Dutch Barge Friese Maatkast / Zeilkast

  • full steep bow
  • short swept stern
  • deckhouse in front of the wheelhouse
  • wide ship for its length
  • Built in the period 1910-1930
  • Dimensions length 30.5-31.50 meters
  • Tonnage 210-260 tons

As the word "Friese Maat" suggests, the length and width of the ship is bound by maximum sizes. Other ships and ship types are also often bound by sizes. Known examples are the Hagenaar, Rozendaler, Spits, etc.

The determining regulations can be found in three regulations, namely:

  • The provincial household regulation of police (13 Nov 1900)
  • The Provincial Regulation (13 Nov 1900)
  • Contains provisions for the maintenance and management of waterworks in the province of Friesland
  • The Provincial household regulation (16 Nov 1904)

The regulations do not only come from these regulations. After the date of issue, there have been various changes and additions. For steam and motor vessels, the maximum allowed dimensions are fixed in these regulations.
For sailing ships, only a maximum length is mentioned, namely 31.5 meters. Most of the ships started as sailing ships, so their original lengths can be found in this size. The width is also very different because it is not determined. It is not possible to determine how many have been built. It is estimated that the number is certainly around 60. This type is only built in steel and was built on many shipyards in the Netherlands, as well as in Groningen and Friesland.

The design of the ship appears to be derived from the Rijnkast, which is a towboat with much larger dimensions. Along with a length of 31.50 meters, there is also a length of 30.5 meters due to the lock in Stavoren. Ships with a length of 31.50 meters were able to pass through the lock, but had to go through it at an angle. Because the construction period was in the early transition to motor ships, many maatkasten were equipped with original sails. The boom and mast could then be used for loading and unloading. Due to the small hatch covers, large goods are difficult to place. Heavy goods are easy to place. Bulky goods can be transported, but not much can fit. In other words, a kast is a carrier but not a berger. A significant number of the original Friese maatkasten were extended after 1950. This was a suitable type due to its large length.

The construction years of the Friese maatkastjes were between 1910 and 1930. The ship was characterized by a full steep bow, not too much sweep in the aft. It was a carrier, but not a large berger. In other words, a ship better suited for heavy cargo than for light bulky goods. The Friese Maatkastje was built with and without full rig. In the construction years, we already lived in the era of the transition from sailing to tug or motor ship. Even then, the vessles all had auxiliary equipment on board, since they all had a mast and boom for unloading. There were ships with and without lleboards. 

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