Christian Radich

Mar 17, 2015, 7:00AM EST
Christian Radich
The Norwegian passenger/sail training vessel

 Christian Radich is a full-rigged ship, meaning that it has (at least) three masts and all of the masts are rigged for square (actuality rectangular) sails.  It was built in Sandefjord, Norway in 1937 as a sail training vessel for the Norwegian merchant marine.  At that time, a number of merchant vessels still operated under sail, but that is no longer the case.  By the 1990’s, the Norwegian merchant marine ceased its close affiliation with the vessel.  Over time, the Norwegian Navy began using the ship as a venue for its officer training program.  Recently, though, the Norwegian Navy announced that, effective April 2015, it will not renew its contract with the vessel.  Commencing in 1999, the Christian Radich has operated part of each year as a combination passenger vessel and sail training vessel.  It travels to foreign (mostly European) ports with a permanent crew of about eighteen sailors and up to 80 paying passengers/trainees.  The ship participates in sailing events and in sailing ship races, such as the Cutty Sark Tall Ships’ Race.  It is perhaps best known in the United States for participation in the Operation Sail parade in New York Harbor on 4 July 1976 during the US Bicentennial Celebration.  It has appeared in various television shows and starred in the motion picture “Windjammer: The Voyage of the Christian Radich”, released in 1958.  Christian Radich is 205 feet in length.  Its masts reach a height of 124 feet and its 27 sails cover 14,600 square feet.  Its 900 HP engine can propel it at a speed of 10 knots, but it has reached 14 knots under sail.  The ship is named after Christian Radich (1822-1889), a Norwegian saw mill owner.  He loved the sea, appreciated the importance of maritime trade, and established the foundation that funded the building of vessel.

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