S/Y Daphne

S/Y Daphne

Daphne was ordered by doctor Oskar Mustelin and drawn by Jarl Lindblom in 1935.  She was originally a gaff-rigged schooner built at Åbo Båtvarf (Turku Shipyard) but rigged into a ketch in the 1940s by her second owner Uno Tennberg from Ekenäs. Christoffer H Ericsson traded his boat with Tennberg and became thus the third owner of the Daphne. After a failed sailing trip Ericsson decided to sell her and Göran Schildt succeeded in buying her in 1947.

After buying Daphne Schildt wrote the following: 

”The truth is that I sometimes ask myself if I truly receive such great pleasure or profit from my boat that it surpasses the discomfort it causes. At times I see myself as a secondary appendage to Daphne: she becomes finer and more exclusive and receives the best of care while I toil like a madman, jeopardize my health, exhaust my energy and sacrifice all my wellbeing to keep her in trim. I often have the feeling that it is Daphne that wants to sail, not me, and yet I can not resist going sailing on a Sunday when she lies at the harbour ready and waiting. Clearly I am exaggerating, but there is a hint of truth in it that otherwise would be neglected, and that applies to other areas in my life besides sailing as well.”

Daphnes adventures and sailingtrips

Göran Schildt’s first long-distance sailing with Daphne was his trip from the North via the french canals to the Mediterranean Sea. This voyage resulted in the book In the wake of a wish (published in English in 1954 Swedish in 1949). Schildt financed his travels by writing about them in newspaper articles that were later compiled into books. The books were greatly successful and have been translated into many languages. In the years 1949-1987, Schildt wrote several books about his travels with Daphne. The last book he wrote was Farväl Daphne (Farewell Daphne) in 1987. 

Sailing changed after 1965 when Schildt acquired a home on the greek island of Leros. After that he had less time to sail and to maintain his beloved boat. His first thought was to sink her outside of Leros but destiny intervened. Joachim and Petra Fritz contacted him and inquired about buying the boat, and in 1984 they became her new owners. Fritz was a carpenter and an experienced boatsman and Schildt knew he would be able to take care of Daphne. The Fritz couple sailed with the Daphne for ten years. In 1995 she got hit by the hurricane Luis and thrown ashore in Oyster Pond on St Martins in the Caribbean Sea. 

The Pro Daphne Foundation is founded

Around the same time, a group of Schildts friends had started talking about bringing Daphne back home. They founded the Pro Daphne Foundation and arranged her transport back to Finland. By this time, she was a total wreck and it took 4500 hours of restoration at the Kuggom shipbuilding school in eastern Uusimaa to get her back in shape. The restoration work was finished in 2000, after which she was donated to the Forum Marinum Foundation. Today, she is situated in the museum restaurant Göran at Forum Marinum in Åbo.

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