Brabander is the Lithuania’s largest sailing ship.
The two-masted square-rigged schooner is 36 meters in length. She was built by the Dricon Shipyard in Drimmelen, the Netherlands, with the aim to train local young people. The keel was laid in 1977 and the ship was launched two years later. The rigging was developed by Spencer Rigging based in Cowes on the island of Wight. The name of the ship, which started her service in 1980, refers to the Braband Region, the Netherlands.
Since 1st November 2006, the schooner has been operated by the University of Klaipeda. Lithuanians decided to keep the original name of the ship. Once the yellow-green-red flag was hoisted, the ship set out from the Netherlands to her new homeport. During the maiden voyage, the Lithuanian crew went through an acid test when they were caught by a storm in the Baltic. Luckily, after 9 days of navigation, the ship safely reached the port of Klaipeda.
Brabander has been providing training for students of oceanology, hydrology and underwater archaeology. She also has equipment for seabed sonar surveys. The steel hull has been painted with a distinctive black strip simulating gun ports. She has frequented Baltic-based rallies and sailing events, and she is a regular participant of the Tall Ships Races. Interestingly, in 2009, Brabander’s image was printed on a Lithuanian postage stamp.
In 2018, Lithuanian scouts participated in SAIL4INDEPENDENDECE to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Lithuania’s independence. They visited several Baltic ports, including Gdańsk, Gdynia, Kołobrzeg and Darłowo, Poland. To highlight the shared past of both countries, several Polish scouts joined the crew.