GRATITUDE (1903 UK) Sweden 1932

Gratitude was built in 1903 in Porthleven, Cornwall. A sailing trawler with a crew of up to 5 men and a cabin boy. It was a tough life out on the North Sea and some ships were wrecked. On the 30th September 1911 she was involved in a terrible storm in which she was close to sinking. Three out of five crew members were washed overboard. Only the cabin boy and the third mate survived and miraculously succeeded, in what was termed “A piece of outstanding seamanship” in bringing the ship back to port.
In 1932 she was sold to Sweden where she was used for long-distance fishing. Sailing out of the Swedish port of Grundsund during a period when lots of English cutters came to the coast to fish there, so Gratitude was not alone and according to local legend, she was Grundsund’s fastest fishing boat. Between 1936-38 she was completely renovated, including an extensive hull repair, only later to be used as a cargo ship. About twenty years on, in 1957, she changed hands again and she was converted for use as a sailing school ship.
It wasn’t until the summer of 1989, that the Sailing School learned a previously unknown history of Gratitude. As mentioned above, “After a tough North Sea passage with a London destination, both Gratitude and Atlantica entered the port of Lowestoft to regain their strength. It was also discovered that Lowestoft was Gratitude’s home port just before she was sold for long-distance fishing. This was all discovered through an amateur scientist who happened to be on the quay by chance at the time of construction. Through him they also made contact with the Suffolk Records Office where several logbooks about Gratitude were found”


GRATITUDE (1903 UK) Sweden 1932
Pictured here at the start of the Halmstad race start 2017. Position 55º10N 012º56E

Rig:  Gaff Ketch
LOA:   23.7m
Beam:  6m
Depth: 3m
Sail Area:  360sqm


Richard Sibley

Photographer with a passion for photographing tall ships and traditional sailing boats

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