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Spits / Freycinet

The first Spits / Freycinet had a pointed bow. Despite the later plump appearance, the name has remained. Originally entirely made of wood, but soon built of iron, still with a wooden deck. Wood was less prone to damage on a rocky bottom than the fragile iron of the previous century. A Spits / Freycinet is lightweight, the frames are angular, (large framing spacing, the planking maximum 5 strakes). The dimensions are approximately 38.50 x 5.05 x 2.40 meters with a tonnage of about 350 tons.

Originally, these ship types had a center deckhouse. Horses were stabled here at night, which the skipper used to hunt the ship. There are still a few of these ships in service (France), where the center deckhouse serves as a home.

In the twenties, many Spits / Freycinet were equipped with a motor. Due to the full shapes, the efficiency of the motor was low. The stern has too little draft, so that the propeller is sometimes half above the water. Empty motorized trailing peaks are therefore characterized by high spraying screw water. This is often solved by installing a watertight bulkhead a meter high amidships. The aft hold is now partially filled with water. These are called “wet spits”. An additional advantage is that the wheelhouse for the many low fixed bridges in France does not have to be dismantled.

There are several differences in the structure of the stern. Especially popular in Belgium was the type with a small deckhouse on the den and a large living wheelhouse. Modern spires (always from before 1965) have a saloon cabin with the wheelhouse in front. Sometimes with a tweendeck, for which there is another half-sunken deck house: the boiler room. This used to be a kitchen and laundry room, now often a toilet or storage space. In the spiers that were built as motor ships, the stern disappeared and the rudder became smaller. The stern above the waterline is almost round and quite sharp underwater for a better water supply to the propeller.

Of course, there are variations and characteristics by which experts can recognize the shipyard of construction. Known pointy shipyards were Peters in Dedemsvaart and in Belgium Winter and Wachter in Boom. In France, there were many Spits / Freycinet shipyards. A very characteristic one was a shipyard in Strasbourg; these Spits / Freycinet had a salon roof, but the sides of the aft were raised to about 60 centimeters above the deck. It became a so-called cruiser stern, similar to the aft of a coaster. This way, one obtained a house over the full width of the ship, with large portholes in the sides. Still, Spits / Freycinet ships are a common type that can even transport cargo from the Netherlands through France to the Mediterranean Sea. Therefore, it is often called the "real" European ship. 

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