FRONT ENDS PART TWO
(DUTCH) SAILING BARGES
The appearance of a Groninger tjalk is one of substantial and massive build. The freeboard is high, mostly with a strong sheer and the leeboards are longer and less rounded than other tjalken. Smaller examples are less easy to identify, but tend to lack the finishing touches seen on tjalken from other areas.
The boltjalk tends to be more rounded than other Groninger built ships. Designed for sheltered waters, the framing and plate thickness is less than that of their open water cousins. Freeboard is usually lower and the sailing rig less substantial. The leeboards were often made from iron rather than wood.
The tjalken built in the provinces of both Noord and Zuid Holland, are usually much "tubbier" in appearance with relatively low freeboard and little sheer. The examples built in Zuid Holland often showed a noticeable narrowing of the boiesel (the area above the rubbing band) as it approached the bow and stern posts.
All skutsjes are tjalken but not all tjalken are skutsjes. The skutsje is a type of tjalk that was built in Friesland. More attention to detail is apparent than in the Groninger tjalk, but the build is far lighter. The mast is almost always of the self lowering variety with a built in counterweight on the mast foot. The mast is lightly stayed, but the sail area is often huge. An original skutsje is easily identified by the very low cabin roof and the large number of plates making up the bow.
Most, but not all aken were built without a stempost, using a broad, flat, plate to do the job. These are called Hevelaken. The example above shows the typical blunt flat bow of an hevelaak.
The ship below is also an aak, but the bow shape is quite different. This is a stevenaak. That is to say, an aak with a stempost or "steven".
The praam is related to both the tjalk and the aak but is different in many repects. They are built from a small number of broad plates and in most cases lacked the strength of build of the other types.
"Steil" means straight and so these ships have a straight stem, or "steven", compared to the "krom", or bent stems, of the tjalk. The bows of these ships look very like those of the first motor ships, but the stern is that of an aak
The bow of a klipper is unmistakeable. A little like a stevenaak perhaps, but totally unlike any other barge, the klipper is more closely linked to its bigger seagoing cousin the schoener.
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