Visitors will be able to explore this huge sailing ship, which measures 58.5m long, by 11 metres wide and stands 5 decks tall, with a vertical clearance of 47 metres. The tour will include the gun deck, where there are 10 canons, and the weather deck where the steering wheel is located. In bad weather it sometimes takes up to four crew to hold a steady course.
The Götheborg, which completed its maiden voyage in 2005-07, is a replica of the original Götheborg, which was built in 1738 at Terra Nova ship yard, in Stockholm, for the Swedish East India Company (Svenska Ostindiska Companiet), and was used for three lucrative voyages between Sweden and China.
The ship dramatically sank on 12 September 1745, in Gothenburg harbour, returning from her third China voyage. She ran aground on a notorious submerged rock, the Hunnebådan (known as the Knipla Börö in the 18th century), right in front of merchants and family members, waiting to welcome the crew and its cargo home.
In 1984 a number of exploratory dives to the shipwreck took place, and an ambitious dream was born to reconstruct The Götheborg to 100% scale, using traditional 18th century ship building skills, methods and materials, but complying with the very latest technological advances for navigation, cooking, heating and hygiene.
Nineteen years after the first dive, including the reconstruction of the original shipyard to carry out much of the work, the new Götheborg was launched in 2003, and finally set sail in October 2005 on a two-year expedition to China, commemorating the maiden voyage of the original Götheborg.
Aileen Mobbs, Maritime Festival Chairman said: “It is a dream come true to have secured such a prestigious tall ship as The Götheborg for Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival, made possible by funding support from the new Great Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area (GYTABIA). The Götheborg will be at the heart of a weekend of maritime celebration, with JST Lord Nelson, other visiting ships, a busy international shanty singing programme and lots of demonstrations, hands-on activities and entertainment. We are enormously grateful to all our festival sponsors who enable us to put on such a fantastic event every year.”
The Maritime Festival sponsors are Seajacks UK Ltd, 3Sun Group, Bateman Groundworks, BDO LLP, Bunn Fertiliser Ltd, ELM Contracts, e.on Climate & Renewables, HKB Wiltshire, Gardline, MDF Transport, Perenco, Persimmon Homes Anglia, Stephenson Smart and Wellington Construction. The festival is run by Great Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area (GYTABIA) and is supported by EastPort UK and Great Yarmouth Borough Council.