It all started with the restoration of an old yacht. Since then, the Robbe & Berking Classics shipyard has been engaged not only in the restoration, but also in the construction of new yachts.
Robbe & Berking Classics: new life for old projects
Norwegian sailor, constructor and shipyard owner Johan Anker (1871-1940), one of the initiators of the legendary conference held in London in 1906, where it was founded IYRU (now ISAF, International Sailing Federation), invited European yachtsmen to create formula rules for measuring yachts, which became the basis for the international handicap system. The essence of the proposal was to create identical boats. This simplified the procedure for determining the winner: the winner was the one who crossed the finish line first. New International Measurement Rules determined the appearance of new classes, for example, a 12-meter boat appeared R-class (racing boat 12mR).
There is also a hopeless case - a skerry yacht hangs as a decoration in a boathouse above the boats 12mR "Sphinx" and 6mR "Siesta"
The new formula has kept a certain balance between freedom and limitation for designers. Thus, in accordance with the new rules, 12mR boats could vary greatly in length: from 15 to 20 meters. In the first half of the 20th century, these rules were revised twice. These measurement rules, after the final version was approved in 1933, for 12mR yachts were valid until the 1980s at the America's Cup.
According to the formula he developed before the First World War, Johan Anker creates several more projects that bring him success. At the Olympic Games in 1908, his yacht "Fram" 8mR twice took second place, and in 1912 the yacht "Brand IV" 12mR won gold. In 1929 (and they write that in 1928) Anker developed his most famous project, familiar to every yachtsman - "Dragon", which is still a classic racing class. In 1939, Johan Anker began developing his last project - 434, which, due to his illness and war, was never implemented by him.
Oliver Burking acquired the project 434 patent for his shipyard. Berking, general manager of the shipyard Robbe & berking classics in Flensburg, already has experience in the construction of monotypes. In 2005, they completed an order for the construction of yachts for Flensburg Naval Academy "Murwik".
Construction of the project began in a makeshift tent in 2006 under the direction of a restorer Kai Volberg... It was clear that some effort would have to be made. “But nobody thought the boat would have to be built from scratch,” says Folberg. For example: we replaced all iron parts with stainless steel parts. After more than two years of construction, in the summer of 2008, the boat was launched under its original name. "Sphinx".
6mR "Apache" - originally "Iselin" - remodeled by Robbe & Berking Classic. 6mR "Siesta" lifted by keel crane
Young Robbe & Berking Classic team at work
Company Robbe & berking He is very sensitive to the traditions of his manufacture and to all the classic things that become even more expensive over time, namely shipbuilding. Having restored the 12-meter Sphinx yacht, Robbe & Berking founded the Robbe & Berking Classics shipyard in the summer of 2008.
Located in Flensburg harbor, Robbe & Berking began restoring traditional motor and sailing yachts and building replicas of the purely classic yachts that have made history.
Sailing yachts accompany Oliver Burking since childhood. And acquaintance with the wooden classic "Folkbotom" made him obsessed with wooden boats. The decisive argument in favor of building classic wooden yachts was the "acquaintance" with the 8-meter yacht "Lidia" at the Norwegian Wooden Boat Festival. “She was beautiful,” the yachtsman recalls his first meeting with the yacht. Soon, he was already participating with his friends in the world championship in a 5.5 R boat, more and more immersed in the world of R boats. Soon, the name Berking sounded in the world of classic yachts.
Oliver Burking draws inspiration from old yachting magazines and finds inspiration for new projects.
In 2001, the first Robbe & Berking Classic Week, in one of the Flensburg fjords, where in 1995 Berking competed in the 5.5 R class World Championship. Various R-class boats were presented. The revival in the classic yacht market provided a good foundation for Robbe & Berking Classic: "We want to create a classic yacht building center, but we don't know exactly what it should look like." And the company is confidently, step by step, moving towards its goal. Robbe & berking classic builds two yachts according to the project Anchor 434 to the next World Championship, which will be held in 2013.
Also, one of the important initiatives of the company is the boat of the project "Nirvana"designed by Olin Stephens, which was built by the shipyard Abeking & Rasmussen in 1939 and sailed under the flag of the German holding under the number G40. The yacht was completely destroyed in a large fire at the factory. Michelsen in the city of Friedrichshafen, Lake Constance, in 1959. Robbe & Berking Classic have purchased a full set of blueprints and are happy to take on this 6mR class boat. Nearby, in a smaller room, there is another boat of this class: Apache / Iselin... Apache was designed and built by Bjarne Aas in Fredrikstad, Norway, 1939. Initially, the name of the project was "Iselin", but the name was changed. Apache died in the USA in 1960.
Classic yacht cockpit "Siesta" - originally "Nirvana" - for helmsman and crew
It is not easy to determine what Robbe & berking classic actually create at their shipyard. Is it a restoration if a project that burned down more than 50 years ago is being re-created? Or is it creating a new blueprint project that has never been built? Oliver Burking this leads to the formula: copyright and restoration. Modern materials are not taboo. However, it is clear that each such yacht is unique in its kind and it is very important to adhere to the design drawings.
In 2008, the shipyard began reconstruction of the boat "Jenetta"built according to the project Alfred Mayne (1872-1951), Scottish yacht designer. "Jenetta" a very special 12m yacht that Oliver Burking has high hopes for. Designed in 1939 for William Barton, it is the longest 12mR ever built and the fastest.
Oliver finds the necessary detailed information on classic boats in old magazines. Rudder, Yachting and others. They fill the shelves in his office above the boathouse meter by meter. “Every time I open a magazine from 1929, I can find the information I need to further work on the project,” says Berking. Between the yellowed pages there are bookmarks for further development. There are still a huge number of 12mR class yachts in the international yacht register that are lost, sunk or scrapped.
Restorer Kai Volenberg tidies up the 12mR "Sphinx"
Inside "Sphinx" - view from the stern
However, among the projects of the shipyard there is also a new one. "9m COMMUTER"inspired by American small boats of the late 1920s, 50ft yacht built to design Georg Nissen... German Georg Nissen is one of the most popular and successful yacht designers Robbe & berking classic.
No matter how the fate of this shipyard develops in the future, one thing is clear: such a love for wooden classic yachts and the desire to recreate as many projects as possible, Johan Anker himself would be glad.
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