This year marks the 125th anniversary of the first voyage of the Imperial Yacht Standart [Shtandart].
It was on 8th September 1896 [after sea trials], that Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna first travelled by sea on board what many considered the “most perfect ship of her type in the world”. The Imperial couple were accompanied by their first-born child Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna.
The Imperial Yacht made its first long voyage to Europe stopping at Copenhagen (Denmark) – Plymouth (England) – Cherbourg (France), before returning to Kronstadt, its primary port.
The ship, built by special order at the Danish shipyard Burmeister & Wein, served the Imperial Family until 1914, when the Great War began, it was pressed into naval service. She was scrapped at Tallinn, Estonia, in 1963.
The hull of the yacht was made of riveted steel. The vessel had two decks – upper and main, as well as two platforms at the ends – fore and aft. In the middle section of the Standart, under the engine and boiler rooms, there was a second bottom, which was divided by watertight compartments.
The bow superstructure consisted of two tiers and had a navigating bridge. In the first tier of the bow superstructure, the navigator’s room and two cabins for the commanding staff were located. The second tier of the bow superstructure was the wheelhouse.
PHOTO: Emperor Nicholas II, on the deck of the Imperial Yacht ‘Standart’, colourized by Olga Shirnina [aka KLIMBIM], who consults with Russian historians and other experts to ensure the correct colours of the uniforms worn by Emperor Nicholas II
The large aft superstructure was finished with mahogany, it housed a dining room for official receptions seating up to 70 people, a study and the emperor’s reception room. The flat upper deck was lined with American teak planks. On the main deck were the imperial apartments, which included a common living room, separate offices and separate bedrooms of the Sovereign, Empress and Dowager Empress, dining room, salon, cabins of the Heir, cabins of the Grand Duchesses, officers of the yacht and the ship’s wardroom. The bow platform housed storerooms, workshops, showers and crew quarters, below there was a cargo hold and a powder magazine. On the aft platform there were playrooms for the Imperial children, rooms for servants, a radio room, showers, and below – refrigerator chambers for perishable provisions.
The yacht’s life-saving accessories included 2 large mahogany steam boats, 2 powerboats, 2 large 14 row boats, 2 10 row boats, 2 six-oared yales and 2 8-row boats.
The yacht was powered by steam-sailing, with 24 boilers and two steam engines with an indicator capacity of 6000 hp each, which rotated two bronze screws.
The armament of the yacht consisted of 8 single-barreled 47-mm Hotchkiss cannons, which were located in the bow of the upper deck on both sides.
On the 125th anniversary marking the first voyage of the Imperial Yacht, a model was recently donated to the Monastery of the Holy Royal Martyrs Museum at Ganina Yama, near Ekaterinburg.
Other models of the Standart are on display in the Imperial Yacht Museum in Peterhof, which has a small room dedicated to the vessels; the Central Naval Museum in St. Petersburg; and at the Burmeister & Wain Museum at Copenhagen
CLICK on the LINK(S) below to read more about the Imperial Yacht Standart:
Exhibition: Imperial Yacht Standart and the Family of the Last Russian Emperor + VIDEO – published on 15th December 2019
The Fates of the Russian Imperial Yachts ‘Standart’ and ‘Polar Star’ – published on 21st October 2019
‘Ten years in the Imperial Yacht Standart’ by Nikolai Sablin – published on 27th August 2019
© Paul Gilbert. 27 November 2021
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