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UNICORN tall ship

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UNICORN tall ship

Postby shipstamps » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:51 pm


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Built by Helge Johansson of Sibbo, Finland of timbers cut out of the wood around that place, the schooner rigged vessel was built for his own account.
1948 Launched under the name LYRA.
Tonnage 102 gross, 64 net, 224 dwt. Dim. 78 x 24.5 x 8.25ft. (draught)

From 1948 under command of Capt. Helge Johansson used to carry sand and building materials for the rebuilding of the Second World bombed towns in Finland.
Later an engine fitted in, and still used to carry sand around the coast of Finland under command of Johansson.

1971 Found in an abandoned state by the photograph Jaques Thiry, and he bought the LYRA, and renamed her UNICORN.
1971/72 Thiry and Pertti Tarvas sailed her to Ystad in Sweden, and together with others he began to reconstruct her after drawings and plans of the French built brig ADOLPH ET LAURA of 1867 in a brig rigged cargo vessel.
Shortage of funds requires considerable ingenuity and use of locally available raw materials. Mast and yards were cut from the forests of Viken and transported to a nearby farm, were they were cured and shaped by friends enthusiastic enough to endure the cold Scandinavian winter. Timber from the trees of the same forest provided deck planking. Blocks deadeyes, and belaying pins were hand-fashioned and all iron fittings were hand-forged out of scrap iron. Her main and fore mast were stepped after 50 tons of rocks and sand were carried below for ballast.
She sailed from Sweden to escape the hazardous ice and cold of the winter of 1972-73. While underway at the Canarische Islands the rigging was completed and the sails bent to the yards.

She crossed the Atlantic sailing under USA flag and arrived spring 1973 at Barbados and sailed from there to the USA.
After she returned to the Caribbean waters she was used as a cargo vessel sailing between Honduras to the Cayman Islands with vegetables and other agrarian products. But when hurricane Fifi made havoc in 1973 in this area, the trade was finished, and the UNICORN sailed to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

In 1974 William Wycoff-Smith president of the Philadelphia Maritime Museum bought the vessel to use her for the Tall Ships race between Bermuda and Boston, and thereafter to use her as a sail-training vessel, the UNICORN was registered under the Unicorn International, Florida.

First she was refitted in a sail-training vessel, about half of the timbers had to be renewed and in the cargo hold five two berth cabins were installed for passengers and berths for the 12 men crew. Underwater the hull was coppered, and two watertight bulkheads fitted in.
She got a new engine a 335 hp. Caterpillar diesel.
Dim. 45.1 x 6.7 x 2.7m. (draught), tonnage190 tons. Sail area 684m².

1975 When William Wycoff-Smit suddenly died on a heart attack his plans were fulfilled and under command of the former owner Jaques Thiry she took part in the Tall Ships Race from Bermuda to Newport in 1976. The same year chartered for the film Roots, and used as a slavetransport.

Between 1976 and 1978 again chartered, now for use in the film “Ghost of Cape Horn”.
1978 Took part in the Tall Ship Race from Baltimore via Philadelphia and Newport to Boston.

Between she was used as a sail-training vessel for financially low-income groups like the Florida Ocean Sciences Institute and the Tampa Sea Scouts.

1980 Took part in the race from Norfolk to Boston.
End 1980 was she bought by the English hotelier Robert Elliot and he brought the UNICORN to Castries, St Lucia. Registered at this port and sails under St Lucia flag.
From this port used in charter day trips around the island. Has a crew of 9 and can carry 150 passengers.

2002 She featured in a new Walt Disney film, “Pirates of the Caribbean” which will be released in the summer of 2003. She sailed to St Vincent January 2003 where she will be used in this film.

St Lucia 1991 $1 sg 1062, scott 978

Source; Watercraft Philately Vol. 40 page 79. http://home.snafu.de/heldt.zedler/gross ... _Brigg.htm http://www.tallship-fan.de/index_e.htm
http://www.stluciastar.com/weekend/satn ... /news3.htm
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Re: UNICORN tall ship

Postby aukepalmhof » Thu May 29, 2014 10:09 am

An iconic two-masted, square-rigged tall ship famously featured in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies has sunk off Saint Lucia.

According to reports, the Brig Unicorn sank early Saturday morning as it sailed from Saint Lucia to Saint Vincent & the Grenadines for dry docking, a short journey of about 18 miles.

St. Lucia Times reports that the ship sank within a matter of minutes of first taking on water. So far there is no official determination as to the cause of her sinking.

All 10 crew members including the captain abandoned ship and were rescued by the St. Vincent & the Grenadines coast guard some time later. No injuries were reported.

In an interview with the St. Lucia Times, a spokesman for the St. Vincent & the Grenadines coast guard said the ship had already sunk upon their arrival at the scene.

The 138-foot long Brig Unicorn was built in the late 1940’s in Finland. The ship was featured in at least three of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies (although not as the Black Pearl), as well as in the 1970’s TV series Roots.

The ship has been in St. Lucia since 1980, serving mostly recently as a bar and restaurant in Rodney Bay Marina.

The vessel will likely not be salvaged.

Source: Saint Lucia Times
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