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‘The birthplace of wooden boats’ TEXT: MICHIEL STOL | PHOTOS: DE JONG JOURE
At shipyard De Jong Joure they know there is no bond like the one between an owner and his boat - especially when it is a wooden boat. “The boat becomes part of the family. So people want it to be taken care of like it is one of their own. That is what we do here: we nurture them with love,” explains Aaldert de Jonge, ‘hellingbaas’ at De Jong Joure. The shipyard has a long history in the northern town of Joure. Ships have been built here since 1653. From day one it has been wooden boats: sailboats, sloops and barges. Nowadays they still build wooden ones, almost the same way as back then - by hand. “Clients normally have an idea of how their perfect boat would look. But they haven’t found it yet. That is where we come in.” Together with the client, De Jong Joure designs the boat from front to back. “We make sketches and together with an architect we create the blueprints. From that point on, our craftsmen – who all have a passion for working with wood and boat making – do what they do best; building beautiful and unique boats.” Clients can see their boat grow in what De Jonge 36 | Issue 48 | December 2017
calls “our birthplace of wooden boats”. “From the first planks to the launching of the boat, in these six to nine months clients see every detail of their dream come alive. When the boat launches, it is really a celebration.” Most boats De Jong Joure builds are sloops and ‘vletten’. “But we recently started a project called the J-34. A unique wooden yacht with an aluminium underwater boat,” smiles De Jonge. “Designed for cruising on the big European lakes or the Mediterranean. A smaller version of it, the J-28, is also being developed. It is almost the same, but more suitable for the Frisian rivers and lakes.”
Besides building and restoring wooden boats, shipyard De Jong Joure is also a storage place for boats. “In the winter we have about 100 boats in storage. We watch over them and carry out any necessary maintenance. Most of the boats were built on our shipyard, but any wooden ship is welcome to stay here.” “Wooden ships are all about the details,” says De Jonge. “Working on them with the same love for wood as their new owners feel, lets us built the perfect wooden boats.” Web: www.jachtwerfdejong.nl
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