smacks built in the UK
The most beautiful and best of the English smacks were built in the 1880s. Many of them were sold a few years later to the Faroe Islands. Among them the
smack Johanna TG 326
Johanna is built in Rye, Sussex in the South of England in 1884 at the famous shipyard owned by James Collins Hoad, a shipyard well known for its beautiful ships. The first owner of Johanna, named Oxfordshire while belonging to England, was John William Haylock from Dulwich in Surrey. In October 1894, Georg Edv. James Moody, a great shipowner in Grimsby, bought Oxfordshire, but sold the ship again in December the same year to Jákup Dahl,
a general merchant in Vágur. This was the first smack, which Jákup Dahl owned by himself.
A/S J. Dahl á Gørðunum
Later Jákup Dahl, who had established the company A/S J. Dahl in Vágur, bought several
smacks and schooners mainly from England. During the last decades of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century A/S J. Dahl was one of the most important companies in the Faroes. Besides owning more than 20
smacks and schooners, A/S J. Dahl also operated several businesses in Vágur as well as in other villages in the Faroes.
Johanna was a natural part of the companies fishing fleet, but at the outbreak of World War 2 most of the Faroese
smacks changed operation. At that time Faroese smacks began to ice fish for the British market. In Britain fish was very much in short supply. The fish was mainly bought in Iceland and sailed to Britain by Faroese
smacks and schooners and sold. Fish was also to some extent caught by smaller ships around the Faroes and carried from the Faroes to Britain by larger ships.
A/S J. Dahl was during most of the 20th century one of the major companies in Vágur. During this period of time Johanna remained within the company. Through out these many years (apart from a couple of years, when she was repaired) Johanna was fishing, until about 1972.
Preserving a part of history
In the early 1970s only a few smacks remained in the Faroes. One of them was Johanna. She was laid up in the beginning of the 1970s. For many years she remained in the harbour as a nuisance. In 1980 A/S J. Dahl planned to sink her, which had been done to many other
At the last moment it was decided to save her. In 1981 a trust called Johanna TG 326 was founded for the purpose of saving the
smack Johanna and restore her to her original condition, in order to remind us of the old by-gone
smack-times that had meant so much to the Faroe Islands.
In 1981 The trust Johanna TG 326 bought the smack Johanna from A/S J. Dahl for 1 DKR.
8 years of restoration
After this Johanna was beached and a great work of restoration started. Many people were working on the ship. During the first years the work was done on a voluntary basis and The Trust received support from all parts of the country.
All this work took 8 years. It can therefore be said about Johanna, that today she is like a new ship, but in her old shape. But still many a plank and many a wooden nail remains in Johanna from that time, when she was built at the shipyard by James Collins Hoad in Rye Sussex in
England, more than 120 years ago, and today Johanna still retains her beautiful, original form an shape.