Fulton of Marstal

A small, tall ship

Fulton of Marstal is a 3-mast schooner from 1915, built to transport dried and salted cod from Newfoundland to the Mediterranean. Nowadays, the ship is an active part of the Danish Maritime Heritage.

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Fulton now

Youth at sea

Most weeks during the sailing season we have a school class on board. Ordinary school classes are offered 5-day trips on Fulton. The students take part in all kinds of practical work to make the schooner sail. For example, hoisting the sails, cooking dinner, cleaning and night shifts.

Fulton is also a place where a small group of vulnerable youngsters can find a good direction in life. These young people, with different kinds of difficulties, are offered to live on Fulton for longer periods of time. While on board they work side by side with the crew. We work to improve their skills and help them believe in their own abilities. The goal is to motivate them to complete an education or to find employment and enabling them to live a fulfilled life.

A couple of times a year we are joined by Danish Sail Training Association (DSTA). On these cruises, we increase focus on sail training and teach different kinds of practical seamanship.

The organization “Fulton Fonden” takes care of the daily operations and maintenance of the ship. Our motto is: “We work together to make good days for each other”. Fulton of Marstal is owned by the Danish National Museum.

Maritime history

A journey through time

Sailing a ship like Fulton from 1915 feels like a journey through time. Maritime history is present and relevant. When standing on the deck, it is hard not to imagine what working life was like 100 years ago on ships like Fulton.

Sailing ships like Fulton carried cargo to large parts of the world in the 19th century. Danish shipping today is based on the seamanship that was founded on these ships. Where thousands of sailors lived and worked on board under primitive conditions and in all kinds of weather.

The Newfoundland trade

Salted and dried cod

Transporting cargo of dried and salted cod from Newfoundland near Canada to southern Europe was very attractive in the early 1900s. Payment was good. On this route, sailing ships could still compete with the more reliable steamships, for whom waiting was expensive. The salted and dried cod was popular in the Catholic countries in the Mediterranean, where no meat was eaten during fasting. The ships loaded the fish from natural harbors of Newfoundland when it was ready to be shipped. It could take weeks before the ship was fully loaded. Waiting time was spent maintaining the ship.

Before loading the fish, the cargo hold was cleaned, branches of spruce were laid down beside the keel, which left the bottom in level. Bottom and sides were covered by dense layers of birch bark to protect the fish from rusty nails. Wooden carts, each loaded with 50 kg of fish, was carried on board by two men. The fish was then carefully stacked in horizontal rows, where each fish covered 4/5 of the previous one. This ensured that the load was stable on the journey and in good condition when unloaded.