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Magda Maria/

Bon Jour

See  also Mi Amigo

Former Name(s)

SS Margarethe



Three masted schooner (as Margarethe)

Cargo vessel (as Olga)


Originally 98’ (29.8m) lengthened to 111’ (33.8m) in 1927 and 133’ (40.5m) in 1951


470 tons


1921(lengthened 1927 and 1951)

Flag state(s)

Nicaragua (Bon Jour)  and Panama (Magda Maria) (Radio Nord)

Stations Housed

As Bon Jour/Magda Maria

Radio Nord

(21st February 1961 - 30th June 1962)

Ultimate fate

Re-named Mi Amigo in 1963 and went on to house numerous other offshore radio stations until she sank on 20th March 1980

Bon Jour

Above: As the Bon Jour, broadcasting programmes of Radio Nord ,1962

Bon Jour as Olga

Above: as the Olga, before her refit

See Mi Amigo for details of this ship’s home to offshore radio stations after Radio Nord closed in 1962

The SS Margarethe was built in 1921 by Deutsche Werke A.G. of Kiel, West Germany as a 129 ton, 23 foot wide three mast schooner for Ernst Simon A.G. She was one of three identical ships - one was used as a tug in South America while the third was used in the Far East. Ernst Simon sailed the Margarethe around the Baltic carrying general cargo.

In 1927 the SS Margarethe was sold to Heinrich Kopplemann who renamed the boat Olga after his wife. In 1928 the Olga was strengthened and a four cylinder engine installed, in the process one of the masts was replaced.

In 1936 the original engine was replaced with a six cylinder engine and the length of the boat was increased to 111 feet (3.8m) by adding a new centre section.

From June 5th 1941 the Olga was commandeered by the German Kriegsmarine - the landing craft squadron trials unit based at Emden. The Olga operated out of Putlos, near Kiel as an auxiliary vessel.

On 18th November 1943 the Olga's war service ended and the boat was refitted out by Kriegsmarine and in 1944 the Olga was returned to the Kopplemanns. Heinrich Kopplemann had died during the Second World War, but his wife had taken over the business with her son. In 1951 the length of the Olga was increased to 133 feet 9 inches (40,5m).

In 1959 the MS Olga was located in Kiel, West Germany and was considered suitable for conversion into a radio ship. On 31st May 1960 MS Olga was taken to Norder Werft in Hamburg, West Germany to be fitted out for use by Radio Nord.

In preparation for her new role as a radio ship  the Olga was re-registered in Nicaragua as the Bon Jour in 1960. Then, in 1961 (after Sweden put pressure on the Nicaraguan government to withdraw the registration), she was re-registered once again in Panama as the Magda Maria.


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Thanks to Martin van der Ven for allowing us to use some additional information from the Broadcasting Fleet section of the Offshore Radio Guide  in this Gallery

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