Skagen Arrival

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Skagen, at the northern tip of Denmark, is the largest fishing port in the country and lands one quarter of the total Danish catch by value. It is the home port for the Ceton, the pelagic trawler that we toured in Donso, and one of the reasons we wanted to visit was to see some of the other big pelagic trawlers that home port there.

We weren’t disappointed. From Smogen, Sweden we travelled 46nm to reach a Skagen, where we moored for a few nights at a marina right inside the port. We spent a great afternoon touring the port and viewing the many large pelagic vessels, and other commercial ships, that were in port and later visited the Skagen Coastal Museum that details the maritime history of the area.

Below are trip highlights from September 26th, 2019. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at

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Jennifer pulling in the snubber as we get underway from the anchorage off Smogen shortly after 5am. Exiting the area was a little more challenging than usual due to the number of lobster traps everywhere. But we were able to see them clearly with our forward spotlight and were able to avoid them.
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Fish Boats
Trying to avoid a fish boat at sea can be a frustrating affair when they run such random courses. Here the North Sea is overtaking on our port side, running a similar course to us. But the fish boat LL91 Kristina has abruptly turned onto our path and now is on a collision course. To our northeast another fish boat is running a similarly roundabout course.
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We’ve far enough offshore now that cellular connectivity is getting spotty, so we’re running on the KVH V7-HTS (green light labelled ‘VSAT’ at bottom left).
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Swedish Flag
Lowering our Swedish courtesy flag as we depart Sweden.
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Danish Flag
Raising our Danish courtesy flag. The winds are blowing steadily in the 20s from the east, but sea conditions are reasonable.
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Vessels heading in and out of the Baltic that can’t fit through the Kiel Canal pass around the tip of Denmark and we’re seeing lots of traffic as we approach.
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Magleby Maersk
The 1,390ft (423m) Magleby Maersk, one of the largest container ships in the world, dwarfs the 292ft (89m) tanker Nordic Sola.
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Skagen Lighthouse
The 151 ft (46 m) brick tower of the Skagen Lighthouse. When the tower was built in 1858 it was near the middle of the peninsula, but due to coastal erosion it now is near the Kattegat coast.
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Skawlink IV
The seas really stood up as we approached Skagen. The supply/tug Skawlink IV was rolling and taking waves over the bow as it exited the Port of Skagen.
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Dirona was rolling quite a bit in the large steep waves just outside the Port of Skagen. Our cockpit was constantly awash with water entering through the scuppers.
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Port of Skagen
Nearing the entry to the Port of Skagen.
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DanPilot Bravo
The pilot boat DanPilot Bravo at the Port of Skagen.
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Pelagic Trawlers
Skagen is the home port for the Ceton, the pelagic trawler that we toured in Donso, and one of the reasons we wanted to stop in Skagen was to see some of the other big pelagic trawlers that home port here. It looks like quite a few are in port—we can’t wait to go ashore and walk around.
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Skagen Marina
Moored at Skagen Marina within the Port of Skagen for a few nights.
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A fun lunch at Havfruen, one of several restaurants that line the waterfront above the marina, with a view to Dirona and the Port of Skagen beyond.
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Lunar Bow
After lunch, we toured the port on foot to look at some of the big ships there. This is the 262ft (80m) pelagic fishing vessel Lunar Bow, currently under construction at Karstensens shipyard in Skagen for UK-based Lunar Fishing Co. The ship will be powered by a Wartsila 10V31 main engine and twin Caterpillar C32 auxiliaries and is scheduled to be delivered in 2020.
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Emergency Ladder
This emergency ladder looks like a nice design. We’ll have to look into that.
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The 230ft (70m) pelagic fishing vessel Astrid of Skagen in drydock for bottom paint. The ship was delivered in 2014, also from Skagen-based Karstensens shipyard.
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It takes a lot of paint to cover the bottom of Astrid.
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The bow of the fishing vessel in the background is in the process of being replaced. On the ground is what came off.
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The 206ft (63m) pelagic trawler Clipperton on the marine ways at Skagen. The ship’s home port is Donso, where we recently toured two oil tankers and the pelagic trawler Ceton, and is another build from Skagen-based Karstensens shipyard.
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We don’t often see a Furuno store, let alone a Furuno vehicle. That gives a hint to how much Furuno gear is installed and serviced here in Skagen.
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Marine Ways
Looking across the extensive marine ways at Skagen.
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Y’all may be getting tired of looking at pelagic trawlers, but we weren’t :). This is the 250ft (76m) trawler Altaire built by Solstrand AS shipyard in Norway for Shetland-based Altaire Fishing Co. Ltd.
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BB Connector
The tractor tug BB Connector of Oslo.
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The 246ft (75m) pelagic trawler Charisma under construction at Karstensens shipyard for Charisma Fishing Co of Shetland.
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Massive crane in Karstensens shipyard, likely for the Charisma.
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Trawl Doors
Huge trawl doors roadside in Skagen.
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A watchful seal perched on a dock east west of the Port of Skagen.
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Most of the houses in Skagen are painted yellow, with white-edged red roofs.
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Lifeboat in a reconstruction of the Kandestederne rescue station at the Skagen Coastal Museum, covering the area’s maritime history.
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Memorial Hall
The memorial hall at Skagen Coastal Museum contains figureheads and nameplates from ships that have been lost in the area. The boat in front is a typical 19th-century fishing boat used in the area.
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Two grinding stones inside a Dutch windmill at Skagen Coastal Museum, one of several used historically in the Skagen area.
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Inshore Fishing
Model at Skagen Coastal Museum showing different inshore fishing methods, where the fishers used boats to drop nets that are dragged ashore onto the beach.
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Skagen Harbour
Model at Skagen Coastal Museum showing the original Port of Skagen when first completed in the early 1900s. Prior the construction of a protected port, the size of fishing boats were limited to what could be dragged up onto the beach.
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Swedish Seaman’s Church
The Swedish Seaman’s Church in Skagen, built to look as it if were on a grass-covered beach.
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Danish Fisherman and Rescuer
The statue, Danish Fisherman and Rescuer, by sculptor Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen, erected at Skagen Harbor in 1933. Blog reader L-H K. Arvedsen told us this statue is of Lars Kruse, the namesake for the Skagen SAR vessel, who is credited with saving over 200 lives.
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Tourist Information
At the tourist information office to pickup some maps and brochures.
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The 167ft (51m) bucket-dredger Amsterdam at the Port of Skagen.
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One of the very large anchors used by the Amsterdam.
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We saw the supply vessel Supplier at Donso, where it was tasked with keeping the Ramanda from dragging further on the moorings.
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Yokohama Fenders
Massive Yokohama fenders at the port of Skagen.
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Roar R
The motor hopper Roar R was purpose built to carry and easily discharge dredged materials by pivoting the hull outward from the middle.
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Lars Kruse
The SAR vessel Lars Kruse appears designed to be self-righting. The superstructure likely is filled with air and would force the vessel upright in a roll-over. And the engine exhausts have powered covers that would seal off to prevent downflow of saltwater into the engine room.
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Fishers mending their nets at the Port of Skagen.
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Restaurant-lined Havnevej in Skagen.
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La Familia
A delicious meal at La Familia overlooking Havnevej in Skagen.
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5 comments on “Skagen Arrival
  1. John S. says:

