The oldest zeetjalk still sailing in The Netherlands. She is classified as “Varende Monument” since 2002.

The ship was built for Roelof Snijder by G&H Bodewes (Martenshoek, Hoogezand) the same year as the Eiffel Tower in Paris and one year after the Liberty Statue in New York. All three were built in riveted puddle iron.The shipyard still exist. Royal Bodewes pubished a book in 2012 which contains the history of the company and a list of all ships he built. The Koophandel is mentioned on page 264.

I found a public notice concerning the sale of a ship following a justice decision. She was called “Koophandel”, 75 scheepstonnen (75 m³) which much less than the Schavuit. So, we cannot claim she is the same ship (under investigation).Then, searching the Web, I found the related announce in the Leeuwarden Courant n°186, 9/8/1895.

1903-1965 Koophandel remains into the hands of the family Seinen for two generations. She was transporting turf from Hoogeveen to Alphen a/d Rijn.

1904 & 1909 1904-1909-kadaster-H1942_011 The length of the ship was increased by 3,51 m from 20,99 m to 24,50 m between 1904 and 1909 (4th line in the document). It was probably some time before the record update dated 19/10/1909 (ref: H1942_011)

1/11/1906 Jan, 15 year old, the son of Siger fall overboard on the Zuiderzee and died. (Hoornsche Courant n° 6280 – 7/11/1906).

This picture is probably the oldest one of the ship. It was taken by a notary who sailed through The Netherlands with his small boat. In the background, we can see the bathhouse of Amstel. It was published in ‘De laatste echte schippers’ by Hylke Speerstra (see LINKS page). Ron van den Bos painted a work for the “Westerdam van de HAL”.

1912 Siger Seinen (1860-1912) died when Siger junior (1895-1987) was 17 years old. As Siger junior was the oldest on board, he became the skipper together with his young brother Arend. The aunt Dien (Berendina) and their mother were also living on board.

+/-1920 11380-scan-04-big-src We can see that the roof is still in wood and that the steering is a plain solid wood tiller. In this times, a lion was lying on top of the rudder.

1928 Siger Seinen (father, 1860-1912) sold the ship to Siger Seinen (son, 1895-1987) for 4000 fl which was a large amount. Add 1000 fl and he could get new ship. His mother started living in Utrecht met the aunt Dien en later with her uncle Harm.

1930 (?) 11380-scan-06-big

1933 The wooden roof was rebuild in steel by Kempers in Alphen a/d Rijn.

1937 Installation of the first motor, a 2 cylinder Kromhout type 2M0 which was previously on another boat. There are two documents about the measurement of the ship before and after the installation of the engine (see here below).
1937: 24,55 x 4,73 m, 132 tons displacement (ref: H1918_166).
1938: 24,55 x 4,73 m, 128 tons displacement and confirmation that she became a “Motortjalk” (ref: H1983_185).
19371937-kadaster-H1918_166 19381938-kadaster-H1983_185

17/5/1938 The complete measurement report (“meetbrief”).

1946 or 1947
The ship lost her sail and lee boards. No sails were bought anymore. The length of the hold was enlarged and the mast moved forward to be used as a lifting crane. A wheelhouse was also built. The Koophandel was transformed into a motor ship, registered in Alphen a/d Rijn.

1962 Siger Seinen junior stopped sailing and the ship stay close to the reformed church of Oushoorn in Alphen a/d Rijn.

1964 The family rent a house and sold the ship to the social services of Leiden, possibly for fl 4000.

1964-1974 The ship was sold to the “Sociale woningvoorziening” of the town of Leiden and to Kasper Schut.
She became in a deplorable state, close from her dead. Everything which could be sold had disappeared, the shaft was cut, the propeller and the rudder sold, etc.

1974-1985 Gert P. Reedijk from Zwolle bought the ship from Caspar Schut, a scrap dealer from Groningen, to use her as an habitation. He bought the ship under the nose of the Museum harbour of Groningen. He renamed her ‘Vrouwe Jèsje‘ and lived on the ship during 12 years. She retrieved her sails at the end of the years ’70. We can consider that the restoration process actually started at this time and that Gert saved the ship from total destruction (many thanks to him !)
However, later, the life of the ship will not be quieter…

1985 She was sold to Mr van Nek who intended to used her for charter which never happen : she sank due to a leak in a water pipe !

1987 Mr Ossewijer renamed the ship Cui Bono

1993 The authors of “Stalen en ijzeren, (kof)tjalken op zee” published in 1993 (see LINKS page) gave information about ‘Cui Bono‘. It looks like they met the owner of the ship in this time (Osseweijer) and Hendrick Seinen, the son of Siger Seinen junior.

1994 The ship was bought by Mr Basten Batenburg who renamed her Schavuit van ‘t Waterland

2000-2015 Schavuit van ‘t Waterland was sold by Mr van Basten Batenburg to Joost Geerdink who renamed her simply Schavuit in 2006. He lived on the ship during 15 years, maintained her in good state and continued her restoration process.

2001 Joost Geerdink met Hendrick Seinen, the son of Siger Seinen junior, who was born on the ship. So, he got a large part of the story from this direct and reliable source.

The ‘Schavuit‘ was bought by Pierre Lang (Brussels, Belgium), the current owner. Gert Reedijk and Pierre Lang met on 7 September 2015 in front of a painting of Vrouwe Jèsje – Schavuit

List of owners

53_B_Arnh_01Cadastre abstract
Date Ship’s name Owner Comment
1887 Koophandel Roelof Snijder
1903 Koophandel Siger Seinen (senior) Schipper (dead in 1912)
09/07/1928 Koophandel Siger Seinen (junior) Schipper
01/11/1965 Schut Kasper Binnenvaartsschipper, Sociale woningvoorziening, Gemeente Leiden
10/01/1974 De Vrouwe Jèsje Gerrit Ploun Reedijk & Anjes van der Schoor Student & Tandardsassistent te Amstelveen
11/04/1985 Jan Dirk Van Hek Zonder beroep
30/03/1987 Cui Bono Ossewijer Beroepsmilitair
1994 Schavuit van ‘t Waterland Basten Batenburg
2001 Schavuit Joost Geerding
11/09/2015 Schavuit Pierre Lang