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Former von Luckner’s yacht “Seeteufel”, ehemals Luckners Hochseeyacht “Seeteufel” after being restored/nach der Restaurierung, 2010

The “Seeteufel” (Sea Devil)- the last existent ship of the Count – or are there even more than only one ship?

The “Seeteufel” is a 39 meters long lugger (a robust type of ships made for the fishery) built in the Netherlands in 1912. Felix Count von Luckner purchased that ship in 1936 to do a round the world sailing tour again.

At this time the German Reich was ruled by the National Socialists, therefore, without their agreement such a project would have never been possible.

Von Luckner did something like a fraud pretending to go in for a propaganda cruise to campaign for the 3rd Reich abroad. But in real he just wanted to have again a ship to have the chance to cruise again and to visit the places he had seen during World War I.

But such behaviour was attendant on danger, von Luckner obviously did not realize that, but about this we are going to tell in the link “The Count an the Nazis”. Here we mostly wish to tell something about the ship.

After having returnded to Germany von Luckner (this was in 1939) sold the ship to the Austrian diver Hans Hass, who intended using it for his purposes, World War II prevented that idea from being implemented.

So it came that the ship in 1945 in a German port (Rostock / Warnemünde) was requisitioned by the invading Red Army. Attempts by the Germans to take the ship with them in tow and thus save them failed due to a broken oar.

The Soviets took the ship to Leningrad (today: St. Petersburg) and used it for the next decades. At the same time it was reconstructed, but also preserved and maintained, carrying the names “Sekret”, “Leningrad” and “Nadeshda” (Hope). After the collapse of the Soviet Union, it literally became “tight” for the ship with its riveted steel hull. Recently it was close to scrapping.

The rescue of the former “Seeteufel” was an adventure as the life of the Earls, in which also our society participated organizationally. In the end, the sale succeeded to a Russian investor in St. Petersburg, and chance had it that he dealt with the history of the ship and its famous former owner and thereby became an admirer of Luckner.

In 2010, the “Seeteufel”, still under the name “Nadeshda” driving, restored and in June 2011 it was granted to members of our society to celebrate the Count’s birthday at the invitation of the owner on the ship. After all, we even welcomed the owner as a member of our company.

But the adventurous story goes even further.

The owner fell in love with the sailing characteristics of the ship and planned a trip around the world, which he did not want to do on a “100-year-old lady”. So he just rebuilt the ship and used it for his purposes. The original “Seeteufel” he sold to a yacht club in St. Petersburg, which in turn rebuilt. Thus, there are now almost two similar ships.