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The Zandloper a small ship from the VOC

A flute ship around 1700

The Zandloper was a small flute ship built for the VOC in Delfshaven around 1695. The ship was 90.7 feet (27.7 m) x 24.5 feet (7.5 m) and had a loading capacity of 244 tons. The Zandloper capsized and sank in February 1701 at Trincomalee, a town on the Northeast coast of Sri Lanka. The ship made three trips in total. First captain, Gijsbert Martensz, had died during the second trip. He was succeeded by Cornelis van de Krieke who died at Trincomalee when the Zandloper capsized and sank.
A flute ship is a ship with a flat bottom and a round stern. The flute was designed around 1595 in Hoorn. It was cheap to build had a lot of cargo space and a narrow deck. This had the advantage that the rates of the toll charged at Copenhagen were determined on the basis of the deck width. A narrow deck meant less toll.
[Many flutes were used (Oostvaerder) for trade in the Baltic Sea and then you always passed Sont Tol near Copenhagen in Denmark. (ed)].
Another advantage is that due to the shape of the ship it was difficult to enter for pirates. The flute ship had 3 masts. The big mast and the brood mast both had two sails. The small deck made it easy to sail with a smaller crew. A flute was nevewr heavily armed to create more loading space. The cargo made the ship an attractive target for pirates.


 Contributed by Yoric Engelsman & Sam Kolenbrander. 2V1 Dorenweerd college (NL)

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