business ideas and conjecture is that he wanted the cash to be able to re-invest as the war faded and freight rates rose. Immediately after the Armistice, in fact on i2 December, he wrote that he was buying vessels of between 2,500 and 4.500 tons dwt and that he was interested in the German windjammers laid up in Chile Whilst Erikson was building up his fleet in the early 1920s, other Aland shipowners were transfering their interests to Helsinki. He was more than content to remain in Mane-hamn Since 1916 he had been negotiating with August Troberg (of Helsinki) about the purchase of ships, and over the years virtually bought Troberg's fieet. His largest purchase LAWHILL served him faithfully from 1917 to 1942.
As the years progressed, Erikson continued to buy ships and enlarge his fleet His purchase of the now legendary HERZOGIN CECILIE in 1921 helped to bring his name to notice amongst shipowners of the outside world. Indeed the popularity and publicity enjoyed by Erikson in the thirties can be said to be attributed to the white hulled HERZOGIN CECILIE. the Duchess', his flagship and his yacht By 1935. his fleet totalled 15 deep sea vessels (Cape Homers as Alan Villiers calls them), three former deep sea vessels (LINGARD. KYLEMORE and PESALOZZI). five small barques and barquentines, several auxiliary schooners and a wood fired tow boat He also owned a slipway at Nystad In 1936, his fleet totalled 44,728 tons gross and included eleven 4 masted barques With 100 premium and indentured Apprentices at sea in his fleet
Erikson was demonstrating that sail training was still viable and popular The approximate monthly wages paid in sailing ships in 1935 are shown in Table 1 (Aside —
In the 1936 grain race. 14 of the 17 vessels taking part were Erikson owned and between them transported over 50.000 tons of wheat In the days of low freight rates, gross rates amounted to only £68,000 or £1 7.0 per ton.
In the 1938 race. 10 of the 14 starters were owned by Gustaf Erikson. In comparison they lifted some 40,000 tons at a gross of approximately £80.000 or £2 0.0 per ton ) One of the hardest blows came to Erikson at the end of the 1936 grain race, often referred to as the Great Grain Race After a record breaking run of 86 days, PI Lincoln to Falmouth (for Orders). HERZOGIN CECILIE went aground off Sewer Mill Cove, South Devon on 24 April 1936. Refloated and towed to Salcombe (Starehole Cove) on 19 June, her back was broken in an onshore gale The salvage attempt was abandoned on 17 July and her remains are still in that spot. Fortunately many fittings were recovered and the figurehead is preserved at the Alands Marine Museum. So too is the saloon, re-erected within the
The four-masted barque LAWHILL built in 1892 and owned by Erikson 1917-1942. She was condemned at Lourenco Marques in 1942