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Nieuwe Zorgen - Skutsje Tjalk - Netherlands - 1904 PDF Print E-mail
13 May 2010

 

Nieuwe Zorgen is a type of Tjalk known as a Skutsje in the Netherlands. They typically have a low roef (the living quarters) located forward of the steering position, fan shaped lee boards and two portholes on the stern. They were built with low sterns and bows as they were designed for the shallow lakes, canals and rivers in the northern province of Friesland.

 
 
When carrying cargo the skipper of a Skutsje would need to drop and raise the mast frequently as they negotiated the many low bridges. To do this the mast is designed with a counter weight which is just heavier than the mast above the pivot point. A glorious sight is to watch a Skutsje approaching a bridge with mast and sails up; the skipper pulls on the topping lift, the mast swings down, the boat glides under the bridge, the topping lift is released, the mast swings back up and the boat sails on.
 
Nieuwe Zorgen is a classic Skutsje with graceful, flowing lines, gaff rigged with a metal bowsprit of about a metre long, indicating its sail racing history.
 
 
Many of these vessels participate in the Skutsjesil (Skutsje sailing races) every year. These are a series of organised, highly competitive inter-town races between former freight carrying ships, flying the flag with the red water lily leaf, symbol of Friesland. This tradition originated in the nineteenth century when Friese skippers would race to the town quay to get the best spot at the market for their farm produce. Today they go on all summer and culminate in a prestigious two weeks of races between the qualifying fourteen boats in the province.
 
History:
From the records available, the Meetbrief and the Skutsje Historie files, Nieuwe Zorgen was built in Leek in Friesland in 1904. The client was Wed. L.Veenstra of Norg.She measured 15.28 m x 3.42 m and was 24,383 ton.
On June 23rd 1905 she was registered with the number S 669 N in Sneek to S. Jelmersma, when it started trading carrying freight. In 1923 it was sold to G. Postma of Bolsward which is near Sneek, who is listed as the ‘derde eigenaar’ the third owner.
 
On August 19, 1931 in Leeuwarden near Leek, it was given a new number L 2156 N and the name was changed to Maranatha, this possibly had biblical or church associations like many of the names given to Dutch boats. It was given a new number for its change of use to a pleasure craft. It’s at this stage that the living quarters were probably first extended over the cargo hold.
Later in 1985 in Groningen, it was again given a new number G 1653 N. This appears to be when the name was changed back to the original 'Nieuwe Zorgen'. It was based at Akkrum until 2008 and used as a sail training vessel, under the company name Bolster.
 
Today:
 
In 2008 Eric Kemp purchased the boat in the Netherlands and spent some time sailing around the north of the country before having her shipped back to Ireland, where she was launched into the Shannon at Banagher. She sailed on Lough Derg and navigated the Shannon as far as Clonmacnoise. He then brought her up the Grand Canal to over-winter in Kildare where he started on the planned renovation of the interior, to turn her into a comfortable liveaboard. Like many old boats of this era, she needed to be re-insulated, re-wired and the heating updated.
 
 
While research continues into her past and the refurbishment work continues internally, so far in 2009 Nieuwe Zorgen has been seen in Dublin in the Grand Canal Docks, on the Liffey, on Lough Derg from Portumna to Scariff and is now on the Shannon, heading north for the rest of the summer.
 

EOL 2010

Last Updated ( 16 January 2012 )
 
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