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Dutch fluyt Zeehaen
1639

A fluyt is a Dutch type of sailing vessel originally designed as a dedicated cargo vessel. Originating from the Netherlands in the 16th century, the vessel was designed to facilitate transoceanic delivery with the maximum of space and crew efficiency. Unlike rivals, it was not built for conversion in wartime to a warship, so it was cheaper to build and carried twice the cargo, and could be handled by a smaller crew. Construction by specialized shipyards using new tools made it half the cost of rival ships. These factors combined to sharply lower the cost of transportation for Dutch merchants, giving them a major competitive advantage. The fluyt was a significant factor in the 17th century rise of the Dutch seaborne empire. In 1670 the Dutch merchant marine totalled 568,000 tons of shipping—about half the European total.

Little is known about the fluyt Zeehaen except for her tonnage of 200 tons. According to the books on shipbuilding by Nicolas Witsen a fluyt of 200 tons had dimensions of 100 x 22 x 11 feet. The ship was built in 1639 at the Amsterdam VOC shipyard. The Zeehaen left Holland in 1640 for Cambodia. In 1642 she was put under the command of Abel Tasman.

 

Dutch fluyt Zeehaen 1639 

This engraving of the fluyt Zeehaen was done in 1640 by Wenceslaus Hollar.

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