Aron 1906 Svendborg

Aron is built as a 2-mast for-and-aft schooner, oak on oak and with the fast lines of the yacht.  Aron has the yachts soft lines and powerful ‘sprin’line of the hull, as was the tradition for schooners built in Marstal. Aron was launched on 10 April 1906. Her hull carvel-built of oak on oak with the yacht’s flat heart shaped transom and good sailing characteristics by master shipbuilder Lars Jensen Bager ‘the younger’ on Brdr. Baker’s yard in Marstal.

The ship type.

A schooner is a sailing ship with two; Possibly. several – masts with fork rig or bermuda rig. It is a fast-moving vessel with a minimum foremast and mainmast, which carries longboard sails; i.e. gaff – also called schooner sail. A schooner can run rawsails on the jibmast; or like Aron a broad jib and four staysails – jib, inner-cleaver, outer-cleaver and jib, jib and topsail. Many schooners in Marstal were rigged as ‘forenight schooners’. The schooner is a very versatile ship and relatively easy to maneuver – even for a small crew. The fore-and-aft schooner or fore-and-aft schooner (from Eng.) is a two-masted ship, where the aft mast – the mainmast – is slightly higher than the foremast. The ship carries, in addition to any a broad jib, no mainsail. The jib is used as a player. The fore-night schooner is rigged with two two-part masts with forked topsails and forked topsails. In some cases the forenagger was rigged with pile masts and when this was combined with a hunting-built hull, the ship was called a hunting schooner.

The yacht was the most common type of sailing ship in Denmark from the 18th century and well into the 20th century. The hull is flat-gauge and full amidships, with a strong spring and with sharp underwater lines, which usually gave a smooth-sailing ship. The yacht was rigged with pole mast(s), i.e. that the masts are in one piece and lead staysails, gaffsails; sometimes topsails and jibsails or broad jibs.

The galeas is a two-masted sailing ship rigged with staysails, gaffsails and topsails. The large front gaff sail together with the front staysails and the small mizzen give the galley its characteristic appearance.


Wooden ships were built on a ‘bedding’ that sloped towards the water so that the hull, when finished, could be easily launched. The ship’s keel was first stretched on the bed. At the front end of the keel was erected the bow of the ship and at the rear end the stern of the ship. In addition, the ‘frames’ and the entire construction that was to serve to attach the ship’s ‘outer cladding’ were mounted. When building crawl spaces, the tables are placed edge to edge, which gives an even exterior. While with brick construction, the boards are placed with an overlap (just like roof tiles) that are forced together with copper rivets. This was followed by deck beams and planks. The right curve on the tables was achieved by influencing the wood in a ‘sweating box’ with steam and heat, after which the tables could be forced into the desired shape. When the planks dried, they retained their new shape. To make the cladding and deck waterproof, the cracks between the planks – the ‘knots’, were ‘caulked’ with tarred plant fibres, called ‘værk’, which were hammered hard into the knurls and covered with molten pitch. The hull could then be tarred or painted, helping to preserve the wood.

A customs inspector, as a representative of the authorities, then took charge of the measurement of the ship and drew up a ‘bill of lading’, which was the ship’s “baptismal certificate” containing information about the name, initials, rigging, country, year of construction/city, shipyard, builder, dimensions, tonnage and other key information about the vessel. After the launch, the ship was completed with masts, rigging and other equipment before it was handed over to the shipowner. On wooden ships that had to sail in ice or in waters where there was a risk of pileworm attack, the hull was covered below the waterline with a ‘skinning’ of metal sheets, which also inhibited fouling. It could be gray (zinc), yellow (brass) or green (copper) plates. ARON is not foreskin.


Aron was built after the heyday of sailing wooden ships in the merchant navy. It was, of course, the machine that set sail astern of the wooden sailing ships at the end of the 1800s. Not because engine powered ships could move faster. They couldn’t. Good sailing ships could sail at least as fast; but motor-powered ships could sail in a calm and did not have to ‘cross upwind’. The sailing ships had a brief boom during the Second World War. In sailing ships, the ‘rigging’ was and is of course an important focus area.

