Schooner Mira

Schooner Mira

Mira was built as a two-masted schooner at Rasmus Møller’s shipyard in Faaborg in 1898, long before the age of large trucks and Denmark’s inter-island bridges. Consequently her skipper, Niels “Mira” Hansen, and his deckhand plied Danish waters incessantly with all kinds of cargo.

It was hard graft for her next skipper, Johannes Holm, to keep up with the demand but his life became a little easier when – in 1935 – he had an engine fitted. As luck would have it, the engine was not overburdened as the shortage of fuel during World War II again meant that sail was the only available propulsion. By the end of the 1940s, time was running out for freighters and packets under sail, so she was re-rigged to with only a supplementary sail. After a long hard life as a cargo vessel, she finally gave way to the unequal competition of motorised shipping.

In 1971, the engineer Claus Jacobsen fell for her and undertook a restoration and re-rigging of the lovely old vessel. The “born again” Mira took on new life as a charter schooner and also as a vocational development ship for young persons. During 1993, Mira was damaged in a collision and had to be docked for repairs. While in dry dock, the damage inspections revealed that times had been tougher for Mira than anticipated and, when the “deadwood” had been cleared, only the bare skeleton remained.
Mira was then sold to the Mira of Copenhagen Foundation which was founded for the sole purpose of preserving the ship for her cultural and historic heritage.

Invaluable contributions to the restoration were made by the Nation Ship Preservation Foundation, the Augustinus Foundation and the Tuborg Foundation, the labour market Holiday Insurance Fund and Louis Poulsen Ltd. as well as many others. The restoration was undertaken by E.M Boatyard in Gilleleje and, in 1999, Mira was again seaworthy and ready for yet another new lease of life – restored to her original glory and modified to meet the modern regulations of the Danish Maritime Authority and the demands of modern charter guests.

Mira is a fully operational workplace for the skipper, mate and galley crew with a professional operation that meet the demands of the 21st century, with a permitted sailing capacity of 22 passengers. Thanks to her beautiful lines, Mira has been popularly christened “The First Lady of Nyhavn” and in 2004 she was purchased by Wilders Plads Real Estate

You can read more (only in Danish sorry) about Mira and her history at Wilders Plads Ejendomme A/S