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World’s biggest sailing ship Sedov changes home port

The world’s biggest sailing ship Sedov has changed its home port from Murmansk in northwestern Russia to Russia’s westernmost port city of Kaliningrad

MURMANSK, April 10. /TASS/. The world’s biggest sailing ship Sedov has changed its home port from Murmansk in northwestern Russia to Russia’s westernmost port city of Kaliningrad, a spokesman for the Murmansk State Technical University, the former manager of the ship, told TASS on Monday.

"The ship is property of the Russian Federation and has been managed by the Murmansk State Technical University. In order to minimize state budget spending on maintenance training ships, it was decided to place the ship in operating management of the Kaliningrad State Technical University which is subordinated to the Federal Fisheries Agency," the spokesman said.

Kaliningrad and the town of Svetly located near it are home to ship repair yards, which can boast a big experience in repairing and post-voyage maintenance of sailing ships. Such services require special equipment and high-skilled professionals who can handle tackle gear and conduct hull works with the use of cold riveting techniques, the spokesman said, adding however that all training voyages scheduled for 2017 will be carried out in full. Thus, the next regular training session will begin on April 25. The Sedov will sail off for its new home port of Kaliningrad on Tuesday.

The Sedov barque, originally named the Magdalene Vinnen II, was launched in Kiel in 1921 at Germany’s Friedrich Krupp Germaniwrft. She was used as a cargo ship voyaging from Europe to South America, Australia, South East Asia and Oceania. In 1936, the Magdalene Vinnen II was sold to Norddeutscher Lloyd, Bremen and renamed the Kommodore Johnsen. The new owner modified it to a cargo-carrying training ship, and apart from its permanent crew, the ship was to have 50 to 60 trainee officers aboard on each journey. She came under Russian state ownership after the surrender of Germany, on December 20, 1945, when the British handed over the ship to the Soviet Union as war reparation. In the Soviet Union, she was converted into a sail training vessel of the Soviet Navy. She was renamed the Sedov after the Arctic explorer Georgy Sedov who died during an Arctic expedition in 1914.

Today, The Sedov is a sail training vessel, training cadets from the universities of Murmansk, St. Petersburg, and Arkhangelsk. She participates regularly in the big maritime international events as a privileged host and has also been a regular participant in The Tall Ships' Races.

The Sedov has been entered into the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest traditional sailing ship in operation. The 117.5-meter-long ship has sails more than 4,000 square meters in area. She holds the official world sailing ship's speed record - 12.6 knots.