The world's oldest sailing galleon
The Galeas Loyal is a two-masted 85-foot crawler-built sailing ship, built at Rosendal in 1877. It is thus - in contrast to a galley-rigged yacht - a real galeas, and probably the world's oldest sailing one. There were rumors about her from the time she was launched, especially among sailors, and for obvious reasons she was quickly nicknamed "Kvitegaleasen".
You do not need to have salt water over the years to be able to enjoy the sight of the beautiful hull and the sleek lines on Loyal. Now, fully restored and better than new, Loyal is ready for action: Excursion or representation, team building or accompanying event, excursion or cruise over several days - you can be sure that it will be a good and lasting memory.
The boat's history
LOYAL was built as a galeas in Rosendal in Hardanger in 1877 by Knut Johannessen Nes or "Gjøra-Knuten" as he was popularly called. This is the same man who made the Hardanger Hunt world famous because he also built GJØA which Roald Amundsen took through the northwest passage.
Loyal was built to carry up to 900 barrels of herring and was designed to sail the high seas. Today we know a good deal about her ramshackle history. Some have emerged through oral sources and some have been documented in various books and ship journals. We have the most valuable (unique) in logbooks from 1887 - 1922.
Tiden 1874-95 var en langvarig depresjonsalder. Trass depresjonen og den spesielle saltsildkrisen frå 1877-95 ble det anskaffet 34 nye galeaser til Haugesund, den største økningen blant samtlige fartøytyper. Det var folk frå Haugesund som startet Islandsfisket selv om konjunkturene var svært dårlige. LoyalL ble først og fremst bygget med tanke på fiskehandel ved Island og Nordland, samt det store eksportmarkedet. Værforholdene ved Island satte store krav til skutene. Ettersom svært mange jakter havarerte overtok galeasene stadig mer fordi de var større og mer sjødyktige. De hadde også en lettere handterlig rigg, noe som gjorde seilasen sikrere. Dermed kunne mannskapshyren reduseres. Loyal ble bygget på den tiden Haugesunderne for alvor kastet seg ut i fraktfarten på de store hav. Men det skulle vise seg at dette var siste fase av norsk seglskipsfart si stordomstid. Og den tok brått slutt i 1879. Dette året som innleia skipsbyggingens ende i Haugesund, var også det avgjerande vendepunkt i dei kvite segls historie i Noreg. Seglskutene går no inn i sin lange dødskamp. For LOYAL sitt vedkommande vart det også ein lang kamp. Det skulle gå over 40 år før den fekk si fyrste maskin. LOYAL overlevde takka være sitt lojale mannskap
In 1881 she was in Iceland and transported herring back. In the Baltic Sea, the most used ports were Kønigsberg, Riga, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Norrköping, Kalmar and Karlskrona. Other countries in Europe include Germany, Denmark, France, England, Spain and Portugal.
Loyal has also sailed around Cape Horn with clipfish to Chile. Oral sources also say that she was involved in transporting the copper to the Statue of Liberty in New York.
She has been registered in the west country from Haugesund in the south to Kristiansund in the north and has always carried the name "Loyal". She got her first engine in 1932, but had sails until well into the 1950s.
Back as a sailing ship
In 1974 she was bought by John Hausberg who together with her son Audun restored her back as a sailing ship. She was launched again in 1997, and has since 1998 operated at commercial speed with Audun Hausberg as skipper. The intention is to safeguard and pass on our maritime traditions in a lively and genuine way.