The sail direction and the number of masts have a significant influence on the speed and the ability to advance quickly on long distances. Råsails are good with ‘the wind aft of the cross’ to utilize, for example, a constant trade wind. Therefore, large ships were primarily built with rigs, such as brigs, barques and full-riggers for long-distance voyages. In speed on the North and Baltic Seas or the North Atlantic (fishing in Newfoundland), where the wind was often much more capricious and therefore a lot of crossing had to be done, schooner sails were better and easier to handle. The rigging was of course also decisive for how large a crew was needed – raw sails clearly required more hands than schooner sails.

Brødrene Baker’s shipyard in Marstal

On Eriksens Plads opposite the maritime museum in Marstal, there have been several shipyards since 1855. Among these was Brdr. Baker’s yard. Lars Jensen Bager ‘senior’ and his brother Hans Jensen Bager were master carpenters. They established their shipbuilding business in the first half of the 19th century and stopped in 1885. It was the yard that Lars Jensen Bager ‘junior’ (1863-1961) chose to revive as a master shipbuilder in 1889 after a few years at sea. He had been a sailor and was later trained as a navigator and skipper from Marstal Navigationsskole. In addition to shipbuilding, LJ Bager was, among other things, also associated with maritime insurance as an expert and sat on the board of the local bank. Bager produced a total of 15 ships, several of them were yacht-built, but he also has, for example, the clipper-built barkentine Saga on his CV. Aron was his third last ship.

LJ Baker ‘the younger’ built 1889-1912, the first 5 ships together with J Rasmussen (at Eriksens Plads)

Shipowners through time

  • 1906-1908


    A. K. Andersen, Marstal

    Owner and skipper. Hunting built schooner. Merchant ship.

  • 1908-1909

    C. J. Schmidt




  • 1909-1918


    H. J. H. Christensen, Ommel

    skipper N. M. Hansen. Galease and auxiliary engine.

  • 1918-1928

    K. J. Kristensen, Ommel

    1919 larger diesel engine installed.



  • 1928-1928


    E. Stærke, Ærøskøbing

    merchant takes over temporarily

  • 1928-1937

    H. P. M. Raahauge, Marstal



  • 1937-1968


    F & C Jørgensen, Rudkøbing

    Fully downrigged, 1-mast, freighter.

  • 1968-2018

    Kristian Lund, Svendborg

    2-mast schooner. Charter sailing.



  • 2018-2021


    Anette Hansen

  • 2021-

    Gorm Bødker og Helene Moodie



Aaron until 1968

The ship has been called ARON all its life, but the rigging has been changed several times. The name Aron is Hebrew and means ‘strong’. Aron has had 8 owners. It was shipowner A. K. Andersen, Marstal, who had Aron built in 1906. Later, H. J. H. Christensen, Ommel, owned it. It was probably he who had an auxiliary engine installed and at the same time had the rigging cut down to a galley. For a few years, Aron remained with different owners based on Ærø, until it moved from 1937 to Rudkøbing, belonging to the twin brothers Ferdinand and Christian Jørgensen. During that period, the ship was completely rigged and sailed at a reduced speed mainly with grain, coal, coke and cement. The brothers lived on it and in line with the requirements of the time, they equipped it with a larger engine and increased the load capacity to approx. 100 tons.

During World War I, Aron was painted on the ship’s side with his name and nationality to indicate that he belonged to a neutral country.

Aaron 1968

In 1968, after taking over Aron, Kristian Lund began the changes from cargo merchant ship to leisure and passenger ship at the shipyard in Middelfart. The ship was refitted as a schooner and adapted for charter guests.

Aaron 1973

The wheelhouse, which was established in 1947, was removed in 1973. Aron was now back to its original appearance, as when the ship ran off the stack. In the same year, Aron had a new engine installed, a 110 HP diesel engine. In the winter of 1977-78, Aron was in Svendborg and had the berths for the windlass renovated, as well as a new scan deck and spirit level on both sides ahead.

Aaron 1980-1999

Aron has been continuously maintained partly at Ring-Andersen Shipyard, partly with the help of family and good friends.
In 1983, Aron had an H-rail fitted under the keel to avoid keel bursting.

In 1999, Aron had the original pine deck replaced with a new teak deck.

