Swish Arctic Project's San Gottardo

RAAMSDONKSVEER _ Altena Yachting has rebuilt a 1960s fishing trawler for a Swiss client,  transforming the vessel into an Explorer yacht that will run expeditions to arctic waters to monitor the impact of global warming there.

The vessel’s transformation was a Herculean undertaking. The steel-hulled San Gottardo was given a new aluminum wheelhouse and roomy, luxurious sleeping areas for 8 passengers. The vessel can stay at sea autonomously for many months. It has just completed a year of system testing on an arctic voyage. Altena Yachting has turned the San Gottardo into a passage maker that can circumnavigate the world. All of its safety-relevant systems are doubled. It was completely disassembled and converted into an expedition ship.

Altena Yachting was founded in 1969. It builds yachts from 12 to 20m: canal and coastal cruisers, seagoing luxury yachts and expedition craft. It has a dedicated department handling vessel maintenance, repair and renovations. Work on restoring vessels ranges from replacing rubber seams in teak decks to underwater ship treatment to engine refits and replacement.

Its work on the San Gottardo is impressive. The ship was launched in 1963 and served as a fishing trawler for only 2 years. Next came many years of refits, upgrades and neglect. In 2006, Otto Brinkman, the ship’s architect and engineer, drew up new plans.

These meant that ship was completely disassembled down to the rivets. It then received a new steel hull and an aluminum superstructure. Its 221 KW Caterpillar D343 marine engine underwent a refit. New installations included diesel generators, heating systems, solar panels, 2 radar systems, 3 independent GPS systems and a 200 liter/h salt water treatment plant. The ship’s electrical supply consists of 3 separate voltage networks: 400/220/24-Volt.