The Belgium training ship “Mercator” was launched in 1932 as part of the training programme for future officers and crew and was in service until 1960. This splendid three masted vessel was transformed in 1961 into a museum and is open in the summer months in the Ostend shipyards.
A plank on frame construction, this Mantua kit contains:- Building plans with general details, English instructions, lost wax brass castings, walnut or lime planking, wooden masts and spars, brass and walnut fittings, etched brass details, rigging cord, and silk flag. All sheet ply sections are laser cut for accuracy.
Besides being a training a ship, she was also used, mainly before WW II, for scientific observations, or as ambassador for Belgium on world fairs and in sailing events. She participated in several races, winning the Oslo-Ostend race. She brought back two Moai (giant statues) from Easter Island. In 1936 she brought home from Molokai, Hawaii, the remains of Father Damien. Her last trip was to Lisbon for the commemoration of the quincentenary of the death of infante Henry the Navigator.
In 1961 she became a floating museum ship, first in Antwerp, and finally from 1964 in the marina of Ostend.
During all this time, she has become perhaps the best-known ship of Belgium.
The Mantua kit features the following: A plank on frame hull construction, building plans with general details English instructions, lost wax brass castings walnut or lime planking, wooden masts and spars, brass and walnut fittings, etched brass details, rigging cord, and silk flag. All sheet ply sections are laser cut for accuracy.