Since 1994 the Rostock branch of the Landesverband is controlling wreck sites along the coast east of Rostock. One of our regular visited wrecks is a wooden trading vessel, located close to the town of Ahrenshoop, Darss peninsula. It lies on sandy bottom, at a depth of 3,5m, in a distance of 150m to the shore. It is preserved so far from stem to stern with an overall length of 26m, the widest part measuring 6,50 and it could at a first glance be dated to the 19th century by constructional features.  Lageplan

Luftbild Since 1995 we could observe some deterioration, mainly caused by winterstorms, ice and - the teredo navalis. The latter can be found in the Baltic since 1993. Obviously it is now able to survive in the Western Baltic and thus a great threat to all sort of wooden archaeological remains.
In 1996 we managed to take some samples for dendrochronological dating which gave a result of 1811. This date could very well match the loss of the Rostock sailing vessel "Die Guten Freunde (The good Friends)" in 1844 somewhere at this position.

UW-Ansicht Deckshšhe
Preservation of the Portside

 Schiffstyp Schmack
Example of a "Schmack" from the Netherlands
mid 18th century

eisernes Knie
Knee, made from iron, supporting a now gone crossbeam of the deck

The type of vessel is known as a "Schmack", closely related to coastal trading vessels of the Netherlands as shown above.

In an attempt to verify the vessels date and origin, the Rostock branch of the Landesverband tried in 1997 to retrieve some more dating material and get more information about constructional details.


   Strandlager Supported by the local authorities and with the consent of the Landesamt für Bodendenkmalpflege, we started work late in august. After establishing a base camp on the shore, we located the wreck and began cleaning it from mussels and seaplants.

Details of
can be seen
after cleaning

SeitenschwertaufhŠngung Having cleaned the wreck, more than 200 datum points were set up. This introduced an intense phase of measuring from point to point. The measurements were than fed into a computer, running the WEB-program, which had been used on the Mary Rose site and others. Along with this process, the inner side of the visible part of the hull was drawn using conventional methods.

 Arbeitssituation  Arbeitssituation

After the first raw measurements taken, excavation work started in the stern part. We used a water dredge and in the beginning it did very well. It was only after we nearly had reached the bilge area, that the pump broke down - not much before wind and waves began to disturb all other work too.

 Arbeitssituation  Arbeitssituation

Heckkonstruktion Heckansicht

As a consequence, we could not manage to finish the excavation part of this investigation properly and even drawing up a detailed plan is still not completed. No finds have come to light so far either. To bring this campaign to an end, there will be a follow-up investigation in may 1998.

(Michael Stoß)