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TOPIC: Introducing Skûtsje Zonder Zorg

Introducing Skûtsje Zonder Zorg 01 Nov 2012 20:59 #43498

  • Michael Walsh
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We are Michael and Edi of Vancouver and we have recently purchased a skûtsje built in 1908 by Wildschut in Gaastmeer, Friesland. She is 16.38 metres in length, with a beam of 3.44 metres, a draft of 0.70 metres and an air draft of 1.95 metres. Her original name was De Nieuwe Zorg, which was shortened to Nieuwe Zorg in 1941 and remained thus until we bought her in September 2012. We think Nieuwe Zorg (New Worry or New Concern) is too heavy a name for our style of boating, and we have decided to rename her Zonder Zorg (Without Worry, Without Concern).

Sometime after WWII her sailing rig was removed and she was converted into an ugly woonbot. In 1975 a new owner removed the ugly house and replaced it with a gracefully curved jachtenroef and restored her to sailing trim. He sailed her extensively, but after more than three decades, both he and the skûtsje's rig were getting old and tired. With the view of selling her, he began restoring her sailing rig, but he fell ill during the process.

Although her mast is badly split and condemned and she is missing her halyard winches and fok, most of the remaining sailing rig is present. The leeboards have been beautifully restored and there is a new gracefully curved gaff. In early October we took her up through Noord Holland, Flevoland and Friesland to Harlingen, where left her with ScheepsReparatie Friesland (SRF). We have commissioned them to complete the restoration to full sailing trim.

While she is at SRF, we will have her interior completely gutted, including the removal of all systems. The stripped-out casco will be repaired as necessary, treated, insulated, wired, plumbed, lined and finished to modern standards. We will have all new systems installed, including power, electrical, water and heating. Granite countertops, dishwasher and convection/microwave oven will be incorporated into the new galley.

We are looking forward to some more gentle boating again; we had a Dutch canal cruiser in France from 2000 to 2006, before we answered the urge for one last go at wild and remote sailing. As the conclusion to three years of bluewater adventuring, this year we cruised through the Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego canals, rounded Cape Horn, blew into the Falklands in a Force 12, butted the winds and currents up the Argentine coast and around the nose of Brazil, braved tropical storms through the Caribbean and arrived back in North America. We think that some gentle brownwater cruising will be all the more pleasant now. We are looking forward to it.

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