Rederi AB Gustaf Erikson

Mariehamn, Åland.

Durning the first nine years Gustaf Erikson was managing the company alone but in 1922 Captain Oscar Raeder was employed as an assistant. An secretary was added to the staff in 1924 and in 1928 Captain Karl Fredrikson and Hilding Kåhre were employed. In 1935 his son Edgar joined the company at the age of 20.

By observing personal close control over expenses, Gustaf Erikson was able to operate large sailing ships longer than most other sailing ship companies.

Erikson had a life long deep relationship with Clarkson, London, his agent.

The Erikson ships normally stopped at Copenhagen when sailing from the Baltic for long voyages to be supplied with "food stuff" from the ship's chandler Schierbeck in Copenhagen.

In addition to the large sailing ships which were sailing all over the world, Erikson also kept a fleet of older and smaller ships for the Baltic timber trade. Many of his captains and officers came from these ships.

Several of the ships in the Erikson fleet of grain carries carried passengers. The ex. sail training ship Herzogin Cecilie was particularly suited for this purpose.

After the First World War Great Britain no longer had any large sailing ships ... To be able to become a Trinity House pilot, sailing ship experience was still required.

The apprentice system was used to man the ships. Originally the apprenticies should be 16-20 years old and have sufficient schooling. At the start onyl five ships of the fleet were accepting apprenticies, viz. Lawhill, Olivebank, Herzogin Cecile, Archibald Russell, and , but after three years this system was extended to all sailing ships in the outer trade.

Bought 1/10 of the ship Albania for FIM 6540.
Bought 40/100 of the three-masted composite barque Tjerimai for FIM 42.500
1916 September 14
Bought a 69/100 part in the three-masted barque Grace Harwar from M. Lundqvist, Åland, for FIM 940.000, the fraction was soon increased to 75/100.
Bought 15/100 in the four-masted steel barque Renee Rickmers for FIM 26.000; renamed Åland.
1914 March
Bought 3/4 of the barque Fredenborg.
1914 August 20
The fourmasted barque Åland was wrecked but as the ship was insured the loss was limited to approx. FIM 40.000 [why?].
The three-masted steel barques Borrowdale, Grace Harwar, and the Professor Koch were bought.
The three-mast schooner Ingrid, the three-masted barque Southern Belle, the four-masted steel barques Margareta, and the Lawhill were bought. Margareta and Borrowdale were torpedoed and sunk by German submarines.
The three-masted barque Woodburn, and the SS Rigel, 500 DWT, were bought. The grounding of Professor Kock off Boston cost $ 96.000 in salvage and reparations of which the insurance of FIM 350.000 covered only a small fraction.

Ingrid was condemned at Falmouth and the Southern Belle was sold.

The SS Edgar, 1250 DWT, was bought.
The four-masted barque Herzogin Cecilie was bought.
The three-masted barque Loch Linnhe was bought.
The three-masted barque Professor Koch was sold at auction in Buenos Ayres for 3950 gold dollars after having collided with an iceberg off Cape Horn.
The four-masted barque Pommern, and the three-masted barques Carradale, Penang, and the four-masted barque Archibald Russell were bought. The Carradale was sold already in December to a German buyer for £ 2950 to be broken up.
The three-masted barque Killoran, the four-masted barque Olivebank, Carmen, and Baltic, and Polstjernan were bought.
The four-masted barque Hougomont, and the three-masted barques Lingard, and Winterhude, and the 3-m barquentine Ostrobotnia were bought.

Tjermimai was lost in a collision in the North Sea.

The three-masted barque Lalla Rookh was bought.
The Estonia was bought.
The four-masted barqueMelbourne, MS Madare, the four-masted barques Viking and the three-masted barque Ponape were bought.
The four-masted barque Pamir was bought.
The four-masted barques Passat and L'Avenir and theMS Sweden were bought.
MS Vera, the 3-m wooden barque Varma, the 3-m wooden barque Eläköön, aux. schooner Vellamo, aux. 4-m schooner Valborg. The four-masted barque Melbourne was lost.
Bought the slipway at Nystad.
The three-masted barques Kylemore and Pestalozzi, the aux. schooner Regina, the four-masted barquentine Dione were bought.
The four-masted barque Moshulu was bought. After the collision between Lingard and SS Gerd, the company was reorganised as one company for each ship to limit the liability risk.
Lawhill was confiscated in South Africa and Moshulu by the Germans in Norway.
Gustaf Erikson died.
The last sailing ship in the Gustaf Erikson fleet, the fourmasted barque Pommern was presented to the City of Mariehamn to be kept as a museum.

Fleet List


Updated 1996-11-04 by Lars Bruzelius

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Copyright © 1996 Lars Bruzelius.