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What is a Sloop?
A sloop is a small open boat. The sloop is very popular in the Netherlands, and is often used to sail alone or with friends and family through the many canals of the country. Sloops are relatively affordable and offer enough space to transport several people. Although there are often no luxury amenities such as a refrigerator on board, sloops are loved for their simplicity and practicality.

What about the use of sloops?
In recent years, the use of original sloops, also known as sea sloops, life sloops or lifeboats, has decreased somewhat. In the past, these sloops could be obtained when they were replaced on a sailing ship or when the ship was scrapped. However, there are still some yards building wooden sloops. While lifeboats aren't always aesthetically pleasing, their unique styling, glorious history, reliability and stability make them worth honoring.

Sloop rowing
Sloop rowing is a form of rowing sport in which original lifeboats are used. Sloops are available in 6, 8, 10 and even 12-person variants. Nowadays, special rowing boats are also being built that do not come from the original boats, but are used specifically for competitions. Competitions use a handicap system in which the result is calculated on the basis of the power output per rower. This sport has grown in popularity and there are about 200 sloops that regularly participate in 10 to 20 competitions in the Netherlands. Sloop rowing is practiced almost exclusively in the Netherlands.


Different types of sloops
There are different types of sloops. Below we mention some models:

The Fishing Sloop:
These sloops were transported in groups on the deck of a fishing vessel. Once arrived at the fishing grounds, fishing was done from the sloops. The large ship acted only as a transport and processing ship. Nowadays these are also called factory ships.

The fish sloop:
These boats, called chaloupe, were originally built according to a French model and later introduced and used in the southern Netherlands for herring, haddock and cod fishing. They were specially equipped with a bun to keep the fish fresh. The fishing sloop had a sharp, upright bow and a flat stern.

The Navy Sloop:
Another name for the marine sloop is working sloop. In the past, sailing ships of the Navy used to take several sloops, which were placed behind the main mast on trestles, next to the main hatch. The largest was the Barkas. These sloops were hoisted overboard with hoists and had various functions, such as handling anchors, maintenance work outside the ship and even towing in calm conditions. They were also used to transport landing units. When preparing the ship for combat action, the sloops were filled with sea water so that it could be quickly deployed to extinguish incipient fires.

The Lifeboat:
Lifeboats were used in maritime disasters. These sloops are easy to recognize by the thick rope that is attached around the sloop. This was intended to raise and lower the sloop into the water so that drowning people could cling to it.

The State Sloop or King's Sloop:
These sloops were mainly used to transport high-ranking people.

The Rowing Sloop:
These sloops are still used in rowing.

The Modern Sloop:
Nowadays, many small crafts are built and designed for pleasure craft and are referred to as sloops. Modern sloops are mainly made of polyester and in recent years also of maintenance-free aluminum.

The sloop in the 20th century:
In the last decade of the 20th century, the number of sloops on the water steadily increased. Not only experienced water sports enthusiasts discovered the sloop as a new way to get out on the water, but especially new water sports enthusiasts saw sailing with a sloop as a relaxing way to enjoy the water. Inspired by the good sailing characteristics of earlier lifeboats, a completely new type of boat was created: tough, user-friendly and designed for fun on the water.

Sloops are extremely popular in the Netherlands! They are available in various types, sizes and models, suitable for different sailing areas. Yet they mainly serve as showpieces. Whether in the canals of Amsterdam or on the Vecht, sloops are meant to show your social status. They proudly present what has resulted in their success in life: an authentic sloop. Boating is not just about sailing itself, but especially about showing your recently acquired status symbol.

DOEVE Brokers and Valuers is your dedicated yacht broker for Sloops. For further information about the sale of your Sloop or if you wish to purchase a Sloop, please contact us.


  • Doeve Brokers and Valuers
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  • Tel. int. +31 (0)10 – 248 98 30
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