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Kalmar Nyckel : History : Building Kalmar Nyckel

Building Kalmar Nyckel

Launch_Christina River
The re-created Kalmar Nyckel was built at the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation’s shipyard on Wilmington’s historic 7th Street Peninsula. Research and planning for the new ship was conducted over many years in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Designed by naval architects Melbourne Smith and Thomas C. Gillmer, the ship was constructed from 1995 to 1997 under the supervision of Master Shipwright Allen C. Rawl.

The new Kalmar Nyckel was launched into the Christina River on September 29, 1997, about 200 yards downstream from the site of the original ship’s first landing at “the Rocks.” As the last ship built in Wilmington on the Christina River, the re-created Kalmar Nyckel brought a fitting close to the city’s long history as one of the nation’s most important shipbuilding centers, a place that launched tens of thousands of ships over more than 300 years.

A 10-year project undertaken by community leaders and many local volunteers, the new Kalmar Nyckel would not have been launched without the vision and support of then-Governor (now US Senator) Thomas R. Carper, the Delaware General Assembly, Tatiana Copeland, the Riverfront Development Corporation of Delaware, and the Delaware River and Bay Authority.

Its creation was an important community event that brought together volunteers from all walks of life to build something truly unique ... uniquely Delaware.

 For more about the construction and launch of the ship, click here to see KALMAR NYCKEL: A Guide to the Ship and Her History (pp. 33-38)

Guide Book

Kalmar Nyckel : History : Building Kalmar Nyckel

Did you know: That today's Kalmar Nyckel is a re-creation of a three-masted, square-rigged, gun-armed merchant ship?

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