Ready for action in the very first year of the 1900s, this ship is currently being renovated to bring it back to its original condition, and the project has inspired widespread enthusiasm. Jarramas is a naval rating ship that became a symbol for an entire city.
Jarramas was launched in the year 1900 and she was one of the naval rating's preparatory school's last ship. This was an old school: when it was shut down in 1939, it was 250 years old.
The naval rating's preparatory school was found in 1685 to transform young boys into capable mariners in the Swedish navy. Theoretical studies on land – such as Christianity studies, reading and writing – were interwoven with strictly military training at sea on one of the Crown's ships or, during one particular period, on merchant ships. Gradually, the naval rating's preparatory school began to receive its own ships.
For a long time, the school had branches in Karlskrona, Gothenburg and Stockholm, but the ones in Gothenburg and Stockholm were shut down in the middle of the 1800s. In the beginning of the 1990s, a school was started in Marstrand.
In 1799, the naval rating's preparatory school received its first own school ship, the brig Diana, and this ship was followed by many more. In February 1900, Jaramas was also launched – a ship, which with time would become one of the biggest symbols of Karlskrona. It cost more than SEK 150,000 to build – a large amount at the turn of the first century.
Jarramas is built of steel and was a test ship for the naval rating's preparatory school in Karlskrona. With a length of 39.15 meters and weight of 350 tonnes, she is one of the world's smallest full-rigged ships. Jarramas was the last sailing ship built in the naval dockyard in Karlskrona. Only a few months after its launch, it was time for the next expedition, at the end of May 1900.
More than 90 cabin boys were on board together with officers, non-commissioned officers, seamen and a doctor. The journey took place in the Swedish waters and there was enough food for 35 days, and water for 28 days on board, Jarramas could be out at sea for a long period. Over the years, there were also be some foreign visits for the small fully-rigged boat, the first of these being to Leith in Scotland in 1907.
Jarramas becomes a Karlskrona celebrity
The naval rating's preparatory school was also shut down at the end of the 1930s. For the many thousand boys who went to it over the four centuries, it had been a tough school in many ways. The discipline was harsh and there were hints of oppressive peer education. At the same time, the naval rating's preparatory school became for many a route to something better. A great number of non-commissioned officers in the Swedish navy had attended it as children.
After the school was closed, Jarramas lay idle in the naval dockyard in Karlskrona for a few years. However, in the summertime in the 1940s, the ship sailed again, this time with students from the Royal Naval College and the Navy's Seamen's School.
In 1946, Jarramas was taken out of service, and for a time, there was uncertainty as to what would happen to her. But in 1950, the old naval rating's ship was sold to the Karlskrona Municipality for SEK 30,000, which laid the ground for Jarramas's real fame.
The ship was moved to Borgmästarefjärden in the centre of the city. There it became a summer café and the site of many popular musical evenings. The ship became an important connecting point in Karlskrona and grew into a symbol for the entire city. In 1997, the Municipality gifted Jarramas to the Naval Museum.
Today, Jarramas is located on the dock outside the Naval Museum. Since 2006, a large and time-consuming renovation of the vessel has been under way. The goal is to restore, as far as possible, the white-painted school ship, with its yellow masts, to the same condition as it was was when it was sailed by the cabin boys. Jarramas is said to be an important symbol for Karlskrona and will continue to be so for a long time.