FOUR MASTED BARK “PRIWALL”
Flying P Line Sailor-made Model
Presented is a scratch
built model of one of the last of the large clipper ships that carried the world’s commerce under sail. A sailor
made model of this size and quality is a rare find and especially desirable because she is accurate down to the last details.
Her intricate rigging is complete with preferred metal sails hanked to her yards, and all her hand crafted fittings are
accurately detailed. It has acquired an intersting patina of age.
CONSTRUCTION: The model is constructed
of various materials which include wood for hull, masts, deck, houses, hatches, ladders, and machinery. Thread
and wire is used for the rigging, and metal for the sails and railings. Some details are hand painted such ports
and name boards. The hull is painted black with a wide white boot top and sheer on two of her islands over
a red bottom The model is the work of a skilled craftsman who was likely a member of the crew since all
the details show great knowledge of the ship and its rigging.
MODEL DIMENSIONS:The model
is 46″ L x 6″ B x 27″ H Weight 15
PRIWALL HISTORY: The ship was ordered from Blohm & Voss at Hamburg,by Ferdinand Laeisz, Hamburg, owner of the Flying P Line. in 1916, but it was 1920 before she sailed on
her maiden voyage, delayed because of WW I. She proved to be very expensive to complete and was one of the very last post-war
four masted barks. She remained doggedly trading until 1939, and achieved fast passages: 60 days from the Elbe to
the Spencer Gulf, and as late as 1938. Priwall made the record doubling of
Cape Horn, in five days, 15 hours to storm from Latitude 50 S in the Atlantic to 50
S in the Pacific. She was at Valparaiso at the outbreak of WW II where she was sold to the Chileans who turned her into the
auxiliary “Lautaro”. She continued to carry Australian grain until reverting to the Chilean nitrate trade
in the 1930’s. She later caught fire carrying a cargo of nitrates and burned out. She sunk off of Ecuador in 1943. A stamp was issued by the Falkland Islands in her honor. By the time the
Priwall was launched in 1920, the days of the sailing ships were numbered, but some of her Sisterships have survived and serve
as school or museum ships today.
Note catwalk between islands
Ratlines and dead eyes of lower shrouds
Running lights, capstan on forecastle
Looking down from the main mast
Date of launch 1917 Place of launch
Hamburg Type 4-masted steel Bark GRT 3105 NRT 2875 DWT 4800 Length 98.5 m (323.1 ft) Beam Draft 8.0 m (26.3 ft)
HISTORY OF F. Laeisz Company: The Flying P-Line was founded
in 1824 by Ferdinand Laeisz, a Hamburg, Germany, hat manufacturer who distributed his hats internationally. In 1839,
he entered the shipping business, by building his first ship theCarl named for his son, but was
not successful. Carl Laeisz entered the business in 1852 and made the F. Laeisz Company into a successful shipping
business. In 1857, the Barque Pudel was ordered which was named after Carl’s wife Sophie, and from
the mid 1880s on, all their ships had names starting with “P”. Hence, they became known as “the Flying P-line”.
The Laeisz company specialized in the South American nitrate trade. Their ships were built
for speed, and acquired an excellent reputation for timeliness and reliability, which gave rise to the nickname “the
Flying P-Line”. The five-masted Barque Potosi made the voyage from Chile to England around Cape Horn in 1904 in just
57 days, and Priwall set the record for rounding Cape Horn.The Laeisz company had some of the largest sailing ships ever built. They experimented
with steel-hulled five-masters. However, these ships turned out to be too big: their crews didn’t like them, and it became
increasingly difficult to achieve a satisfactory utilization on the outbound leg from Europe to Chile. The later ships, such
as the Peking or the Pasta, returned to being smaller four-masted barques. During World War I, many of Laeisz’ ships were blockaded in Chilean ports and had to be
handed over as war reparations. However, the Laeisz company was able to re-acquire many ships after the war and put them into
service again. Towards the end of the 1920’s, the company began pulling out of the nitrate trade and
increasingly started transporting other goods, e.g. bananas. They also sold some of their older ships, for instance the Pamir
to Gustav Erikson in Finland who already had acquired the former Norddeutscher Lloyd-ship Herzogin Cecilie. The last
sailing ship ordered by the Laeisz company was the Padua in 1926. Subsequently, the Laeisz company moved to operating
Poop deck with steering wheel
Photo of Priwall with this paint scheme
Port stern quarter
side showing extensive details
CONDITION: The model is complete and in overall good condition. All the parts are present
and there is some minor indication of age like the slight yellowing of the waterline. One
example would be some of the sails having a variation in finish and a rustic look.
A high quality sailor-made model of a famous ship with intersting history makes this a worthwhile find!