A short history of the 120 year old historic Norwegian vessel Vega

A short history of the 120 year old historic Norwegian vessel Vega

 In 1891-92 Ola H. Nerhus built one of his famous “Hardanger jachts” at Nerhuson shipyard in Ølve, Norway. VEGA was built to the highest standards for Capt. Nils Vagan, of Herøysund, as a deep-sea carrier certified for Artic waters, a classification few boats were strong enough for.

 “Vega” was so successful that as recently as 1942 she was still being copied. Over 100 years later “Vega” is the last of her kind and one of a select few to be officially classified “Historical Vessel”.

 Lars Nerhus, historian and great grandson of Ola Nerhus, has Vega’s original half model and states, “VEGA” was well known as a great ship. She was a (true) Nerhus Hardanger Jacht, with that typical hull-form and heart shaped stern”. “I was always told that “Vega” was the best and strongest Jacht he (Ola Nerhus) ever built”!

 In 1905 shipyard owner Alfred Olsson of Bergkvara, Sweden acquired Vega and after being slightly modified and refit she was re-launched, as a new boat, to become the legendary “VEGA of Bergkvara”. For almost 100 years she carried heavy cargos of cement, bricks, and building stone under the Swedish flag.

 Baltic traders like VEGA made some impressive voyages including immigrants to North America and cargos to the Mediterranean, Africa, and the Caribbean. Some even rounded Cape Horn to trade with Chile.

 About Vega’s builder

Ola H. Nerhus, one of Norway’s most famous boat builders, built ships from 1863 to 1906. His boats became known as “Hardanger Jachts” a name synonymous with immensely strong, swift sailing, vessels. The best of these were built at the Nerhuson shipyard in Ølve, Hardanger, Norway.

 Ola apprenticed in the small shipyards of Ølve, famous for there shipbuilding from before 1600. In 1863, then 23 years old, he founded his own shipyard on Nerhus farm in Ølve. During his life Nerhus built over 100 boats. Several of which having carried cargos for over 100 years still survive, living testimonials to his skills and experience.

 “He soon built an unrivaled reputation for strong well formed ships and high quality workmanship becoming a demanded shipbuilder, responsible designer, and surveyor for the most prominent “yards” in this region of Norway”.

 Historical documents state: ” Most of the Hardanger yachts sailed by the men of Tysnes were designed and built by Ola H. Nerhus”. (Tysnes had a large fleet at that time).

 Ola also built the historical vessel “MATHILDE”, restored by Hardanger Fartøyvernsenter in Norheimsund in 1984-89

Built at Olve, Norway in 1891-92, for over 100 years VEGA carried cargos of bricks, building stone, pig iron, and cement through some of the world’s roughest seas. Built for the North Sea and certified for Arctic trade, VEGA was famous for her strength and ability to carry loads other boats her size could not. Baltic traders like VEGA made some very impressive voyages including immigrants to North America and cargos to the Mediterranean, Africa and the Caribbean, some rounding Cape Horn to trade with Chile.

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