My desktop display is a random selection of photos, and this one popped up on screen today. It's a handsome Dutch sailboat, called "Brandaris" and it hails from Rhode Island, according to the home port info painted on the gunwales. On a whim, I Googled Yacht Brandaris and turned up an interesting story.
“The thing was built for W. de Vries van Lentsch owner of the famous Dutch shipyard and yacht builders. It's now used as a sort of school training vessel in Rhode Island. Anyway, it looked great, last time I saw it. Somebody loves it.”
The Sailing Yacht Brandaris, a 63-foot Dutch design sailing yacht, is a unique ship type not often seen in American waters. Combining elegant, old-world comfort with capable sailing performance, her unique history showcases a world-class pedigree. Launched in 1938 as the private yacht of shipyard owner and designer Willem de Vries Lentsch, Jr., Brandaris made history during World War II when she escaped German occupation, and then returned from England to participate in Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of British and Allied forces from Dunkirk in 26 May 4 June, 1940. Her keelless design with 3 foot draught, immense strength and very broad beam proved invaluable as she packed the troops to the gunwales in their escape from attacking Axis forces. Lewis
Hi Lew! The Brandaris is a wellknown and famous lighthouse on the island of Terschelling, that I first had seen as a prop in a thrilling daily serial of drawn pictures that appeared in the newspaper Het Parool. When you're here I'll show you. Later I've seen the tower when Tilly and I were on the island on a holiday, just North of Friesland. Interesting for the Phlog, for boys of my age. 'The Adventures of Kapitein Rob', was the title, also appeared as books.
Reaction by Gijs Berk.
Hallo Hans, What a beautiful sight, this US registered Brandaris on the Phlog. It is indeed a fine example of the traditional Dutch sailing yachts. The best known of this type of ship is of course the Witte Draak, the Lemsteraak owned by Queen Beatrix. But there are many varieties of these 'flatbottom' (platbodem) or ‘roundbottom’ (rondbodem) vessels: Aken, Bollen, Boeiers, Grundels, Hengsten, Hoogaars, Schouwen en Tjalken.
Originally all these ships (shapes) were developed and used as fishing boats or – the bigger ones - to transport goods from Friesland to Holland over the large and sometimes very rough ‘Zuiderzee’, the mighty inner lake in the middle of the Netherlands. But they were also used on the surrounding waters of the North see, the Waddenzee and around the isles of Zeeland.
The well known Dutch writer Jan den Hartog made a trip with the Zeetjalk Rival on the intracoastal waterways of the United States and in 1966 wrote a book about his adventures. The Dutch title of this book is ‘De wateren van de nieuwe wereld’. It was also published in English/American as ‘Waters of the New World: Houston to Nantucket’.
Salutations amicales, Gijs
I have to say, the Internet can turn up the darned bits of information!
Back in the summers of 1968 and 1969, when we lived in Buitenveldert, we joined with some friends and chartered the botter Pieternella on a couple weekends on the Ijsselmeer. In response to Gijsbert's interesting comments, I decided to look up "our" boat. Jaap Kramer, mentioned as the last private owner sin the piece below, was the owner then. A tremendously pleasant, very quiet-spoken man, he came along as skipper and historian. He was a naval architect and the Pieternella was the special love of his life. As we cruised around he detailed the history of the fishing boats on the Zuider Zee and took us into ports like Enkhuizen and Stavoren. Wonderful trips for 28-year old Americans interested in learning about the new world (for us Holland WAS a fascinating new world).
While converted from fishing boat to "yacht", the Pieternella retained many of its original fittings. Heavy galvanized metal bits and pieces, thick hemp lines, board-stiff canvas sails and precious few mechanical assists. Kramer told us that the typical crew was a fisherman and a boy who was useful for running the jib from one side to the other when tacking. How the two of them ever got the sails up, I can't imagine; it took a couple of us to do it.
