Stories of a three-mast top-gallant schooner 


Stories of a three-mast top-gallant schooner from its launch in 1952 to today

Hard cover
336 pages with 54 black-and-white and 455 color photographs, 6 maps, 5 drawings and plans
30.5 cm x 28.5 cm
Volkwin Marg (Ed.)
Delius Klasing
EUR 50.00 (when sold in Germany)

Forty years ago, the Hamburg architect, Volkwin Marg, bought the decommissioned Danish freight sailing ship, the "Activ". A fan of historic ship-building, Volkwin Marg took several years to restore the timber vessel, which had been launched from the Ring Andersen shipyard in Svendborg, Denmark, in 1951. Together with Michael Kiersgaard in Troense on Tåsinge, the "Activ" was re-rigged as a three-mast top-gallant schooner. Whenever he found the time between work commitments, Marg "actively" sailed the schooner in the true sense of the word. The 42 meter long "Activ" became his life-long passion. Marg shares his ship with his wife, children, grandchildren, friends, colleagues, and scientists.

On the occasion of his 80th birthday, Marg has published this illustrated volume, which has been designed by his daughter Katharina Marg, in order to portray the events on board from the perspective of the "activists". It covers the first 25 years of the vessel as a freight ship, as well as the subsequent 40 years – including its conversion and numerous sea trips in the Mediterranean, the Baltic Sea, to Russia, the Lofoten, the Caribbean, and Greenland. Up to now, the "Activ" has covered far more than 400,000 nautical miles under sail.

Marg includes accounts of the people who accompanied him on board, including staff of his architectural practice, gmp, and students of Aachen Technical University, where he taught. The book includes chapters on films in which the "Activ" took part, including the epic film, Moby Dick (2010), and the television series, Jack Holborn (1984). The photographs and reports relating to three scientific expeditions to Greenland skippered by Jonas Bergsøe are particularly impressive.

Life on board is dedicated to communality with the crew, and also to passing time with friends, artists, and colleagues in search of cultural and historical destinations which hold a fascination for him as an architect. For Volkwin Marg, sailing with the "Activ" is about experiencing freedom and the overwhelming forces of nature, such as are prominent at sea and at untouched coastlines, but also about the experience of continued learning and the widening of one’s horizons at sea. The book contains many glimpses of life on the "Activ", which is never short of imaginative fun and consistently excellent cuisine from the galley. The illustrated volume chronicles a great project which, in this form, would be difficult to equal.