Replica of famous VOC ship Amsterdam moved for restoration
The replica of the famous VOC ship Amsterdam, which stands behind the Scheepvaart Museum in the Dutch capital, was moved to the dock in Amsterdam Noord on Sunday night for major restorations. The restorations, which will cost around a million euros, include repairing leaking seams, replacing the ship's three masts, and a new coat of paint, restoration carpenter Jan Kuperus said to Het Parool.
The ship goes in for restorations every ten years. The 30-year-old ship took part in Sail for the first time in 1990. In 2000 it was serviced for the first time in Den Helder. In 2011, it went to Zaandam for restorations. This year the service will happen at the Damen Shiprepair dock in Amsterdam Noord. The intent is for the Amsterdam to be back at the national maritime museum in January.
Kuperus was involved in the first two services too, but he stressed that you can never know what to expect. "Ships deteriorate as they get older. It is impossible to predict what we will find below the waterline. We have already ordered 500 kilos of hemp rope to repair the seams," he said to Het Parool. This caulking will take about seven to eight weeks, Kuperus expects. Craftsmen will take out old rope with a hook and replace it with new rope. "It is difficult and monotonous work, but very sensible."
After that, the Amsterdam will go to the Oranjewerf for the three masts to be replaced. They're each 80 centimeters thick and weigh ten tons. Kuperus expects that about half of the ropes will have to be replaced. "The transverse rays are probably also due for replacement." The ship will also get a new coat of paint.
Kuperus stressed that restoration will not make the ship as good as new. "A ship doesn't get any better over the years. You fix her up, but you also watch her grow older." Maintenance will have to be done more often in the future, he said. "A ship lasts about 50 or 60 years. But who knows, she could end up on dry land later on."