Beautifying the skyline

    The af Chapman is a tall full-rigged 3-masted sailing ship of 19th century Cape Horn fame (see: Preserved Cape Horn Sailing Ships). It is now permanently moored in central Stockholm at the Skeppsholmen island, opposite the Stockholm Royal Palace, functioning as part of the beautiful Stockholm skyline and as a popular hostel.

             Name:         af Chapman
             Tonnage:      1428 grt
             Dimensions:   78.3 m x 11.4 m x 6.6 m
             Rigging:      3 masts, full square rig

Swedish Admiral of English decent

    The name af Chapman derives from the Swedish Admiral and shipbuilder of English decent, Fredrik Henrik af Chapman (1721-1808), famous for creating new efficient types of warships for the Swedish Navy, suited for naval battle in the Baltic. (The beginning “af” is a Swedish nobility title, corresponding to the Germanvon” or the Frenchde”. But to complicate matters, nobility-wise, the “f” in “af” is not pronounced as an “f”, but as a “v”.)

Rounding the Horn, training cadets

    The af Chapman was built in 1888 of steel in Whitehaven, England, under her original name Dunboyne. She sailed the Australian trade route for two decades and was then in 1909 sold to a Norwegian shipping company, which renamed her G. D. Kennedy. A Swedish shipping company, Transatlantic, bought her in 1915 and then in 1923 in turn sold her to the Swedish Navy, for use as a naval training ship under her present name, af Chapman.

Moored for 70 years

    Her last voyage under sail was in 1934. After that the af Chapman was towed to her present location in central Stockholm. She was still to serve in various naval capacities (barracs ship, armory, storage ship), but always moored to the Skeppsholmen island. After WWII the af Chapman had become such a familiar and beloved landmark in Stockholm, that the Stockholm city authorities decided to buy her from the Navy (for just 5000 SEK = 550 EUR). The ship was converted to a hostel, starting operations in 1949.

Maritime hostel

    The af Chapman hostel is operated by the Swedish Touring Club (Svenska Turist Föreningen, STF). It has some 300 beds in various sizes of cabins – 2 beds, 3 beds, 10-beds, 17 beds (the 17-bed room is actually located ashore, in a close-by building that also serves as the reception for the af Chapman hostel – phone: +46 8 463 22 67, +46 8 463 22 66).