Item Number T081
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Vasa was built top-heavy and had insufficient ballast. Despite an obvious lack of stability in port, it was allowed to set sail and foundered only a few minutes after it first encountered a wind stronger than a breeze. The impulsive move to set sail was the result of a combination of factors: Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus, who was leading the army on the continent on the date of its maiden voyage, was impatient to see it join the Baltic fleet in the Thirty Years War; at the same time, the kings subordinates lacked the political courage to discuss the ships structural problems frankly or to have the maiden voyage postponed. During the 1961 recovery, thousands of artifacts and the remains of at least 15 people were found in and around the hull of the Vasa by marine archaeologists. Among the many items found were clothing, weapons, cannons, tools, coins, cutlery, food, drink and six of the ten sails. No expense was spared in decorating and equipping the Vasa, which was also one of the largest and most heavily armed warships of its time.