Dutch Barge Paviljoentjalk or Paviljoenschuit

Paviliontjalks were used for sailing in Holland and Zeeland. The terms Tjalk and Schuit were used interchangeably and usually meant the same thing. The tonnage of a Paviljoentjalk was between 40 and 100 tons. Although the construction and shape correspond to those of the larger Dutch Tjalken, the dimensions were often smaller and that made the ships suitable for navigating smaller inland waterways. The dimensions of the ships were largely determined by the dimensions of bridges. For navigating the ports in The Hague, the maximum width was 4.17 meters and the maximum clearance height was 2.40 metres. With these dimensions it was possible to pass the Wagenbrug. Ships that meet these dimensions were called “Wagenbruggers”.

The Paviljoentjalk takes its name from the raised aft deck (pavilion) under which the house is located. This is the most important measure to achieve a low creep height while retaining tonnage. The fact that the house became small in this way was apparently accepted. To reduce the creep height even further, the upper part of the prow was often made foldable, the so-called hood. In the later period, when the wooden anchor spindles were replaced by windlasses, the upper part of the windlass was sometimes also foldable.

Most Paviljoentjalken were built in the Hollandse IJssel region and in the vicinity of Dordrecht. Well-known shipyards are Van Duijvendijk in Lekkerkerk, Kalkman in Capelle aan den IJssel and Van den Adel in Papendrecht. The Tjalken of this last shipyard are characterized by a flat square head, a cut-away butt and narrow buoys at the front and rear.

The cargo mostly consisted of agricultural products, such as potatoes, sugar beets, onions and flax. Before the onset of frost, a load of potatoes was often taken and people left for the big cities. Straw was applied against the hull of the ship to prevent the cargo from freezing. This is how the load was spent during the frost period. Other ships were mainly involved in sand and gravel shipping, which was especially important in the IJssel region. 

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