Date Added: 11 October 2007
The tjalk is, like the BOTTER, another typically Dutch ship and even nowadays much seen in Dutch waters, not as a freighter anymore but as a yacht. More than three centuries ago, the tjalk was already spotted on Dutch waters. It was developed through the years. Different types and ‘tjalk-likes’ appeared, used for different purposes, in different waters. First they were built of wood, later steel was used to construct the hull. The layout of the tjalk was always the same. The focksel was used to store sails, ropes and it was the “home” of the skippers helper(s). Behind the mast the hold was situated. In the stern the skipper (and his wife) were dwelling in a tiny cabin. Tjalks sailed also on scheduled tracks to transport passengers from one city to another. The rigging consisted of a single mast with a mainsail, a jib and a flying jib. The smaller types were sailing the Dutch inner waters, while the big ones were used for trading in the Baltic. In the Dutch county Friesland, a slim type of tjalk, called SKUTSJE, was developed. Some cities in Friesland have their own skutsje, and every year they meet on the lakes of Friesland for a race. This is bottle number 24 by the builder/artist, Henny Fransen.