Could this be Historic Vessel Vega’s Real Story
To quote Lars Nerhus, “I was always told “Vega” was the best and strongest jakt he (Ola Nerhus) ever built and all I could find out was that she went to Sweden in 1905 and never returned. This I would be told in a sad voice by my grandfather and it would make me sad also.”
After discharging her cargo at Bergkvara, the boatyard of Alfred Olsson hauled Vega out of the water for repairs. With a nudge and a wink, the local surveyor condemned Vega as a total loss. That same year she disappeared from the register in Norway.
Over the winter, Vega received a 12 hp single-cylinder engine, a few cosmetic modifications to bow and stern and a new coat of paint. When spring came the surveyor approved for addition to the Swedish register of shipping.
1958 – Unknows galeass at Cement dock, Ölands Cement AB. By 1958 wooden jakts like Vega were still carrying cement.
The following spring Mr Olsson launched a newly built “Vega of Bergkvara” for Johan Carlsson, of Degerhamn. Except for fashion pieces (still in existence) added to her bow and stern that boat was identical to the Vega condemned in his yard only months before. Apparently, Vega was not the only boat repatriated in this manner.
From that unusual re-birth, Vega went on under the Swedish flag to transport cement, building stone, bricks and other heavy loads for AB Degerhams until 1949. In 1928 she received a one cylinder 15 Hp engine, upgraded to 20 hp in 1939. From 1949 until 1983 Vega had various owners.
Caulking the stern run. The two bladed propeller is clearly shown.
Vega’s clean lines can are shown here along with part of her copper water line sheathing.
Vega newly caulked, painted & ready for launching.
Vega ready for launching. Her bottom was most likely bitumen tarred.
Vega seen bow on ready to go back in the water.
Vega’s full belly designed to carry heavy cargo and part of her copper water line sheathing.
Freeboard caulking and water line copper sheathing.
As the demand for small cargo jachts declined Vega was employed as a “Stone Fisher” a profession known as the “Ship Killer”. Stone fishers hauled steel dredges across the bottom of the shallow North Sea bed collecting the glacial stone. The work was hard, the profits small and the wear on the boats enormous. Most stone fishers ended their lives on the bottom, broken by the concentrated weight of cargo they were unqualified to carry.
Designed for exactly that type of cargo Vega survived. In 1979, still carrying a modest sailing rig, Vega became the last wooden sailing boat to work as a Stone fisher. In early 1983, a new owner purchased Vega, and a complete restoration began. My next post will delve into the restoration of Vega between 1983 and 1995.