Maxima was built in 1903 on a shipyard in "Hasselt".
During this time it was a large and modern sailing cargo
ship with a cargo hold capacity
of 70 tons. The 23m long ship was sailed with
a crew of 2, the skipper and mate. This crew usually consisted
of husband, wife and many children. The wife stood behind
the wheel while the husband handled the heavy work such
as hoisting the sails and throwing of the lines.
Verwisseling 1931 te Smeermaas.
was during these times that most of the
cargo in Holland was hauled by water and the "Zuiderzee"
harbours were always packed with ships. A ship this size
was built from steel plates by about 15 construction workers
during a period of three months.
The Maxima did not have a roof thus allowing more cargo
space. The family lived in the stern, where you can still
find some of the original parts that were used. The mate's
quarters were, and still are today, in the bow of the
ship. The advantage of not having a roof was that the
ship would be able to pass under low bridges when the
mast was laid down on the deck. The sizes of the locks
were in regulation to the vessels that had to pass through
them. This explains the flat bow for this type of vessel.
They could not tack in the canals since they were to narrow
for that kind of manoeuvring, so when needed the ship
would be pulled by the crew or when available a horse.
When nearing a bridge the mast would be laid down and
erected just as easily after passing through so they could
continue their journey.
*The Drie Gebroeders 1930, by Lemmer.
in Groningen 1960. The Suger campaigns.
the 40's this type of "sailing" cargo ship was replaced
by bigger ships equipped with engines. Allot of ships
were destroyed, while others were put to use as house
In the 70's some of these traditional vessels were restored
and people began to use them as charters with paying customers.
This turned out to be a great success and to this date
there are around 350 traditional sailing vessels that
charter the inner waters of Holland.
wooden Zeeuwse poon. 1910, Nieuwe Maas Rotterdam.
they have reserved places in harbours, professional booking
agencies, certified skippers and are a well organized
tourist branch. All the ships are under strict governmental
safety regulations. In short, the Dutch charter industry
is a professional business with many years of experience.