Christian Radich was a successful businessman and shipowner of Danish descent who died childless in 1889.
He stipulated in his will that 50,000 kroner should be donated for the purpose of building a sail training ship for the youth of Norway.
A condition of this contribution was that the funding would not be available until after his wife's death. This happened 27 years later and the original amount set aside had grown to 106,000 kroners by that time - enough to fund the construction of a fantastic vessel.
Near the end of his life, Norway was the world's third largest shipping country and benefited greatly from the industrial revolution that had been expanding throughout Europe during the prior several decades. Christian realized that their would continue to be an increasing requirement for well training seafarers
The funds were to be released only after the death of his wife, who lived on for twenty-seven years. By that time, the initial endowment had grown to 106,000 kroner, an amount large enough to provide much of the capital of the entire building fund.
When the tall ship was finally built by Framnæs Mech. Shipbuilders Co. in Sandefjord and christened in 1937, it was appropriate that it bear the name of its prescient donor, Christian Radich. This was also a condition of his donation. June 17th, 1937 marked its first test sail and is considered it's birthday.
Christian Radich's primary purpose was to educate young mariners for the shipping trade and her design allowed room for 80 - 90 cadets. It had training areas for carpenters, chefs, machinery workers and engineers.
Just two years after her test sail, she was on her way across the Atlantic Ocean to participate in the World's Fair in New York, NY. Her arrival made the ship world famous.
After her return home she was taken over by the Navy to assist in the war effort. Soon after, the Germans confiscated the ship and used it for an accommodations vessel. The tall ship was bombed and sank near the end of the war after it was towed to the German port of Flensburg.
After the war it was raised and towed to the German port at Kiel. It was soon towed again back to Norway where thorough repair work was completed in 1947. These were the only years that she didn't sail: 1939 - 1947. Female cadets were allowed to join her floating school beginning in 1983.
The Christian Radich is owned and administered by Ostlandets Skolekib, the East Coat Training Ship, although Norway's Ministry of Education is responsible for its operating expenses. For the past decade sail training has been integrated into the official Norwegian school system.
Its basic curriculum is a full ten months of education for cadets ranging in age from eighteen to twenty four years. Additionally, eighteen cooks have become part of the training class. Generally, the coed ratio on board is 46 males to 42 females.
Year built: 1937
Length Overall: 205 ft
Beam: 32 ft
Draft: 15 ft
Rig: Fully rigged ship
Mast height: 124 ft. tall
Sail area: 14,600 sq.ft
Sail speed: 14 knots
Crew: 18 permanent
Home Port: Oslo
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