Boat Models – Icelandic Boating History Comes To Life

by thrandur

Nothing comes closer to the feeling of real boats than boat models. Grímur Karlsson is an old salt and was a captain for many years. When he retired in 1984 he began crafting boat models. Not just a few – the number is now close to 200!

The models are extremely well made. Grímur shows his love for boats, fishing and everything else related to the big blue ocean.

Boat Models - Helga EA2 as as schooner with Grímur Karlsson standing by

Grímur standing by one of his most loved boats. The boat is Helga EA2, originally built in England in 1874 as the Onward. As you can see it was a beautiful schooner with full sails.

Like many boats the Helga has a fascinating story. From the beginning it was haunted. One of the builders in England had a fiancé. With the weight of 80-100 tons the ship fell on her port side and landed on the beautiful young woman. She was carried to one of the beds aboard the ship and died soon after. Her ghost was said to haunt the boat ever since.

As soon as the boat came to Iceland just before 1900 she was named “Helga” in honor of the dead girl. Helga was a lucky ship and protected and watched over by the ghost of the girl.

Boat Models - Helga EA2

Some years later an engine was installed along with a steering hose and the removal of sails. All that time the bed where the girl gave up her life was never used for sleeping and was closed off.

After serving well for years, Helga was taken out of use and lost her dignity with the house and steering gear removed. The hulk was left to decay and used to store empty herring barrels. In the summer of 1944, Helga broke up in a storm.

A local farmer saw the ship sail by not long after the accident and since he was sure he saw someone standing at the wheel he called to ask who was aboard. The answer he got was that nobody was aboard and the ship had somehow gotten loose.

A boat was sent after her but they didn’t see anyone alive in her and never got an opportunity to get aboard. This was the last anybody saw of Helga – sailing out the bay.

Boat Model

Gunnvör wheelhouse detail.

Boat Models - Dagný herring fisher.

Dagný herring fisher.

Boat Models - Hafþór RE 66

Hafþór RE 66

Boat Models - Wheelhouse detail of one of the boats.

Wheelhouse detail of one of the boats.

Boat Models - Snæfell closeup.

Snæfell closeup.

Boat Models - Sæmundur KE 9

Sæmundur KE 9

Boat Models - Eldey KE 37

Eldey KE 37

Boat Models - Kópur from Tálknafjörður Iceland.

Kópur from Tálknafjörður Iceland.

Boat Models - Hjalti SI 12 with three fishermen catching herring.

Hjalti SI 12 with three fishermen catching herring.

Boat Models - Hrísey EA 10 "Sharkship"

Hrísey EA 10 “Sharkship”

Probably built in Scotland around 1860 to 1870 and made of oak and pine. The ship was bought to the island Hrísey by Kristinn Stefánsson from Ystibær around 1880. She was used to catch sharks until 1924.

Boat Models - Fróði ÍS 454

Fróði ÍS 454.

The boats are on display in Grímur Karlsson’s boat museum in Keflavík, Iceland.

Thrandur Arnthorsson
Boat2Fish.net

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