Electrolux Equips Vessel with Appliances for World Travel
Jun 2, 2003
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Swedish appliance maker Electrolux announced today that it will equip a 40-m replica of an 18th century sailing ship with state-of-the-art kitchen and laundry appliances.

The vessel, named the Ostindiefararen (East Indiaman), will be launched in Gothenburg in June 2003. The three-masted wooden ship will visit ports on four different continents during its maiden voyage to China, which begins in the autumn of 2004. The ship's household appliances will be specially built by Electrolux to meet the unique challenges of a round-the-world voyage in an authentic sailing vessel.

The ship will follow its predecessor's 18th century trade route. In the 21st century, however, it will be prepared to feed and do the laundry for its 100-person crew. Equipped with modern appliances, navigation equipment, and an engine, the new version will be able to avoid the sickness and other dangers that awaited sailors in the past. The original vessel sank as she sailed into Gothenburg harbor laden with silk and tea from China. The company Svenska Ostindiska Companiet, which has been constructing the ship since 1993, is using the same building methods as the original. The ship is a historical heritage project of the Svenska Ostindiska Companiet AB.

"We are used to working on very tough projects at Electrolux" says Kristian Vidfar, marketing manager at Electrolux. "But the task of equipping the Ostindiefararen with absolutely reliable appliances is particularly challenging when you consider the demanding environment."

The appliances must operate while in constant motion from waves, wind, weather, and currents. Extremes of temperature and humidity also pose a formidable challenge. Temperatures of more than 45°C at the equator will fall well below freezing in the Southern Ocean, said to be the most dangerous of all the world's seas.

Optimal work surfaces and equipment for the galley and laundry are being created for the cramped spaces below deck. The frying table, for example, will be mounted on gimbals to keep it horizontal even in the roughest seas. The cooker is equipped with rails to prevent pots and pans from falling. Refrigerators have been "tropicalized" to cope with the extremes of heat and moisture.

Other equipment includes a dishwasher, freezer, a fan-assisted oven, cutting and preparation machines, microwave ovens, and every sailor's favorite for night watches, a coffee maker. Electrolux washing machines and tumble dryers have been installed in the laundry section.

"Both the galley and laundry are essential areas. We must be able to trust the equipment one hundred percent," says Jörgen Gabrielson, managing director at Svenska Ostindiska Companiet. "We appreciate the expertise and cooperation of Electrolux. Their specialist competence is very important to the overall success of this venture."

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