Swedish Warship Wasa
In 1625 King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden ordered 4 great warships to be designed and constructed by Dutchman Henryk Hybersson. One of the largest of them was the Wasa, whose keel was laid in 1626 at Stockholm. She received her ballast and armament in 1628 at the Royal Palace dockyard and on the tenth of August that year sailed on her maiden voyage.
The huge lion figurehead weighed several tons, the high stern was covered in decorative work, as were the quarter-galleries. The Wasa's mainmast carried three sails, main, top and royal. The foremast was rigged the same. As the Wasa sailed out from the harbour she was hit by a sudden squall and began to list over badly. The order was given to move the guns over to the other side, but it was too late - water begain pouring in through the lee gunports and she sunk in 110 feet of water.
The Wasa had an overall length of 200 feet and a beam of 38 feet. She had a displacement of 1400 tons and carried 64 bronze guns. The heaviest fired 24 pound shot. There were a number of factors put forward to explain her sinking. She may have been too narrow and too sharp in the bottom. She may not have had enough ballast to compensate for the weight of her guns. The weight of the decorative work on bow and stern may have been too much.
In the 1660's salvagers managed to pull out most of the Wasa's bronze cannons, but the rest of the ship was left as it was and forgotten. In 1954 Anders Franzen began a search for the old ship and finally found it in 1956. The ship was pulled up and was beautifully preserved in the cold water. The restored Wasa is now in the VasaMuseet in Stockholm, where she is proudly displayed in all her finery.