Et is one of the largest repairs for 25 years in Germany’s highest shipyard at Königssee in Berchtesgadener Land: The “Staaufen”, an approximately 20 meter long electric boat with a wooden hull, which has transported hundreds of thousands of passengers across the Königssee since 1935, is being renovated. It’s almost as complex as a new build: Master boat builder Andreas Angerer and his team invest thousands of hours in the restoration – a manual marathon that could take the whole year. Several media, including the “Berchtesgadener Anzeiger” and the “Passauer Neue Presse”, had reported on it.
The condition of the 88-year-old boat was bad, says the trained carpenter. According to him, the last large-scale repair took place half a century ago. After that it was only ever repaired in patches.
Bend with hot steam
Building a new boat would probably have been the easiest. A hull made of steel is now commonplace, and it is very likely that it will also be more durable, says Angerer. However: The traditional craft is served less than with a boat made of wood. The planks are bent in hot steam according to the old art. At the Bavarian lake shipping, tradition is important, says Angerer. The Königssee has been powered by electricity for more than 100 years. According to its own statements, the Königssee shipping company has 19 almost identical electric motor boats.
The “Staaufen” is now jacked up like a skeleton in the shipyard. The four-ton lead-acid battery and motor have been removed, as have the electrical systems and bench seating. In November last year, the building was cannibalized and the extensive conversion, which resembles a new building, began. The “Staaufen” may not be able to be launched again until next year.
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