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Traditional Ship Finds Work in Modern Era

Expert Article By: Eric Smith

Brought to you by - Educational research - 305.293.8514

The Discoverer Ketty Lund is a classic Danish North Sea trawler supporting scientific research on the sea. 73 feet long and built of oak, her charter is to assist all manor of scientific endeavor, from underwater archaeology to the study of deep ocean currents or the breeding habits of whales.

Cruising just off the shore off Hillsboro Inlet, Florida, this week to support the work of Beach Restorations INC investigating coastal erosion issues is an example of Discoverers participation in research projects. Under the direction of Beach Restorations president Tim Engle, the Discoverer and crew will assist in the deployment and recovery of scientific equipment used to collect information about coastal erosion on Florida?s famous coastline.

? There is no comparison to making a model in a lab verses actually diving the site with working with a crew that you know and trust.? Said Beach Restorations coastal engineer Dr. Kelly Rankin. It is much more difficult to deploy this equipment ( wave gauges and current meters) in the surf zone than it is to make a computer model, that?s why nobody has ever measured the wave forces here before. By using the Discoverer as a platform and her crew as divers, we were able to record information that will tell us exactly why the beach is being eroded, and how we can best mitigate it.? Another benefit of actually getting in the water to install the gauges was Rankins ability to observe the coral reef condition on the site. Although not a healthy , thriving reef, the coral was there. ?Imagine these tiny organisms ( coral polyps) are able to build a reef structure that can protect these giant man made buildings from the oceans harm during a storm. If we can help them to do that it certainly would be better than burying them under millions of tons of sand fill over and over again?


The Discoverer Ketty Lund was originally built to fish the North Sea for Cod out of Denmark. Fisherman Kai Lund commissioned and named for his wife Ketty to be constructed in heavy oak the style and technique that the Danish fishermen had always used and had descended from the Viking ships. Among her few concessions to modernism include the slow turning Burmeister-Wain engine, with a range of 2,000 miles, and a modern sailing rig to steady her in rough seas.

According to her retired captain Hamilton Carter, The Ketty Lund was built to massive specifications with help from the Danish government to survive a 60-year fishing life.

She fished for 20 years out of Esbjerg, Denmark, when the formation of the European Union required that the old wooden fishing boats be retired, destroyed, and replaced with steel ships. Ketty Lund escaped the wrecking yard when some Swedes took her to Gothenburg and converted her to a diving support vessel. After many years of exploring the coast of Scandinavia, they crossed the Atlantic via the Azores in search of paradise in the Caribbean,

Captain Hamilton Carter, the famous veteran of countless research voyages in the Antarctic and Arctic, rebuilt her interior completely in 1999 based on his experiences during a lifetime at sea in harsh environments, with accommodations for 12, including a large gourmet galley and dry facilities for working on equipment. He made several excursions into the iceberg-infested waters of northern Labrador before handing over command to Captain Eric Wartenweiler Smith in a ceremony at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic in Lunenburg Nova Scotia in 2002.


Edward Little, a NOAA scientist who assists Captain Smith in connecting with various agencies in need of marine science-related services, said that the Discoverers program would likely fill a valuable niche in the scientific community because of its versatility and small size. ?Almost as soon as I first toured the Ketty, I could see that it offered possibilities as a ?vest pocket? research vessel. She was seaworthy, roomy, and cheap to run. That?s something that many other ?research vessels? often fall short of,? Little said. Ed Little can be contacted at

Ken Hayes, president of Aqua Survey, a scientific research and consulting company based in Kingwood Township, N.J., has sponsored several scientific missions. ?Aqua Survey is looking forward to a long-term relationship with the Discoverer and with their vision of substance?. Hayes said.

Dr Kelly Rankin of Beach Restorations, Inc. has been a frequent member of the crew of the Discoverer for science related voyages, and occasionally just for the pleasure of a sailing voyage.

?One of the unique aspects of going to sea on a small ship like the Discoverer Ketty Lund is that every one pitches in together, be it on the deck or doing dishes? says Captain Smith. In fact the galley seems to be the second main attraction keeping the little ship in work. Recognizing that life at sea builds a big appetite, the Discoverer never sails without a well-stocked galley and an exceptional chef. ?Just because we are studying the food chain doesn?t mean we can?t enjoy participating in it,? says Discoverer chef Teresa Willis. Fresh fish and local delicacies influence the menu. Crew members come from all walks of life, most having a background in science or diving, but all sharing a common love of life aboard the Discoverer,

??On a recent mission, they hosted a Film crew making a TV documentary on the slave ship wreck Henrietta Marie. The crew was able to contribute to the success of the filming due to their considerable experience in shipwrecks and diving.