    Great post as usual. It was nice to see the huge fishing boats like Lunar Bow retain an attractive sheer-line. So many newer commercial ships are just straight-edged boxes with zero eye appeal.

    I noticed the fishing vessel Astrid uses a collar around the propeller — is this done to protect the prop or to enhance thrust? If a collar improves thrust and/or efficiency, does Nordhavn build collars around the props on their ocean-crossing vessels?

    • I agree. Many of the Baltic and North Sea commercial boats are good looking and strong vessels.

      Good observation on the ducted propeller also called a Kort Nozzle. These increase the effective thrust and efficiency of a propeller at low boat speeds and, as a consequence, they are very popular on tug boats. A ducted propeller’s advantage switches over to disadvantage at higher speeds and so they used to only be used on slow speed needing high thrust like tug boats. But, as fuel efficiency becomes a bigger and more important goal for ship owners and, as a consequence, normal operating speeds are falling and ducted propellers are becoming more common on cargo vessels. For example, the oil tankers we toured in Donso both both single engine ducted propeller equipped boats ( The ducted propeller increases efficiency at low speed and allows them to apply the larges amounts of thrust that an oil tanker needs in close quarters through a single prop.

      • jan-kees says:

        On Dutch barges it is quite common t have a 1/2 collar on the top of the prop. Because of the limited depth of the barges, it really helps when moving the barge without load. Many time the prop is really close to the water line then. Ours has one, since depth at the prop is only 90cm

  2. Stewart says:

    You and Jennifer really been having some amazing adventures in Scandinavia James. I wasn’t aware of all the traffic on the seas; especially the fishing boats. I am glad you both made it safely through.

    • There are a lot of boats operating in the area but most give good passing distances and are easy to work around. It does keep you on your toes when operating at night though.

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