Yachts of the Netherlands


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by Gerald T. White

There is a theory that the character of a people is reflected, to a great extent, in the sort of yachts they use. There is a sound basis for such a hypothesis, but none can deny that geographical surroundings are of more importance in the moulding of a typical yacht class for a given locality. Working on the first part of the theory, we discover many interesting verifications. We find the high-strung Frenchman and the Italian paying marked attention to the production of futuristic hydroplanes, hydrogliders, and similar craft designed to cover the greatest amount of distance in the shortest time. We find the English enthusiast going in quite contentedly for single-handed cruising. Does not this coincide with the Britisher’s worldwide reputation for making himself at home wherever he may be? In America we have every sort of craft: heavy cruisers, racing boats and everything in between. But then we are a cosmopolitan nation, made up of people from every land and clime. If we tackle the second theory we discover that yachting in France is not so much a coastal proposition as it is a consideration of craft for river work. The coast of France, barring the Mediterranean, is rather boisterous for pleasure boating. The Englishman naturally turns to a cruiser, because most of his work must be done in the open waters about the British Isles. In America we have every sort of waterway and our craft mUst be of every sort to take advantage of our yachting grounds. From this we may claim that both theories are sound. Racial characteristics and geographical considerations both determine the size and type of pleasure craft. In considering the yachts of Holland, we find further proof of our statements. The Hollander is a staid, stolid citizen and he turns to a husky long-lived boat for his water-borne commerce and his pleasure. The waterways of Holland are shallow, winding, and often narrow, but at the mouths of the canals and rivers there are wide bays, locally called “zees.” The Hollander’s yacht must have shoal draught in order to navigate the waterways. It must be strong to stand the battering of the only too frequent grounding. It must be seaworthy to withstand the short, sharp chop of the Zuider Zee and the other large, shoal expanses. It must be economical to build and maintain, for the Hollander has no spendthrift reputation to live up to.

20 pages, 5 plate(s)


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