What is Peters Schiff's job
the north story - The third life of PEKING
It's a fairytale story. The four-masted barque "PEKING", built in 1911 at the Blohm + Voss shipyard in Hamburg, one of the legendary Flying P-liners of the Laeisz shipping company, was last at a forgotten pier in New York, shabby, unable to maneuver, ready for the scrapping yard. In July 2017 this ship will enter the Elbe again.
Not under sails as last in 1932, but as cargo in a dock ship. The destination is the Peters shipyard on the Stör in Schleswig-Holstein, not far from the Elbe. An unprecedented reconstruction begins here in autumn 2017, a restoration that has never been seen in Germany. It will be crowned by an acclaimed voyage home on its own keel in September 2020. Like a queen, the "PEKING" returns to the place where its history began over 100 years ago: to Hamburg.
Restoration gives the ship back its dignity
Uli Patzwahl has accompanied this restoration through the years. First the "PEKING" has to learn to swim again. In the first year, the surprisingly well-preserved steel hull is restored as the basis for the subsequent reconstruction. This affects the entire ship, from the large cargo hold to the intermediate and main deck to the rigging, to the masts and yards, which gave the "PEKING" back its outer shine and dignity in the last year of the restoration.
The documentation links the stories of a handful of enthusiastic people through this great common goal:
Knowledge framework for a true-to-original repair
Joachim Kaiser is chairman of the Hamburg Maritime Foundation, which is responsible for the restoration. He has the role of the client, the client. But more than anyone else, the captain and ship historian feels obliged to the history of the "PEKING", researches the archives of the Laeisz shipping company, spins threads to the descendants of the seafarers and is always at the shipyard to create a framework from the knowledge he has gathered to be built for the most credible repair possible, for the resurrection of the "PEKING" in the state of 1928.
Work at a height of 40 meters
Carla Enchelmaier first learned the carpentry trade, then studied design and is a qualified industrial climber. She uses all of this knowledge to turn her great passion for sailing into a profession. Carla Enchelmaier is part of the rigging crew of the Hamburg expert and adventurer Georg Albinus. These riggers have to be free from giddiness, fasten heavy steel "wires" to the mast at a height of 40 meters or use chain hoists to move the yards, the heavy sail carriers. "The work is extremely exciting and extremely hard," says Carla. And it takes a long time. For Carla it becomes a test of her passion, but she really wants to persevere. It burns for a moment: up there on the yards with the other riggers when the "PEKING" arrives back in the port of Hamburg.
Project manager faces immense challenges
As a sea captain, Niklas Pfaff was looking for a job on land that is just as demanding and varied as the great voyage across the oceans. He found the Peters Werft, where he now works as a project manager, interlinking the various trades, solving technical and human problems between those involved and ultimately meeting the shipyard's costs and delivery deadlines. Niklas Pfaff expected everything, but not an order like the "PEKING". The challenge is immense, the tension curve rises over three years. Last year Niklas Pfaff even took his family on board on the weekends. "For the first time since my voyage, I have the feeling that I know a ship down to the last detail, right down to its character," he says.
"Operation BEIJING" is a unique time in the lives of those involved. In the end, it will be a great moment of happiness for Hamburg, for northern Germany. It would not have been possible without enthusiasm, passion and setbacks. "PEKING" conveys this impressively, also in its third life.
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