Frigate completes sea trial

GOTEBORG, Sweden (AP) – A replica of an 18th century frigate, which is set to sail on a two-year journey to China later this year, has passed her first sea trial, organizers said.

The clipper “Gotheborg” is scheduled to leave early October on an international goodwill trip, 260 years after the original sank in her home port.

On Monday, it completed a six-hour test run in the Goteborg inlet on Sweden’s southwestern coast, its first real voyage on water. The 530-ton merchant ship, modeled after its namesake which sank in 1745, did not have its sails rigged but ran on its two 550-horsepower engines, project spokeswoman Annica Magnusson said.

“Everything went well, exceeding expectations,” Magnusson said, as the ship was docking. “We had some problems with the fuel supply to one of the engines, but it’s not a major problem.”

The ship’s steering was “better than expected,” Magnusson said.

The replica is set to make its first run with rigged sails in May.

Construction of the ship, largely by hand using old shipbuilding techniques, began in June 2003. Designers have added modern improvements, including toilets, showers, a Global Positioning System and the two engines for in-port maneuvering.

The original Gotheborg, operated by the Swedish East India Co., sank off Sweden’s west coast after returning from its third voyage to Asia.

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