Looking ahead to the 350th anniversary of Swedish settlement in Delaware, the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation purchased land beside Fort Christina Park (WL2)—appropriately, a former shipyard—and set out to reconstruct the vessel that brought the first twenty-four Swedes in 1638. Master shipbuilder Allen Rawl and naval architect Thomas Gillmer researched the historical appearance of the three-masted, Dutch-built pinnace Kalmar Nyckel (“Key of Kalmar”) and ordered 50,000 feet of purple-heart wood from South America for the frame. The keel was laid in 1990, and the $4.3 million craft was launched seven years later, a living laboratory of seventeenth-century sailing. It has nine miles of rigging. The shipyard is used for public instruction in carpentry and other trades.
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Kalmar Nyckel Shipyard
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