The Oosterschelde in Québec

The Oosterschelde

The Oosterschelde is a three-masted schooner from the Netherlands, built in 1918. She is the largest restored Dutch freightship and the only remaining Dutch three-masted topsail schooner. Her home port is Rotterdam.

As a freighter with a deadweight of 400 tons, she transported mainly clay, stone and wood, but also herring, bran, potatoes, straw and bananas. In the 1930s, a heavier diesel engine was installed and some sail-rigging was removed (including the aft mast). In 1939, she was sold to a Danish shipping company and, rebaptised Fuglen II, became one of the most modern ships in the Danish fleet. In 1954, she was sold to a Swede, renamed Sylvan and thoroughly rebuilt to a modern motorised coaster.

In 1988, she was brought back to the Netherlands. She had always been maintained well, but restoration to the original state turned out too expensive for private funding. So a foundation collected money from various sources, partly by selling shares in the ship. Restoration lasted from 1990 to 1992, with the help of her last Dutch captain, Jan Kramer, and three maritime museums to ensure authenticity.