The eel drifter ULF was one of innumerable vessels that crowded Ringkøbing Fjord in the early 1900s. She was built in 1925 at Sdr. Lyngvig near Hvide Sande by boatbuilder Niels Chr. Graversen and his employees. At the time, ULF was nothing special. The eel drifter was one of many. In fact, there were more than 100 eel drifters on Ringkøbing Fjord at that time. When eel fishing with dragnet was prohibited, the eel drifters disappeared.

In 1986, more than 60 years later, Ringkøbing-Skjern Museum began to gather information about eel fishing in Ringkøbing Fjord. Olaf Martinsen, a museum employee, took part in this research work and he came across ULF.

The finished hull as it looked when it left the museums workshop. 

The museum measured and described the old eel drifter and set about reconstructing the vessel. Museum policy changed and the ULF project was shelved for some years. In 2018, Olav Martinsen attended the annual general meeting of Træskibs Sammenslutningen (Timber Ships Union), where he heard Tom Rasmussen and Thomas Højrup explain that: “…in the absence of an original, a good replica is often worth preserving for posterity.” One thing led to another and within a short time the museum received a statement of support from Skibsbevaringsfonden and a donation from Nordea-fonden (both are charitable
foundations).

It happened that the replica the museum had been building was the very last eel drifter in Ringkøbing Fjord. This meant that the vessel was worthy of preservation even before it was finished.

Building work resumed and in 2020 there was once more an eel drifter on Ringkøbing Fjord.

ULF on Ringkøbing Fjord

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