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Information boards

Information boards were designed by architect Erkki Mäkiö of the National Board of Antiquities. The design of the yellow boards

1. Anchor


Measurements: shank about 5m, across arms about 3.20m

Type: Stock anchor.

The arms are slightly bent; a typical feature of Scandinavian and Dutch anchors of the 18th century. The English anchors of the period had straight arms. The wooden stock of the anchor has eroded. A ship of the line carried often more than ten anchors; this one was one of the largest on board.

The anchors used by the Open Sea Fleet of the Swedish Navy were cast at the fleet’s base in Karlskrona. The work, which was both heavy and dangerous, was carried out by prisoners.

There is another anchor at the centre of the wreck.

2. Rudder

Photo Drawing

Measurements: length 9.75m, width 1.10m, thickness 0.30m

Type: so-called sternpost rudder, taken into use in the 14th and 15th centuries. The oak rudder is made of several pieces, joined together by iron bands of which only the imprints on the wood bear witness. The pegs, used for attaching the rudder to the sternpost, are visible on one side.

3. Block


Measurements: height 49cm, width 33cm, thickness 39 cm

The block, lifted from the wreck in 1997, has three sheaves and traces of possibly an iron band; there might have been a hook attached to the block. Blocks were used in various lifting jobs.

4. Part of the collapsed side planking


The side planking on the Kronprins Gustav Adolf was made of oak. Timber for shipbuilding was felled mainly in Pomerania in current Germany. The Swedish Navy employed purchasing officers for timber. The frames of the vessel were built close together in order to stand up to the weight of the heavy cannons and to withstand enemy fire.

Black scorching marks are visible at the upper ends of the frames caused by fire set by the Russians in 1788.

The width of the larger frames is more than 30cm.

5. Cannonball storage


The cannonball storage bins of large warships were placed symmetrically amidships on both sides of the keel. The storage bins on the starboard side are better preserved; on the port side only small elevations are discernible under the crust. Next to the cannonball storages were the pumps and the main mast.

6. Ballast bars

Photo Drawing

Measurements (of the restored bar lifted from the wreck in 1997): 69.5cm, width 8.5cm, height 8.5cm, weight 20kg.

Ballast bars were used to stabilise the vessel. The amount of ballast depended on the weight of equipment and cargo on board. In connection of the restoring the letters ‘A.F.’ became discernible on the bar, presumably standing for Arméns Flotta (inshore fleet). Possibly the Kronprins Gustav Adolf of the Open Sea Fleet had taken more ballast in Suomenlinna which was a base of the Inshore Fleet. There are some larger ballast bars nearby – what sort of markings might they bear? Remember though, no touching!

7. Storage box


The box would seem to contain ammunition. It will be lifted to be restored in the near future. Only then shall we know its contents and whether it is a part of the wreck. Maritime archaeology takes patience, so don’t touch the box!

ATTENTION! Check your air. You are about at the halfway point of the dive.

8. Cannon (lifted in 1998)


Naval divers lifted two cannons to the surface in May 1998.

The one situated at this site (code T5) was a 24-pounder with the marking ‘EB’ on the other shoulder pin, standing for the Swedish foundry of Ehrendahl. The year of manufacture, usually situated on the other shoulder pin, has been eroded. The cannon weighs 1,800kg. The original weight, according to the markings at the base of the cannon, was 2,091kg; corrosion has taken its toll. The cannon’s range has been 750-900 metres. The type of the cannon is so-called Ehrensvärd model. A plate at the base of the cannon has possibly borne the crown’s coat of arms or some other markings.

9. Barrels


These barrels were situated at the ship’s fore; the lowest fore hold of a ship of the line was normally used for storing water, while the victuals were stored at the aft. Transporting, lifting, and stowing the water barrels for a crew of almost six hundred men was a tough job.

10. Cordage


The cordage used on board the Kronprins Gustav Adolf were laid at the Karlskrona shipyard. Material used for the cordage was hemp. The vessel carried plenty of extra cordage stored at the hold.

11. Keelson


Measurements: width 45cm, height 40cm, length of joint 13,70cm

Keelson is a structure running lengthways inside the vessel, forming the lengthways framework of the vessel together with the keel. The frames are fastened between the keelson and the keel. A joint in the keelson in visible abaft of this board; the keelson of a large vessel was constructed of several parts. The keelson is made of oak. The joint has been torn loose.

A small plastic marker situated fore of this board marks the place of a dendrochronologic sample taken of the keelson. The sample dates the timber’s last annual growth ring at 1591. A large part of the timber has evidently been whittled from the piece.

12. View from the wreck’s stern

Picture The transom of the Kronprins Gustav Adolf The picture is of a model built in the 18th century. Source: Svenska flottans historia II 1680-1814. Malmö 1943.

Comparing the picture and the wreck, you will notice that all the upper structures of the ship of the line are destroyed. Even the transom gunports visible in the picture are destroyed. On the left are the remaining parts of the bottom structure. On the right some ends of the side planking. The width of the largest side plank is 78cm and thickness 12cm.


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Last updated 30.10.2015
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