Kristian Lund

Kristian Lund was born on Rømø in 1941. After serving military service and working as an instructor in the frogman corps, Kristian Lund came to Svendborg in 1959 to train as a navigator. In 1968, he bought the heavily rigged cargo ship Aron, and began an extensive rebuilding of the ship. He was one of the first in this country to see charter sailing as a way of life.
In 1970, Aron was ready to receive its first guests as a charter ship. From being a one-man company, Anette Hansen, Kristian Lund’s wife, became part of the crew in 1982. Anette took care of the many tasks that followed in the wake of servicing guests, while also looking after her own company. Together they gave their guests memorable experiences on the cruises.

Kristian was a highly respected skipper in sailing circles, and was one of the main founding men in the race around Funen for Ships worth preserving.
In Anders Dylov’s film from 2014, A year with Aron, Kristian Lund answers the question about the future for himself and working with Aron: ‘I don’t think I’ll stop until I see two waves that are the same.’
Kristian Lund saw two identical waves on 1 April 2018.

Anette Hansen continued the company in Kristian Lund’s spirit until 1/3-2021 when Gorm and Helene took over the operation and ownership of Aron.

Aron in Film and TV

In 2014, Anders Dylov made a very beautiful video about Aron and Kristian Lund, who have owned the ship for around 50 years.

Aron has been in several Danish films with Kristian Lund as skipper; Among other things, in Bille August’s film adaptation of Martin Andersen Nexø’s ‘Pelle the Conqueror’ from 1987, where Aron came out of the fog and ducked Gudhjem on Bornholm.

Aron was also re-rigged for the top-sail schooner Fortuna, which brought theologian Poul Aggersø to Thorshavn in Niels Malmros’ 1997 film adaptation of Jørgen Frantz Jacobsen’s novel ‘Barbara’.

In 2017, Aron was in Bille August’s filming for the film adaptation of Henrik Pontoppidan’s ‘Lykke-Per’.

In 2020 and 2021, Aron has been the setting for DR1’s TV program “Sommertogttet”. Where actor Troels Lyby invites a number of well-known Danish musicians on board Aron for a chat about summer, music and life in general.

Maritime words.

Coffee file nail. Maritime words are often short and to the point. Think raw, heck, bow, posh. The situation is different with cofil nails. It may lead like a keel and rather turn its thoughts in the direction of agriculture. But coffee beans are quite maritime. It comes from the German kovillennagel, which on an old sailing ship like the Aron is a loose, turned bolt of wood fashioned with a handle. It fits into a hole in the nail bench, which is a solid plank within the pay. Running ropes, i.e. hems and laps are attached to the cofil nail by a cross stitch and the excess rope is hung on the nail using a rope bay. A cofiler nail is typically approx. 30 cm long and approx. one inch in diameter. If a sheet has to be moved because a sail needs to be trimmed, the sheet and cowl nail can easily be moved to another hole. Similarly, there is a nail bench around the foot of the masts, where the halyards running along the mast for setting and salvaging sails could be attached. Normally, each line has its fixed place in the nail bench, so it is easy to find the right one in the dark and bad weather.

Virgin. On an old wooden ship like Aron, a maiden is a wooden disc – typically 10-15 cm in diameter and round, with two, three or up to five drilled holes through which ropes can be passed. The most common use of virgins is for tutting mittens. Around the edge of the maiden is a furrow, a shell, around which a rope can be passed to fasten the maiden to the star. On modern ships, virgins have been replaced by capscrews.


Whistle. It is well known that you must not whistle on board a ship, but few people know why sailors believe that it brings bad luck. However, this is because in the old days whistles (so-called Boatman’s Pipes) were used to communicate orders to the sailors on deck. There was a signal when the sailors had to start “hauling” (pull/pull) and another that meant “Stand” (stop tailing). There was a signal for when the sailors had to muster on deck and another for when they got time off. If people went whistling tunes it could be disruptive and cause accidents or disagreements on board.

Mast coin. In 1993, Aron got a new mast and rig from Ring-Andersen. In connection with this, old traditions were followed – a so-called ‘mast coin’ (pictured) was placed in the mast slot under the jib mast. The custom of placing a coin in the mast slot is very old and can contribute to the dating of the vessel in shipwrecks. In large wooden ships the mast track is a recess in the keel timber (called the keel); or constructed of blocks firmly attached to the keel. Mast coins were traditionally placed to ensure the vessel and its crew ‘good luck’ on the voyage. It is even mentioned that a coin could be placed in the masthead. Also in connection with raising the bow, coins were placed, especially between the bear and the keel. With money on board, the ship would make profitable voyages. It should preferably be silver coins.


