M / S Vestgar - A fully restored veteran
M / S Vestgar is a magnificent and majestic version of a veteran boat that is an ideal choice for both large and small companies and excursions. Vestgar is equipped with two comfortable lounges and plenty of deck space to move around. The aft deck is covered and forms a warm and cozy meeting place for those who need air. Inside there are varied seating areas so people can cuddle up. A Perfect boat for excursions with larger teams, where there will also be opportunities for food and drink.
- Length: 115.6 photo
- Width: 20.9 phot
- Depth: 8.8 phot
- Main machine:Wickmann Diesel
- Performance: 480 HK
Tonnage: 229,7 brt
- 1957-1979 Vestgar
- 1979-1980 Vestgar Senior
- 1980-2007 Peace Messenger
The boat's history
Vastgar ble levert fra P. Høyvolds Mek. Verksted i Kristiansand til Øygardsbåtane L/L i 1957. Hun gikk i denne tiden i den kombinerte last og passasjerruten mellom Øygarden og Bergen. Hun var innredet som en tradisjonell rutebåt og sjøbuss. På øverste dekk var det en stor, lys og trivelig salong med 81 sitteplasser og i salongen på hoveddekket var det 90 sitteplasser. Totalt var båten sertifisert for 252 passasjerer. På framdekket var det lastekarmer med lasterom. Til og med eget postkontor og kreaturstall var det. Båten hadde en 8 meter høy mast med bom som kunne ta 2 tonn.
The last trip
På 70-tallet ble øyene rundt Bergen mer og mer knyttet sammen til fastlandet med broer, og det var ikke lenger det samme behovet for lokalrutebåter. M/S Vestgar var den siste rutebåten som gikk i rute mellom Bergen, Fjell og Øygarden. Fredag 30. mai 1979 kl. 13.00 la hun ut fra Torgutstikkeren for siste gang i rute Geitanger – Ramsøy – Hernar – Nordøysund – Tjeldstø. En epoke i samferdselshistorien i distriktet var slutt.
Vestgar was then put into circulation, renamed Vestgar Senior and put up for sale. It was now ready for a new era in the boat's history.
Fred bid becomes
The boat was rebuilt in 1979/80 at Fyllingen Slipp AS in Langevåg near Ålesund. The cargo frames were removed, the post office disappeared, and a new booth was built on the starboard side. The rows of benches in the lower lounge were removed, the lounge divided, and a living room for the crew and a reading room were created. Two extra cabins were also made for officers at the stern of the salons downstairs. The chimney was moved backwards, and the upper lounge was extended aft and converted into a meeting room. Later, the mast and boom were also removed.
Mission Ring along the coast
The mission boat "Fredsbudet" sailed along the Norwegian coast with the gospel, and was one of the joint initiatives of the Pentecostal movement in Norway. The turnout was large when the Peace Messenger began to visit small coastal communities. At this time, people lived in several small and often roadless communities along the Norwegian coast, but this gradually changed with urbanization. The message of peace often stopped at small communities along the coast. Meetings and Bible lessons were held, as well as evangelism at the places visited.
A long-awaited homecoming
In 2007, the Peace Order faced an extensive and costly necessary rebuild to be able to sail on. In July 2007, Øygardsbåtane AS therefore bought Fredsbudet, to preserve it as a veteran ship for the region as the last scheduled boat that was on schedule in Sotra and the Øygards area. The boat was renamed Vestgar.
Due to the extensive changes that were made when the boat went as a mission boat, it is not possible to put Vestgar back as it was when it went on local routes between 1957 and 1979. The boat will therefore forever bear the mark of its total history.
Nevertheless, the boat has to the greatest possible extent been restored back to its time as a local scheduled boat. In addition to rehabilitation and beautification, it is also mounted on masts and booms.
Protected by Cultural Heritage
After being granted the status of protected ship in 2008, Vestgar was protected by the National Heritage Board in 2014 due to its historical importance. This ensures that future generations also have the opportunity to experience the role the boat played for the coastal population in the post-war period.
A trip back in history
Today, it can be difficult to understand the impact of boats that Vestgar had on the local villages they linked together in their time. Still, it feels as if you are going on a small time travel when you board the boat where you get to experience what it was like to travel between the villages in the post-war period.