STA Finland´s flagship vessel, the schooner Helena, will begin her renovation project in Gdansk today. Work will be carried out by ACTIV-dock and subcontractor YBM, a specialist in luxury yachts.
STA Finland's, CEO, Stefan Abrahamsson says that Helena's renovation has been prepared for a long time.
"We wanted to make a total refit, and the collection of a proper financing took while. ACTIV-dock has a really good reputation, and we trust that Helen will have a worthy treatment. Helen is called, with good reason the Finnish flagship of sail training, and renovation of the iconic Helena will once again give thousands sail trainees safe and enjoyable nautical miles , says Abrahamsson.
The renovation is estimated to be completed in June 2012. Externally, the biggest change relates to the rigging as she will be transformed into a Bermuda rigged schooner to improve the manageability of hte ship in rough weather.
"Helena's interior remains the same, but otherwise the board will be corrected in practice, all engineering, piping, electricity and machinery" Abrahamsson says.
TS Helena, planned by Guy Ribadaeu Dumas, was launched from the Uusikaupunki shipyard in 1992. During her first 20-years she has achieved a splendid history of Sail Training. TS Helena has sailed an average of 300-310 days per year. Accumulated a staggering 550000 nautical miles, and about 5,300 young sail trainees have so far sailed on her during different programs. Some 6,000 people have sailed on her on during weekend and day sails.
Helena's most memorable visits include South Africa, Cape Town, the most isolated place in the world, the island of Tristan da Cunha, Cape Horn, South America and she has crossed the Atlantic 36 times.
Svalbard Helena captured in the summer of 2008. Then the schooner Helena was also closer to the North Pole than any other so far known Finnish sailing ship when she crossed the 80 degrees north latitude.
For more information:
Sail Training Association Finland
tel +35840 595 7141
stefan.abrahamsson @ staf.fi