The first ship
The year is 1915 and the first world war rages for the second consecutive year. Reports about mine explosions come regularly and the merchant shipping that dares to leave Swedish ports does so at great risk. Sven Salén works at the Gothenburg Trading Bank after a year’s training at the Gothenburg Trading Institute. In the autumn of 1915 Sven Salén decides to go into the shipping business. At the age of 25 he buys his first vessel, a 200 ton motor barge called “Robur”. The war has driven up freight prices and Sven Salén sees the possibilities. Shortly after his first acquisition, Sven Salén purchases yet another motorised schooner by the name of “Ida” and thereafter the sailing ship “Puerto Montt”.
He purchases the sailing ship on the American west coast, from a German who has emigrated to Chile, which means that it takes two months to complete the transaction. The fast sailing vessel is capable of reaching speeds of around 17.5 knots. Motor vessels of the time could seldom reach more than ten knots, but on the other hand, they did not have to rely on the wind. He renames the vessel “Transocean” and after a shaky start to his ship owning career, Sven Salén is finally sailing the world’s oceans.