Marstal is Ærø’s largest town, which developed rapidly in the 18th century due to shipping. With its location on the edge of the Baltic Sea, Marstal became perhaps the most important maritime town in Denmark. In the city there is a large navigation school, which has trained navigators for more than a hundred years. The Marstal schooners are famous and numerous – well over 1000 have been built in Marstal over the years. When Aron was a newbuild, almost every fourth ship in the Danish merchant fleet was from Marstal.


Since 1867, Ring-Andersens Shipyard has been based on Frederiksøen in Svendborg. Today, renovating and maintaining the old wooden sailing ships is a very important task for the shipyard. There is a years-long tradition of wooden shipbuilding in the area of Svendborgsund and Ring-Andersens Shipyard is a distinguished representative of the shipbuilding tradition and the real reason why so many of the old, fine, preservation-worthy ships such as Aron are based in Svendborg. Some might argue that Ring Andresen Shipyard has done more for the preservation of the traditional sailing ships in denmark than any other.

Zeus – Arons sistership

L. J. Bager built an almost identical sister ship to Aron at the shipyard in Marstal, which was also launched in 1906. It was the 2-mast schooner Zeus. The painting by H. A. Hansen ( Master mariner and marine painter from Ærø) shows Zeus’ on its way to Skagen.

Zeus was 53 GRT and built for speed on the North and Baltic Seas. In her early years, Zeus was registerd in Marstal and was sailed by master M. S. Sørensen from Ærø. Zeus was sold in 1917 to a shipowner on Lolland, who primarily used her as a motor- ketch trading in Sweden. In 1971 it was sold to Germany, where after a refit it sailed for a few years before ending its days.

In 1906 there was also built a two mast schooner of aproximately the same size in Ærøskøbing, wich was also named Aron. Acording to our information, she ended her days as a moovie prop in 1974. She starred as the burning and sinking version of the schooner portrayed by Aron(from Marstal) in the film.

The unknown connection to Karen Blixen

There is some connection between Aron’s builder Lars Jensen Bager and the writer Karen Blixen, but what that connection is has not yet been properly established. In her last collection of short stories from 1958, Skæbne-Anekdoter, XI Båden, Karen Blixen writes about a young lad from Ærø who has been shipwrecked. He is the only survivor on a deserted island. Here he wishes that Lars Jensen Bager, a shipbuilder from Marstal, was there and could help him build a yacht so that he could escape. At one point he is picked up by a passing ship. Blixen writes in the short story, “What were you thinking about at night?” Mr. Clay asked. “I thought of one thing mostly,” said the sailor. “I thought of a boat; many a time I dreamed I had it too, that I put it in the sea and sailed it. It had to be a good, strong, seaworthy boat. But it didn’t have to be big, no more than 10-12 planks. A yacht is just what I needed, with high bullwarks. The transom should be blue, and I would cut out stars around the cabin windows myself. I was born in Marstal, Denmark. Old Lars Jensen Bager, who is a shipbuilder, was a friend of my father’s, and I think I could get him to help me build the boat. It was to carry grain from Bandholm and Skælskør to Copenhagen. I did not want to die before I had my boat, that is why I was glad when I was taken up by the “Barracuda”, – I thought that it was the first step closer to it And when I met you, old gentleman, and you asked me if I would earn 5 Guineas, I knew that I had done right to leave the island….”

Likewise, the sailor mentioned by Karen Blixen in The Immortal Story, which is originally part of Blixen’s collection of short stories: Skæbne-anekdoter, must have been inspired by Baker. Here we again meet the elderly Mr. Clay, whose only passion is money. Over time, he has become so sick with arthritis that he can no longer sleep at night because of the pain. To make the time shorter, he has hired a young man (a sailor) to read through old accounts. The sailor receives payment from the rich Mr. Clay to get his young wife pregnant.

It is known that Karen Blixen was very fond of sailors – in her opinion, a man should have contact with the sea, which she considered to be in connection with the feminine. But we do not know where Karen Blixen knew about Lars Jensen Bager.