Inventory – July 2017

“Because you have to save such a ship “- that was Josef Martin’s short answer to my question WHY.
Now there is something sad about what is left of the 1935 ship that Abeking  Rasmussen built and was once so proud – the 100 square metre yacht X10 MARABU is still on the hard of his shipyard.
Back in 2009 Martin bought the yacht in Ipswich UK, unseen, only on the basis of pictures, but otherwise unseen, he insures. On a Low- Loader-Truck, she had come all the way to Radolfzell (in Germany, on the shore of Lake Constance). He does not buy boats just because they are old. “They must be beautiful”, he adds, in a tone that leaves no doubt about the conviction with which he has run his business since 1973.

If you search Google under “Marabu”,”Seefahrtskreuzer” or the English counterpart “Windfall” you will very quickly come to the relevant forum posts in which almost legendary sailing characteristics and fantastic lines are mentioned – always followed by the question of of the whereabouts today of MARABU. So far these have remained unanswered.
For eight years, there has been investor who has had enough enthusiasm and money to run this project together with Martin-Yachts. Now it has just stared on Martin’s own budget and the search for a buyer has been intensify. At Martin Yachts, this yacht, which remained “high and dry” (including the sails) in Ipswich UK for 4 years over summer and winter, could at least be professionally conserved on land. However, the condition would not improve either, decay has progressed – so now time is of the essence.

Shipwright Olaf sacrifices his lunch break and monitors every one of my clumsy steps on the ladder that leads up to the deck of MARABU. Once there, a thought immediately flashes through my head: “Even if I don’t break through the deck, the ship will probably just collapse under me any moment”.
Very carefully I climb over the debris in the cockpit to the companionway, hang down over the remaining more or less loose beams until I am in the galley. The gimbal-mounted oven seems somehow burned out, I wouldn’t take any drinking water from the tap with the inscription “Fresh Water” even after several times of flushing, and the bunks in the saloon are missing their mattresses, but nevertheless a few rats that look through the cracks could fit quite well into the picture.

Olaf is in here for the first time, too. He shakes his head at the thought that here – where gaping cracks were only sealed with tape, where everywhere rust and decay have made their way through the fleetingly painted surfaces – aspiring sailors were trained and sailing crews spent carefree holidays.

Even 12 years on land cannot hide the condition in which MARABU must have beenin at sea during the final month.