To Russia, with love. No charge!
A replica of the “Shtandart” _ the 34.5m flagship of Russia’s 17th century Baltic Fleet _ is as good as new after free hull repairs in an old dry dock in Hellevoetsluis, a former Dutch naval port (photo).
Fourteen oak planks were fitted in the bow replacing wood damaged by ice floes. Frans ten Hoor, director of the Jan Blanken Dry Docks, did not charge the usual docking fee is €405, not a daily berthing fee of €73. Ten Hoor: “Like us, the “Shtandart” is a not-for-profit organization. We help each other out. This is a quiet period and we attracted people” to the well preserved dry docks that include a museum and visitors center,” Ten Hoor told Spiegel der Zeilvaart, a traditional boating magazine. Today, the “Shtandart” is a Russian Tall Ship with a vast mission: helping young people “get ready for their very important role: steering the world and the country into a better future.”
The original was a 28-gun frigate, launched in 1703 and designed by Czar Peter the Great (1672-1725) who sought to establish Russia as a great nation, among others by creating a strong navy. He studied naval architecture in Holland and England.. His “Shtandart” was a problem magnet. Built in only 5 months, her timber was never properly dried causing the vessel to quickly fell into disrepair.
In 1727, she was ordered to be restored, but her hull broke apart when lifted from the water. A replacement was promised but did not see the light of day until today’s replica was launched on Sept. 4, 1999.