Icebreaker worldwide on DVD - now including video clips from selected ships
Information (in English and mostly in German) of almost all modern icebreakers has been compiled and made available on DVD. Information on model ships, articles from selected journals, and the sources for blueprints are included on the DVD. It's a great source of information on icebreakers - not only for the model ship builder.
All that's needed is a PC with a internet browser. Internet connection is not required even though additional information may be obtained from addresses specified on the DVD.

Click here for further info or mailto Wolfgang Minas

(Photo by Panu Harmo)

This page was last modified on 21-March-2005

I recently revived a long neglected hobby of mine: building remote controlled ships. The choice of the model took a while. Looking around in the various catalogues, I couldn't find anything really interesting. But when I saw the book "Eisbrecher im Original und Modell" by Klaus Buldt, published by the Neckar-Verlag, Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany, the decision was made quick. The model should be an icebreaker. Among the various ships it were the twins OTSO and KONTIO that looked like a very interesting challenge and, in deed, it still is.

The KONTIO is one of the worlds most modern icebreaker. During the summer month the KONTIO and the almost identical OTSO can be seen moored side by side in the Helsinki harbor. Together with several other icebreakers (SISU, URHO and HANSE) the ships are being overhauled for the next season. The Finish Ice Service provides info on the ice situation in the Baltic Sea

Some technical details of the original:

Kontio was build in 1987 in the Wärtsilä shipyard in Helsinki. It is 99 meter long, 24.2 meter wide displaces 9,000 t and travels with 19 kn. Its four Wärtsilä Vasa 16V32 diesel engines are each coupled to a generator. Together they produce some 21,800 kW, enough to provide energy for a village of 30,000! Main consumers are the two electrical AC Strömberg engines that provide 15,000 kW (20,400 WPS). This makes Kontio on of the biggest non- nuclear powered icebreakers.

Another special feature is the Wärtsilä-air-bubbling system. Air is pumped through 16 nozzles on either side of the hull. The raising air bubbles reduce friction between hull and ice. This 'lubrication' will save energy and allows for faster and more efficient passage though the ice. In addition, using individual groups of nozzles are used to help maneuver the ship.

A Heeling-system can move 630 t of water in 40 seconds resulting in a list of approximately 7°.

Kontio was specially designed to keep waters of the Bottnic Sea along the Swedish and Finnish costs passable for ships. The ship has a double hull to be less vulnerable in case of a collision with hidden rocks.

(Photo by Klaus Buldt)

If you are interested on a more detailed report about the Kontio and work on board of this icebreaker you may want to read Klaus Buldt's article Eiszeit (in German). For info on other icebreakers check out the links below. The blueprints of OTSO/KONTIO can be bought from Neckar-Verlag, Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany.

Some pictures of my evolving model

The first time confronted with ice! December 98 More pictures of Icebreakers around the world: