The Sankt Erik, Sweden´s first icebreaker was built at the Finnboda Shipyard and launched in 1915. Stockholm needed an icebreaker that could keep open the archipelago channels leading in to the city.
In hard winters she was lent to the state, which acquired its first icebreaker in 1927. Thereafter, the Sankt Erik assisted shipping in the Golf of Botnia, around the coast of Skåne and elsewhere. In 1977 the Sankt Erik was decommissioned, and she has been a museum ship since 1980.
Initially known as Isbrytaren II she changed her name in connection with conversion in 1958. The bridge was covered so that the captain, officers and deck crew no longer needed to stand out in the cold. She was also equipped with a modern radio and radar. Simultaneously, the steam boilers were rebuilt for oilburning operation. This made it possible to wait almost twice as long between the bunkering.
The Sankt Erik is built as a classic Baltic icebreaker. The steam is angled in such way a way that it glides up onto the ice, which is the crushed by the weight and force of the vessel. She has a fore propeller that flushes water and crushed ice along side the hull.
The Sankt Erik has a heeling system that enables water to be pumped between tanks in the sides of the vessel: the icebreaker is "rocked" from side to side to reduce the grip of the ice on the hull and to broaden the channel. There is also a rowlock in the stern of the Sankt Erik, wich is used for towning an assisted vessel.
The Sankt Erik has two three-cylinder steam engines. The aft one, which is of 2800 hp, is Sweden´s largest extant marine steam engine. The fore engine has 1200 hp.
Length 60 m
Width 17 m
Draught 6,5 m