??? Until they see her, people often don?t get why a classic wooden boat is even in this field.? says Captain Smith. Maintaining an older vessel is time consuming and expensive, and the number of days at sea need to be matched up well with those in port for care of her hull and almost antique engine. Her small size means she is just not capable of handling some equipment now standard in the marine sciences, and limited bunk space essentially means only a few scientists at a time can come aboard.


The Sailing itinerary for the Discoverer Ketty Lund includes spending the rest of 2005 in the Caribbean before making the return trip to her native Denmark via Greenland and Iceland. This voyage will be spread out over several years to allow participation in exploration as well as maritime museums along the way.

Brought to you by - Educational research - 305.293.8514

About The Author

Eric Smith

Copyright 2005 - Educational research - 305.293.8514

Traditional Ship Finds Work In Modern Era Headlines

Boat owner getting that sinking feeling

GLOBE NORTH 2 / GLOUCESTER Some whispered that it was a ghost ship; others said that the Rosalia just needed a little love and tenderness to set sail again. But Gloucester harbormaster James Caulkett Jr. said there is no mystery about the boat that twice broke free from its lines over the past ... (Publication: The Boston Globe (Boston, MA))

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Boat yards feel loss as owners turn to winterizing at home

FALMOUTH -- Jack and Ricky Forani, father and son, aged 71 and 45, go through the familiar fall motions. Out of the chilly autumnal sea comes the family boat, a 26-foot outboat-powered fishing boat they use through the summer around the family's Cape Cod vacation home. With a winch whining, slowly ... (Publication: The Boston Globe (Boston, MA))

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Boat & yacht insurance helps us hook more personal-lines accounts

ITS MARCH. Every year around this time, boat sales begin to pick up and so, consequently, does our agency's insurance business. We are located near a large, manmade lake in Virginia, and writing coverage for boating risks comes with the territory. In this article, I'll explain how boats and ... (Publication: American Agent & Broker)

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Boat dealers hope to net sales at show.

Byline: Rebecca Ferrar Feb. 4--Several years ago, boat dealers Rico Silvera and Steve Sloan were dissatisfied with area boat shows because of what they saw as inadequate advertising, facilities and timing. So with the help of the East Tennessee Marine Trade Association, the two started The Boat ... (Publication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel (Knoxville, TN))

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Byline: Post staff report Police today intend to arrest the driver of a "cigarette" boat which ran over a smaller pleasure boat on the Ohio River Friday night and kept going, leaving six people injured. "The only thing I can tell you about the suspect is he basically caught himself because of his ... (Publication: The Cincinnati Post (Cincinnati, OH))

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Boat Sales Float Gently Higher

Spokane-area boat dealers are upbeat about sales this year after receiving a strong response at the recent exhibition boat show here."Our floor traffic has been greater the first two months of this year than the previous two years," says Doug Trudeau, co-owner of Trudeau's Marina. The longtime ... (Publication: Journal of Business)

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DENVER, CO -- The following information was released by the Colorado Department of Natural Resources: Boat inspectors at Colorado State Parks have checked more than 200,000 boats so far this year and confirmed aquatic nuisance species (ANS), including zebra and quagga mussels, on eight vessels, all ... (Publication: States News Service)

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"If we're not riding in boats, you can bet we're talking about them," declares Bob Cox, one of the founders of a museum in Clayton dealing with St. Lawrence River boat history. For trivia about sailing or rowing skiffs, ask Cox, a lifetime summer resident of nearby Grindstone Island. And for the ... (Publication: The Buffalo News (Buffalo, NY))

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Boat Builders Lower Prices to Get More Buyers Aboard

If you think of a boat as an awfully expensive toy, well, some folks in the marine industry would like it to be more affordable. For Brunswick Corp., the nation's largest recreational boat builder, that means every new model should cost the same or less than the model it replaces, a big change for ... (Publication: The Buffalo News (Buffalo, NY))

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Boat Maker Crafts One Smooth Operation

Byline: Tim Christie The Register-Guard Bruce and Elaine Koffler built their business one boat at a time. It started as a hobby 32 years ago when Bruce decided to build a drift boat for his own use. Dissatisfied with his early efforts, he'd change the design or material, build a new one, and sell ... (Publication: The Register Guard (Eugene, OR))

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