Dutch Barge - Second Life





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Published on Mar 13, 2009

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A skûtsje (pronounced 'skootshuh') is a Frisian sailing boat of the type tjalk, originally an ordinary cargo boat, but today a prized ship and one of the icons of Frisia. Skûtsjes were built from the 18th century until about 1930 and are 12 to 20 m long and on average 3.5 m wide, with a maximum of 4 m (based on the standard dimensions of Frisian bridges and sluices).

In the 1920s and 1930s many skûtsjes got engines fitted and after World War II the sails were even often removed. Nevertheless other, much larger, powered boats took over water transportation in the area and many skûtsjes were rebuilt into houseboats or luxurious sailing yachts. Over time more and more were restored in their original state.

There is a yearly racing event in Friesland called Skûtsjesilen. Such races were already held in the early 19th century, but since 1945 they are regulated through a committee, SKS. In these races, each Skûtsje represents a city or village. In 1981 another organisation, IFKS, also started organising races.

The Skûtsje museum in Eernewoude started building a new Skûtsje, out of wood at the old way, that is expected to be ready in 2008.

An annually held Skutsje sailing cup is named after folk hero Pier Gerlofs Donia's nickname Grutte Pier.


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