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The 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.

*The Verwisseling 1931 te Smeermaas.

It 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.

*Westerhaven in Groningen 1960. The Suger campaigns.
During 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 boats.

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.

*A wooden Zeeuwse poon. 1910, Nieuwe Maas Rotterdam.
Today 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.
©2004 CAA