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The BU31

The BU31 is a classic Dutch fishing boat of a type called "Botter". The name "Botter" is derived from the fish for which it was used to catch: Bot (= Dutch for Flounder or Flatfish).

BU31 was build on a shipwarf in Urk, a former island in the Zuiderzee (now known as IJsselmeer, and Urk is no longer an Island because we build some dykes around it and pumped out the water). It was build in 1902, but the design is much older and dates back to early 18th century. Even that design is based on much older designs dating back to 16th and 17th century (when Holland was one of the leading naval powers). It is build from oak and 'karveel', measures 13.5 by 4.5 metres, has about 70m2 of sail and goes about 80cm deep in the water. It has no engine.

Around 1900 there were about 1000 Botters, spread over several harbours around the Zuiderzee. Now there are only sixty left. These boats are part of the "Bruine Vloot" (Brown Fleet), a fleet of historical sailing ships. I guess the 'brown' part comes from the color of the sails and wood. Most, if not all, the sails of botters are brown.
The BU31 was used for fishing from 1902 untlil 1957.
From 1902 to 1946 it was known as the UK213 (UK stands for Urk).
From 1946 to 1953 its harbour was Harderwijk (HK) and the name changed to HK11.
From 1953 its name is the BU31. BU stands for Bunschoten/Spakenburg.
In 1983 it came in the hands of mr. A. De Sitter, from Hoorn. The boat's harbour since then is Hoorn, but I guess that when a boat isn't used for fishing anymore it will keep its last name. The sign for Hoorn is HN, but the boat is still a BU. Nowadays it is used for recreation.

When I left home I wanted to take a photo like this. You need to be lucky because there are only a few and they need to be out on the lake and heading your way.... After walking for 40 minutes from the place where I parked my car I arrived at the old lighthouse. You can see it from the cityside of the harbour but you need to make a huge detour to get there.
On the horizon was a tiny brown dot and it seemed to get bigger. I had to wait for 1.5 hours before it was big enough to decently fill the viewfinder. (afterwards I had to walk back half an hour again). In the meantime the sky went from blue to light gray. It was going to rain soon (it did half an hour after I got home).

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Additional Photos by Sander Admiraal (Azrifel) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 17 W: 2 N: 121] (846)
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