steamboat blidösund

The tire men on Blidösund

The deckhands, or sailors as they are called today, are part of the crew who, with varied tasks, ensure that the steamer Blidösund is fully functional and

operational. Historically, this has been a demanding task, some of which still exists today.

1910s and 1920s: Summer guests and a heavily loaded steamer

In the 1910s and 1920s, it was common for families to move out to the archipelago for the summer, with the travelers taking an extensive living space on the steamboat journey. The deckhands were a central part of the crew, who with varying tasks ensure that the steamboat Blidösund is fully functional and operational together with the other crew. The work is a living part of our steamboat's history and a reminder of the hard working conditions that partly still exist today.

1930s: Changing tasks

In the 1930s, summer visitors stayed in the archipelago for shorter periods, reducing the amount of personal belongings that needed to be transported. Despite this, the work of the deckhands was not much lighter. Carl-Eric Carlsson, who served as a deckhand in the 1930s, described the physical strain of standing at the helm and carrying 80-100 kilogram sacks of coal to the boiler. In addition, the deckhands handled goods that were shipped to about 10 shops located on Blidö and Yxlan. If there was time left over, there was scrubbing, sweeping, painting and window cleaning.

World Wars: Transporting firewood and heavy work

During the First and Second World Wars, when coal was in short supply, Blidösund was fired with wood instead of coal. This meant even heavier work for the deckhands, who had to collect wood from the piers and carry it down to the engine room. In the 1950s, the amount of goods to be transported was still considerable. At one point, 150 bicycles were stowed on the roof when Blidösund left Stockholm. Goods also had to be loaded for shops on the islands. There were now only three deckhands and with fewer jobs due to new fast boats and increased bus and car traffic

The 1969 Return: New Era and New Tasks

When the ferries to Yxlan and Blidö arrived in the mid-1950s, car traffic became too tough a competition and the Blidösund service ceased in 961. The Blidösund line was resumed in 1969 with changed tasks for the deckhands. Heavy freight was no longer carried on the steamer, but new tasks took its place

in cruises and new tours emerged, among these were tours to Strängnäs, Friday and Sunday tours via Blidösundet, boat-borne city tours and

Steamboat music. .

Today: A Unique and Demanding Job

Today, one to two deckhands work on board the steamer Blidösund, compared to modern boats, Blidösund still involves a physically demanding and unique job of handling ropes, gangways, freeholds, coal and slag. With today's cruises focusing on providing a good experience and service to guests, the work of deckhands still plays an important role.

Do you want to know more about the history of the steamer Blidösund?