Work on building a copy of ULF began at Ringkøbing-Skjern Museum in 1986. The hull was complete in 1996. Work ground to a standstill until 2018, at which time the museum received a donation from Nordea-fonden’s coastal funding pool to complete the vessel. The museum contracted Hvide Sande Shipyard to finish building the vessel.

The shipyard’s carpenters and apprentices started work and by the end of summer 2020, the bulkhead, deck and deckhouse were complete, and the motor fitted. Subsequently, volunteers worked on painting, rigging and making ULF ready to sail.

ULF at Hvide Sande Shipyard

On 7 October 2020, ULF chugged out into Ringkøbing Fjord and then sailed from Hvide Sande to Ringkøbing.

ULF’s hull is clinker-built. Fourteen planks (called strakes) on each side were steam-bent over moulds to ensure that each plank’s contours were correct. Strakes are neither straight nor parallel. Each strake is crafted individually. The strakes form the bow and deadwood (lower part of the hull) – both of which are decisive for the vessel’s seaworthiness. The strakes are crafted based on a so-called “story stick”, a model with chalk markings and dimensions the boatbuilder makes each time he transfers the boat’s dimensions to a new plank. The boatbuilder evaluates the contours of the split and shaped planks by eye and using a joggle or tick stick or a long, malleable lath, and saws and planes each side before fitting. Without precision joinery there would be no seaworthy vessel.

The skills used here are precisely those Niels Chr. Graversen and his employees used to build the original ULF in 1925.

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