H 458 ”Vilhelm” – A Brief History

H 458 “Vilhelm” was built in 1888 at Lynæs, a small harbour on the north coast of Zealand, Denmark at the mouth of Roskilde Fjord. She was built by Peter Madsen for master baker Vilhelm Hansen from Atterup who planned to use the boat purely for pleasure during the summer and as a fishing vessel during the winter.

In 1900, “Vilhelm” was sold to a fisherman from Gilleleje. It was not until 18 years later that his son-in-law took over a half share. It was common practise then for several fishermen to part-own boats like “Vilhelm”. Likewise, merchants requiring transport of their goods around Denmark would have been interested in part-owning similar boats, which could then well have had 4, 6 or more owners. However, “Vilhelm” was only owned by 1 or 2 men during the whole of this period - and they all came from the same family.

For the first 17 years of her life “Vilhelm” had no engine and fishing and the transport of potatoes to Nyhavn in Copenhagen was at the whim of wind and weather. A trip to Anholt, an island only 40 Nm away, could sometimes take weeks!

There were 3-5 men in the crew. When out fishing, a dinghy was usually brought along to help when setting and hauling in the nets.

Up until 1959 “Vilhelm” was registered in Gilleleje. She was then sold and left the north Zealand coast, passing though the hands of 4 different owners until 1988 when, 100 years after being built, “Vilhelm” finally returned to Gilleleje – Gilleleje Museum now being the new owner.

In 1993 - after 5 years of repair and restoration, “Vilhelm” was finally returned to the condition in which she had originally been built in1888.
“Vilhelm” has since been used as a sailing Museum.

The beamy, seaworthy “Vilhelm” was typical of the boats used for fishing off the north Zealand coast at that time. Although the special wave systems in the shallow waters of the Kattegat can give nasty and difficult working conditions, even when it is not blowing hard, “Vilhelm” has proven to be especially stable and comfortable, even in the worst weather.

“Vilhelm” is maintained and crewed by over a hundred volunteers, all members of a society specially set up for the purpose, known as the ‘Vilhelm Skibslaug’, who sail her most Mondays during the summer months.

In the Menu to the left, you will see following items, translated from Danish:

Bestyrelse /Kontakt ===> Name of the members in the Committee;
Sejlplan /Aktiviteter ===> Calender, trip to be sailed, or activities;
Siden sidst m/foto ====> Last happenings (some with pictures);