One afternoon we were overtaken by a summer squall. We were aiming for Enkhuizen. Well outside the harbor entrance the full force of the squall caught as we ran before the wind. Because of the massive sturdiness of the boat, we weren't too concerned, until a jib sheet parted with a sound like a rifle shot. Suddenly we were confronted by flying iron pulleys and lashing half-inch hemp rope. Of course, the excitement was over in a minute or two as the squall raced off toward the Afsluitdijk. But a vivid memory still.
Equally memorable is a trip we made to Sneek (by car) to watch Schuutjezielen races -- if that is remotely correct spelling?!
Unlike Gijsbert, I can't pluck this information out of my head. (SIdenote: de Hartog's New World book is in my collection, along with a wryly informative book he wrote for anyone considering going to sea, "A Sailor's Life")
Anyway, here's what Wikipedia has to say about the Pieternella:
Schip: EB 29
Eigenaar: Botterstichting Elburg
Gebouwd door: De Haas
Gebouwd te: Monnikendam
Eerste naam: EB 29
Wetenswaardigheden: In 1919 liet Jan van Triest een botter de EB 29, bouwen bij DE HAAS in Monnikendam. Gereed in 1920 voor 2500 gulden, exclusief zeilen. (ook kocht hij een huis in de Ellestraat voor 5500 gulden. In 1924 verkocht hij de botter aan Andries Fleur te Lemmer voor 1800 gulden LE 21 werd het registratienummer (het ging slecht in de visserij...) Fleur viste er mee tot 1946. Ttoen verkocht aan de heer Kuipers uit Groningen en omgebouwd tot botterjacht en kreeg de EB 29 de naam "Pieternella" die naam is nu nog te lezen op de schuit die op onze werf ligt. In 1960 kocht Jaap Kramer uit Haarlem de EB 29. In Haarlem heeft de botter vele jaren binnen gelegen in afwachting van restauratie, maar dat kwam er nooit van. In 2002 wordt de Stichting tot behoud van Elburger botters eigenaar van de EB 29. De botter wacht op een grondige restauratie en dat zou best wel eens kunnen gebeuren in de juist aangekochte werf Balk.
Is it a small world or just a coincidence? I just received your 'memories' of the trip you made in the late sixties with the botter Pieternella and its skipper Jaap Kramer. Your interesting story took me back some 25 years.
I do not know if your Jaap Kramer was the same that helped me in the Communications Group of the Hiswa Boat Show that we (the Amsterdam RAI exhibition centre) organized on behalf of the Hiswa trade organization. But from your description I presume he must be. The name HISWA stands for (Handel en Industrie op het gebied van WAtersport). Jaap was at that time one of the leading boat architects (yacht designers) in the Netherlands and had replaced Willem de Vries Lensch as a board member of the technical committee of the Hiswa. I remember Jaap being a very pleasant chap full of knowledge and interesting stories and I have learned a lot from him about the qualities a good boat must have.. Unfortunately he has died past January at the age of 84.
PS On internet I found this portrait in a story about Jaap Kramer in the Dutch publication De Waterkampioen in 2004.
Quick response from Lewis.
Gee whiz! That's absolutely onze Jaap! He was a wonderful companion on our trips for precisely the reasons you've identified in your desccription. We corresponded for many years, but finally lost touch. I said that the Pieternella was the love of his life. But many years after we came back to the States, he sent us a joyful announcement of his marriage.
We are sorry to hear of his passing on to the perfect cruising grounds in the sky, but delighted to know he lived so long! And yes, it is a small world, and a wonderful coincidence.
Cheers and thanks,
In the attachment you’ll find the story about Jaap in the magazine De Waterkampioen. (Thanks to Google). It mentions his Pietronella. I trust that you can still decipher the Dutch language.
Best regards, Gijs
Heel hartelijke bedankt, Gijs.
This will be a challenge since there's a lot of boat and business language. But winter is coming on so there will be those long cold, windy days for staying indoors with Jaap en mien nederlands-engels woordenboek.