Vera is the name of an old sailing ship, a small cargo boat that we had for some years back in the 70's. It's a long time ago but that period of years was so intense in experience and engagement that it has to be told. At least some small remarks in order to keep the memory of a fine ship alive. We were some ship owners with interests in small sailing ships commonly called Baltic Traders.
The ship Vera, former 'Duen' was built in
Svendborg, Denmark in the year of 1889. That is the same year as the Eiffel tower was erected. She was originally built as a Schooner but was later changed to the Ketch rig or 'Galeas' which is the Swedish word for a two mast gaff rigged ship with the main sail in front of the mizzen.
It's not to my knowledge when or where the rig was changed.
In the glorious days when every inch of canvas was spread she carried more than 250 m² and was con-
sidered to be a fast sailing ship from what I've heard.
Some figures about the ship Vera
*) One register ton (volume) is 100 Eng. cubic ft or approx 2.83 m³
- Length: 20 m, Breadth: 5.6 m, Depth: 2.1 m
- Call sign: SKBW
- Reg.Nr. 6107 in Swedish Maritime Administration
- Tonnage: Gross 63, Net 43 tons *
- Deadweight: 105 tons (2.5m deep-draught)
- Ballast: 15 tons
- Sail area: 150 m² without topsails.
- Engine: Westervik, 2-cycle, 35 hp/400 rpm.
- Speed: 5-6 knots
uilt as a sailing ship she was in the 20's equipped with a Hot Bulb Engine, called 'tändkulemotor' in Swedish.
of brand Westerviksmotorn, also called
from Västervik, a town on the Swedish
East Coast, developed 35 hp's at 400 rpm. With a mighty sound.
he Hot bulb engine was invented in UK and developed by two German US immigrants in the decade of 1890.
ike the diesel engine, the Hot bulb engine is a com-
bustion engine. But the compression is much lower and
therefore has a vaporizer or hot-bulb attached to the main cylinder.
rior to starting the engine from cold condition one have to heat up the hot-bulb. Traditionally by using a blow-lamp but we used a bottled gas burner onboard Vera. Once the engine is running the heat of ignition and compression maintains the hot-bulb at the necessary temperature.
ne big advantage of the hot-bulb engine was its ability to run under a wide range of fuels but the most used fuel was Fuel Oil / Crude Oil, 'råolja' in Swedish.
ecause of the time-wasting procedure to start a cold
engine it was used in a situation where the engine needed to run for a long period of time. Like agriculture, electricity generation, industrial engines and marine use.
here is an estimation of more than 70 manufacturers only in Sweden under the peak in 1920's. One of the best known manufacturer Bolinders had 80% of the world market in that period.
ore information about the hot-bulb engine in Sweden can be found on these homepages:
Pythagoras Industrial Museum
It wasn't always smooth sailing but that was when the camera was out of its case.
During the rough rides we were busy with other duties.