In 2018, two brothers, who were previous guests, approached Sven Stewart, the owner, about the idea of modernising Gåssten. The proposal was an extensive refit of the cabins and the addition of a large comfortable saloon at deck level. Another previous guest also invested in the project, and with funds in place a massive refit was underway.
During the winter of 2018/19 HMS Gåssten was moved from her home in Norway to Oban on the west coast of Scotland. Here, she started her major refit. The brief was to have 5 refurbished cabins, each with its own bathroom. No expense was spared in creating these 5 ensuite guest cabins. The finished product was the height of comfort and cosiness, while retaining her original features such as exposed oak roof beams, and original flooring.
10 miles down the road a separate saloon was being fabricated by Alutec Marine. Made out of aluminium and lined in oak, the saloon would provide a comfortable space for dining and relaxing while offering panoramic views of the Norwegian Fjords.
HMS Gåssten is now finished, and is the product of hard work, passion, and dedication. The team behind the refit worked tirelessly to create, what is quite simply, a beautiful wooden boat. All those who have been lucky enough to spend time on HMS Gåssten are always in awe by the levels of craftsmanship and hard work that have made her what she is today.
The new saloon on the foredeck was designed to provide the most space and comfort for our guests while maintaining Gåssten’s beautiful and original lines. Much thought was put into this by the marine architects to maximise space without compromising performance or seaworthiness. HMS Gåssten now boasts a large saloon with a spacious pine deck above. With the removal of the original gun turret on the bow deck the outside space is warm and inviting. She also has a new mast to replicate the feeling of the original mine lifting crane from yesteryear.
She is now, after much love and great financial investment, a fine example of an adventure boat for those seeking to explore the Western Fjords of Norway.
H.M.S (His Majesty’s Ship) Gåssten was the last ever class of wooden warship built by the Swedish navy and as a result one of the last ever surviving wooden warships. She was in active service from 1973 until her colours were stricken on December 31st 1999. During her career she was involved as part of a NATO force tasked with sweeping for mines in the eastern Baltic, clearing the coasts of Estonia, Latvia and Finland clear of mines from WW2.
She was commissioned in 1973 during the reign of King Carl Gustave to be one of three offshore minesweeper class warships for the Swedish navy. Because of the type of operations minesweepers were engaged in, having a low magnetic signature was vital hence her hull being made entirely of oak and her crane arms being of fibreglass. Originally she had a large caliber gun on a rotating plinth on the bow and a derrick crane mid ships to handle the mines. Her paint work was a grey camouflage pattern. The aluminium superstructure was home to the galley and simple crew quarters as well as the skippers wheelhouse.
Most Navies had long since stopped building ships from wood due to the enormous expense and craftsmanship required. However, the Swedish Navy continued to build their minesweeper class in oak until 1973.
Of the last three ever built, one was lost at sea, and one now sits outside the Vasa Museum in Stockholm as an example of Swedish Naval history and craftsmanship. The third, HMS Gåssten (M31) continues to patrol in the Western Norwegian Fjords to this day with adventure seeking guests.
From 1973-1999 She saw active service serving as part of a NATO task force detailed with clearing mines left over from WW2 in the Eastern Baltic waters off Estonia, Latvia and Finland. After completing her minesweeping duties, she was converted to a Naval coast guard vessel patrolling in the Baltic and is credited with saving 19 lives.
In 2013 she was purchased by Sven Stewart who had the dream of turning her into a live-aboard boat for for those looking for skiing in the winter, and hiking and mountain biking in the summer in The Norwegian Fjords. One of her first assignments was to be part of the ski movie ‘Supervention’ featuring free ski and snowboard legends such as Terje Håkonsen, Anders Backe and Åsmund Thorsend. This film put the area on the map for wild skiing and highlighted the versatility Gåssten was able to offer to those looking for this kind of adventure.
In 2018 an ambitious project was put forward to totally refit Gåssten and also add a large yet cosy saloon at deck level for guests to relax in after a day in the mountains. Investors were approached and sketches and designs were pored over. Eventually the dream became a reality with her refit completed in mid 2019. Now Gåssten is a luxurious live aboard boat with the same adventurous DNA in her original oak timbers, but now with a superior level of comfort and service available to those who are seeking the next big adventure in the Norwegian Fjords.
Gåssten is truly the epitome of Heritage, Adventure and Luxury.
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