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The Kleiner Berg

1. Ship overview
The Kleiner Berg
The Kleiner Berg

The Kleiner Berg, which is a large cruiser yacht (44.2ft), was launched in March 2001 thanks to a donation from the Oyama Scholarship Foundation. In an era when it is preferred that universities are distinctive and provide unique classes, the Faculty of Maritime Sciences decided to take on the challenge of creating and introducing new classes using a large yacht. The yacht is used for the classes of maritime-related domestic and overseas educational institutions and for yacht surveys. From the perspective of providing classes, the yacht needed to satisfy the specifications of having the robustness to operate safely in stormy weather and also the luxury condition of having high speed sailing performance, and it was launched as a luxurious and splendid yacht that satisfies these conditions.

Subjects it is used for
The Faculty of Maritime Sciences introductory subject Becoming Familiar with the Sea and Ships
The Faculty of Maritime Sciences general subject Sailing
Kobe University university-wide common subject Inducement to Maritime

More than 300 students experience sailing each year 300. The students who experience sailing are from all of Kobe University's faculties (the faculties of Maritime Sciences, Letters, Intercultural Studies, Human Development, Law, Economics, Business Administration, Science, Engineering, Medicine and Agriculture)

Extracurricular activities Offshore Sailing Club
Races, cruising
Lectures for the general public "Yacht cruising" for the general public
Other activities for the general public In sailing NPO activities, each year around 200 members of the general public experience sailing
Overview of the research, education, and practical training

The subjects that it used for include Becoming Familiar with the Sea and Ships, which is an introductory subject for first-year students in the Faculty of Maritime Sciences. From Ume e no Akogare (Yearning for the Sea), many students are familiar with it by its nickname of Kleiner. Other this this subject, it is used for Invitation to the Sea, a university-wide common subject in which students from all faculties (Maritime Sciences, Letters, Intercultural Studies, Human Development, Law, Economics, Business Administration, Science, Engineering, Medicine, and Agriculture) are able to board the vessel and experience sailing. Even simply as marine leisure activities, the students are able to come to feel the sea as a familiar presence by experiencing nature, the marine environment, and sailing technologies. Modern, high-tech yachts are exhilarating to sail, and the students' intellectual curiosity is stirred from actual experiencing what had previously only been explained to them, that these yachts "sail using wind as the dynamic lift power." The students experience the exhilaration of sailing without the noise of an engine or the smell of oil, and they listen intently to information on a wide range of matters, such as stories of the Americas Cup, which is the world's premier yacht race, or the era of the black ships, or in the words of Queen Victoria that there "There is no second," or stories of sponsors of luxury brand bags that women enjoy. As it is large-scale yacht, the students can neither steer it nor keep it in order unless they communicate with each other, so from the instructors' perspective, it is an educational facility with high educational value.

Its maintenance costs are not cheap, but fortunately the University understands its educational value and that it provides students with valuable lessons that can only be experienced by sailing on it. The thoughts of Mr. Koyama are inscribed on the memorial plate on the ship, of "I was lucky as a young man to be raised to love the sea and ships. I give this ship to honor the courage of those who set sail on rough seas." We can see from the emotions, words and actions, and their answers to the questionnaires conducted among students, that his words are reaching many young people.

For research activities, the yacht is used to research teaching methods that utilize a cruiser yacht. It is not high-tech research, but it is contributing to the spread of safe marine leisure and recreation activities in response to the requests from Japanese society in recent years, of "wanting to enjoy the sea" and "wanting to enjoy leisure on the sea." There is also the aspect of "adventure education." When going on a yacht voyage, students will undoubtedly experience stormy weather, and although the safety of modern yachts is guaranteed globally, accidents can occur depending on whether or not the crew is able to sail them safely. Students overcome dangerous conditions by making full use of the sailing skills that the have practiced on a daily basis. One view on education that is considered to be common in the United Kingdom is that "Human beings grow through having the experience of overcoming severe mental and physical challenges," and situations in which the students will have these experiences can occur on the yacht. One research theme is "Growing as human beings (holistic education)," which has been given low priority in modern day Japan that prefers to espouse the principle of efficiency. The sailing program of the US Naval Academy also seeks to "Train human resources to be extremely tough and to be leaders," and unlike "Developing mental toughness under warlike conditions in which second place is meaningless," fostering "The ability to live strongly and resolutely in ordinary society" is educational content corresponding to the life skills advocated by the WHO and other organizations. One direction for research is "As a venue for education on the sea, the Kleiner Berg is used for "creating a marine education program and verifying its educational effects," and also other than this, it can be loaned to parties inside and outside of the University and used as a facility both for educational and research.

Extracurricular activities (Offshore Sailing Club)

The University began cruising yacht extracurricular activities following the launch of the Kleiner Berg. Currently the Club has 21 members, including female students. Normally, small cruising yachts are used (2 J24 class vessels) for practice in the seas around Ashiya and Nishinomiya, with the Kleiner Berg being used for large-vessel practice around once a month. In April the students compete in the Kazi Cup (Himeji YH), in May in the Kobe Festival Yacht Races (Suma YH), and in August in the Awadori Yacht Races (Tokushima YC), and they also participate in summer cruising (around seven days on the Seto Inland Sea), in which they are able to enjoy sailing on the Kleiner Berg. The students won the Cruising Class II in both 2006 and 2007 in the Kobe Festival Yacht Races, which was even reported on in the newspapers, and their activities have also been featured in KAZI, a specialist yacht magazine. The Club has joined the All Nippon Inter-collegiate Ocean Racing Union and is currently applying for approval to join the Kobe University Athletic Association. In March 2007 at Hayama Marine, Kanagawa Prefecture, the Club's members competed in the ANIORU's Cup, which is the tournament of the Japan Intercollegiate Offshore Sailing Federation (formerly the All Nippon Intercollegiate Offshore Racing Union (ANIORU)), finishing fifth out of seven universities and colleges. For a time they were leading the race, in recent years they have been keen to win this cup order to qualify to compete at the world championships.

Societal activities – lectures for the general public

The cruising yacht experience is held every year, which involves cruising on Seto Inland Sea for three days and two nights from Kobe→Ushimado (Okayama)→Shodoshima Island, and members of the general public aged in their forties, fifties, and sixties are able to take part. The experience has been reported on by the mass media and it is helping to make widely known to the general public the pleasure of sea cruising. Other than this, each year around 200 people experience sailing through NPO sailing activities, and the University also have a track record of conducting a range of other activities, such as training sessions for leaders of maritime-related youth groups.