Gun Boat Guitars

When the English fleet took the Danish navy in 1807, and destroyed the ships that were on the block, there were neither timber or time enough to construct new large warships.

Instead, around 200 small gun boats were built.

However, it was very expensive to build the many gunboats, and after the British attack the country lacked money. But the Danish and Norwegian people were so angry with the British, they wanted revenge, so they gave lots of money for the new fleet of gunboats. Over the whole kingdom was made collections, and the people gave all they could do without, for the purpose. Landowners gave timber and forests, citizen families gave their silverware, and children even gave their piggy banks to support the fight against the hated British.

The smallest gunboats were little more than large boats with only one cannonade in the bow. Others were 82 feet long with a cannonade of each stem. The gun boats had modest sails and were primarily rowed forward. This made them a useful chance weapon in windless conditions, where they – usually in groups – could attack the British ships.

The gun boats served in inland waters (Kattegat and the Belts), as well as in the Norwegian archipelago. The first barges were typically named after cities (Faaborg, Rødbye, Jægersborg etc.), But when production escalated, most just got a number.

After the peace most of the surviving boats quickly were scrapped.

By retirement of the gunboats after the war against England, wood from some of the boats were used as bulwark in the Copenhagen Harbor, in some places up to the 1970s.

It is this Pomeranian pine I bought in 2014 and use for my guitars.