in order to prevent it from being sold abroad, and to make sure that it continued as a school training ship.

During the years 1968-1972 shipowner Reksten operated the "Statsraad Lehmkuhl" as a training ship at his own expense. As the govermental contribution was reduced, the ship was ultimately laid-up i Bergen harbour from 1973. In 1978 shipowner Hilmar Reksten donated the "Statsraad Lehmkuhl" to the Statsraad Lehmkuhl Foundation, which is the current owner and operator of the ship. The Foundation has, over the years, rented ship the out to schools, clubs, companies and other organizations who have used the ship for cruises and shorter trips. In addition the Foundation itself has arranged cruises and costal trips which have been open for the public.

The "Statsraad Lehmkuhl" has a gross tonnage of 1701 tons and has a sail area of 2026 square meters distributed on 22 sails. The capasity for trainees has been up to 200, and a cabin capasity for the permanent crew accomodates 20 persons. The ship has a diesel engine that develops 1125 HP, which gives the ship speed of up to 11 knots under fair weather conditions.

The main dimentios are:

Length extreme: 98,0 m 321,4 feet

Length of hull: (L.o.a.) 78,0 m 258,2 feet

Length in water line: 73,0 m 239,6 feet

Breath: 12,6 m 41,0 feet

Heigth water line to top mast: 48,0 m 15,5 feet

Drought: 5,2 m 17, 0 feet

The "Statsraad Lehmkuhl" has also participated in several ships races, arranged by the Sail Training Association. These races are now arranged every year; the first one in 1956. The "Statsraad Lehmkuhl" has participated in the following races with the following results:

1960: Oslo-Ostende: 1. prize

1964: Lisboa- Bermuda: 6. prize

1966: Falmouth-Skagen: 3. prize

1970: Plymouth-Tenerife: 2. prize

1993: Newcastle-Bergen: 1. prize

1993: Larvik-Esbjerg: 1. prize

In considertion of the cadets security, the "Statsraad Lehmkuhl" was originally given a reduced rig relative to its size. This represent a certain handicap in sail races when the wind is gentle. The ship sails really well in stronger winds.

The "Statsraad Lehmkuhl" is today Norway's largest and oldest square rigged sailing ship.