The story behind MK “Remi Ketil”

A living cultural monument, competence center and utility boat.

MK “Remi Ketil” is a 64-foot fishing vessel that was built in 1967 at Rana Skipsbyggeri, a shipyard in Hemnesberget. The first owner of the boat was Magnar Andreasen of Tverlandet near Bodø, who named the boat after his one-year-old son, Remi Ketil. Later it was sold to someone in Vesterålen and renamed “Høyken”. Much later, in 2004, the boat was bought by a company in Meløy and eventually condemned, whereupon ownership in 2006 was transferred to the Meløy’s Association of Fisheries History. The association renamed it “Skarsfjord”.

As the Meløy association gradually shrank to just two members, they realized they no longer had the capacity to manage the boat and put it up for sale. Several parties expressed interest. But when a group of people expressed interest in Hemnes, the place where the boat was originally built, the association decided to transfer the boat to them free of charge.

In 2016 the boat was brought home to the fjordside village of Hemnesberget. A cooperative was established to raise the start-up capital for a restoration project. At the first meeting of the Hemnes Historical Boatbuilding Association (Hemnes Båtbyggerhistoriske Forening, HBBF), the members of this cooperative served as the interim board of directors. Today, HBBF owns the boat, and many individuals and companies support the association’s work through their paid membership.

The key objective of HBBF is to restore MK “Remi Ketil”. They want the boat to be based in Hemnesberget as floating testimony to the community’s boatbuilding traditions and industrial history.

The association intends for the old fishing boat to fulfil various purposes for the community. Their vision is for the MK “Remi Ketil” to be a floating boat museum, a living cultural monument, and a centre for building skills and knowledge about exciting modern maritime technology.

As of today, only members are allowed on boat trips, but several successful member trips have been arranged, despite the fact that the boat is still undergoing extensive restoration. An extensive collaboration with the local schools is being launched; in due time the restored boat will be used by school students, tourists and others who are interested in fishing trips, fjord trips and excursion along the coast.

In 2018, seven members of the association passed a Leisure-vessel Skipper Exam (D5L), at their own expense, so as to be qualified to navigate the MK “Remi Ketil” and boats of similar size. For the association to be able to allow paying visitors and guests on board, numerous quality-assurance systems need to be implemented, and there must be at least one skipper with a D4 certificate. As of the end of 2021, these things were not quite in place. However, the goal is for the association to commence commercial operations with paying guests in the course of 2022.