The ship has sailed under four flags and experienced two world wars

Sailing ship Joanna Saturna, originally VL 74, was built in 1903 in Vlaardingen, Holland. The ship represented a small two-mast sailing ship typical type of her time, which was used for fishing in the Northern Sea. In the eyes of the seafarers and salesman she was an ordinary but practical sailing ship with a logger-tackle.
The later history of the ship follows the ordinary pattern for sailing ships: the machinery gets bigger, the rig gets smaller and even the name is changed a few times.

There was not supposed to be any future for Joanna Saturna. She was a memory from the past centuries, from the times before the full-rigged sailing ships. She was a sailing ship witch was mend to bring livelihood to one family. The ship should not have been built at all in the beginning of 20th century because all the relations of the ship, usage, crew and the earning logic were based on the traditions of the old world. Only concession for the new times the iron hull.

Joanna Saturna saw her 100th birthday in 2003. The ship had sailed under four flags and through two world wars still intact. She had also succeeded in answering the challenges set by sea fare of the 20th century. The sailing tradition was replaced by effectiveness in then 1920´s and by preciseness – or dullness – in 1950´s.

Only a few ships that have sailed trough an entire century, like Joanna Saturna, have remained in Europe. Everything in the past of Joanna Saturna, is a part of history in Europe. The same kind of values and attitudes could be attached to any ship build anywhere in Europe at the same period of time but only Joanna Saturna has survived through the entire 20th century. In the beginning of the new millennium she got a new life, sailing under the Finnish flag.

During the years Joanna Saturna lost her sails and was used as a freighter in Norway transporting first sand and later fish fodder. The vessel was bought to Finland year 2000 direct from the freight traffic, when the old owner retired.
The present owner, Mikko Karvonen wanted to respect the old traditions and to return the ship to its former glory as a sailing ship. The massive task meant tearing down the ship and then totally rebuilding it. Nothing but the hull, gear box, axel and propeller were left of the old freighter. The old ship became a true beauty, rigged as a two-mast gaff schooner, a classic of its time.

In designing the new rigging the opinions of members of experts in tradition ships were hear. As one of the many sources was a book by Harold A. Underhill, Mastings & Rigging. After thorough consideration the gaff schooner rig was chosen and the rigging was done during the winter of 2001-2002 in Pietarsaari, Finland.

The ship is iron-hulled logger and she represents a type of sailing ships which only a few have remained in sailing condition. She is the only one of her kind in Finland. Joanna Saturna is registered as a historic class vessel by the Finnish Maritime Museum and the Finnish National Board of Antiquities. 

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