"Rylen" is unusually well documented in the history of
Kerteminde. First of all by being a Great Belt fishing boat,
typical to this particular place, the fishing port of Kerteminde.
Furthermore, "Rylen" was home base for a unique artistic project,
involving the town's most well-known artist, Johannes Larsen.
"Rylen" was built in 1896 and was right from the start a part of
the fleet of Great Belt fishing boats that caught herring, the
backbone of Kerteminde's economy. A single boat could catch fish
valued at 6000 kr. over a couple of months. That was quite a lot of
money back then.
The Great Belt fishing boats were slender, clinker-built vessels
that could either be pointed or flat at the stern. This type of
boat was known to be fast and seaworthy. The crew usually consisted
of three men: a shipmaster, a fisherman and a boy. If there was a
shortage of fishermen, labourers and smallholders sometimes got a
chance to get offshore. By special arrangement, the boys who sailed
on the Great Belt fishing boats didn't have to report to school
We don't have a great deal of information about the boat's first
years. In all likelihood, it had a motor installed between
1905-1915 like most of the other Great Belt fishing boats. At the
end of World War I, the boat's name was "Fremad" (meaning forward),
carried 6 tons and had a 4 hp engine. It belonged to H.Christiansen
from the fishing village of Bregnør on Odense Fjord.