Ship profile for the sailing ship: "No. 5 Elbe"

Photos of the sailing ship:

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No. 5 Elbe, Volker Gries, Kieler Woche 2005 , 06/2005

Source, location, date:
Volker Gries,
Kieler Woche 2005,

No. 5 Elbe, Volker Gries, Kieler Woche 2006 , 06/2006

Source, location, date:
Volker Gries,
Kieler Woche 2006,

No. 5 Elbe, Volker Gries, Kieler Woche 2006 , 06/2006

Source, location, date:
Volker Gries,
Kieler Woche 2006,

No. 5 Elbe, Volker Gries, Sail Bremerhaven 2015 , 08/2015

Source, location, date:
Volker Gries,
Sail Bremerhaven 2015,

Technical data of the sailing ship:

Name:No. 5 Elbe
Ex-names:Elbe 5, Wander Bird
Registered port:Hamburg
Type of rigging:SCHONER
Type of ship:Lotsenschoner
Year built:1881-1884
Yard:H.C. Stülcken & Sohn, Hamburg Steinwerder, GER
Overall length:37.00 m
Length (hull):25.32 m
Breadth:5.95 m
Draught:3.66 m
Sail area:492 m2
Ship's hull:Holz / Wood
Power:260 PS
Engine:Volvo (2x130 PS)

Portrait of the sailing ship:

Last update: 14 Dec 2022

  • built as the pilot schooner "Elbe 5" after a design by Gustav Junge at the H.C. Stülcken & Sohn shipyard in Hamburg, GER in 1883.
  • retired from pilot service in 1924 and purchased by author Warwick Tompkins in 1928, in 1929 commissioned as a cruising yacht and sail training vessel, renamed the "Wander Bird".
  • made a total of 13 trans-Atlantic crossings in this time, in 1936 Tompkins sailed her around Cape Horn to San Francisco Bay, after a voyage to Tahiti, Tompkins laid the schooner up in Sausalito, California in 1941 where she becames a houseboat for his ex-wife.
  • 1969 purchased by Harold and Anna Sommers, begin of a restoring, fitted with her first engine, sailed for the first time in June, 1981.
  • was not used much by the Sommers and was offered for sale in 1992, after some unsuccessful trials to sell her back to Germany she departed Sausalito for Seattle in October 1998, the new owners Jim Flury and David Cook intended to offer charter cruises in Mexican waters but instead chartered her to a non-profit group in Seattle to serve as a sail training ship and goodwill ambassador for the city, this program never got started but the schooner remained in Seattle.
  • on initiative of the "Stiftung Hamburg Maritim" the ships returned to Hamburg on October 7, 2002 where an overhaul of electrical equipment began and the rigging and deck was checked, all necessary work was done in the context of the project "Jugend in Arbeit Hamburg e.V.", 2005/06 exchange of the engine and repairs at the hull.
  • since 2004 used as charter ship for day trips and longer voyages.
  • participation in several sailing events in the Baltic Sea, including the Hansesail Rostock, Kiel Week and Fyn Rundt, match races with pilot schooner "Atalanta" and participation in the Jade-Weser-Port Cup in the North Sea, several trips to Sweden.
  • on 06/08/2019 collision with the cargo ship "Astrosprinter" on the river Elbe, all persons could be rescued with only minor injuries before "No. 5 Elbe" ran aground near the mouth of the river Schwinge.
  • salvaged in June 2019 and repaired at Peters Werft Hamburg and then in Hvide Sande, DK; return to Hamburg in October 2020.

Last tracked position of the ship:

Map provided by

Last tracked position of the ship No. 5 Elbe


Website (deutsch, 14 Dec 2022):
Lotsenschoners No.5 ELBE: information about the ship and her history, photos, sailing on board and contact address

Website (deutsch, 14 Dec 2022):
Website of the "Stiftung Hamburg Maritim" association with technical measurements and some history about the ship, a photo

Literature for further reading:

We recommend the following references for your further research of the ship. The references marked with have been included in the generation of the ship profile on this page.

Mitteilungsblatt der Freunde des Gaffelriggs
Page: 7-9 Source with picture Source with history
Joachim Kaiser
"Lotsenschoner No 5 Elbe - Frischzellenkur für eine alte Dame"
Edition: 89