Kalmar Nyckel

Lewes, DE, August 2011


Kalmar Nyckel

Kalmar Nyckel (Key of Kalmar) was a Swedish ship built by the Dutch famed for carrying Swedish settlers to North America in 1638, to establish the colony of New Sweden. The name Kalmar Nyckel comes from the Swedish city of Kalmar and nyckel meaning key in Swedish. The name was also a tribute to Kalmar Castle which was a symbol of power during the time of the Swedish Empire when Sweden was a military great power. A replica of the ship was launched at Wilmington, Delaware, in 1997.

The modern Kalmar Nyckel

In 1986, a group of citizens of Wilmington, Delaware, established the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation, whose primary source of funding is from the taxpayers of the State of Delaware, plus donations from corporations and individuals. The foundation designed, built, and launched a replica of Kalmar Nyckel. The modern ship, designed by naval architects Thomas C. Gillmer and Iver Franzen, with additional help from Melbourne Smith, Joel Welter, and Ken Court, was built at a shipyard in Wilmington on the Christina River near the original 1638 Swedish settlers' landing site at Fort Christina. She was launched on September 28, 1997, and commissioned on May 9, 1998. The re-creation measures 94 feet (29 m) on deck and 131 feet (40 m) overall, with a 25-foot (7.6 m) beam, a 12-foot (3.7 m) draft, and a displacement of 300 tons.

The ship is operated and maintained by a volunteer staff, under the leadership of a paid captain, boatswain, and chief mate. In November 2006, the captain of the Kalmar Nyckel, David W. Hiott, who had commanded her for nine seasons, died from the effects of recurring melanoma. Captain Lauren Morgens took over on April 1, 2007, with Sharon Dounce as Port Captain/Relief Captain. Volunteers maintain the ship, run the education program, and sail her from port to port.

source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalmar_Nyckel on 20201114

This page is part of a Delaware heritage set of pages - Created 2020-11-14
Roger Thijs, Euro-Support, Inc., Wilmington DE, Steenokkerzeel, Belgium & Lille, France