New York National Boat Show will feature replica of Dutch ship Onrust

December 7, 2008 at 8:13 pm Leave a comment

They’ve got a showstopper, say organizers of the 2009 quadricentennial of Henry Hudson’s voyage up the river that bears his name.

It’s a replica of the Onrust — the Dutch name for restless — a 50-foot-long, 17th-century ship that’s going to showcase the quadricentennial display at the Dec. 13-21 New York National Boat Show.
A big draw
The show’s expected to draw 60,000 to 100,000 visitors.

“This boat show is the hard launch for the quadricentennial,” said Tara Sullivan, executive director of the 400th anniversary of Hudson’s trip and Samuel de Champlain’s exploration of Lake Champlain. Robert Fulton’s 1807 steamboat trip up the Hudson also is being hailed.

This space for the boat show, with its 250 exhibitors, is a pricey exhibit hall that’s being donated to the quadricentennial by the Jacob K. Javits Center boat-show organizers, said show manager Mike Duffy. After all, he said, “The history and enjoyment of recreation is a great tie-in to the show, to show how important the Hudson River is to boaters who (use it) and protect it.”

During the nine-day show, the historic Onrust’s 12-foot-long tender — its get-around boat — will be assembled by ship-builders following rare 17th-century Dutch archival directions. And the mother ship’s rigging will be done at the show by the man who did the rigging for the ships in “Pirates of the Caribbean.” A master sailmaker will fashion handmade traditional Dutch sails for the mother ship. And there’s much more handcrafting to spy.
Storied past
The Onrust, built by a stranded crew in 1614, was the first decked vessel to be built in New York. It was put together during a raw winter in Manhattan by crew from explorer Adriaen Block’s ship, the Tyger, which had burned.

Sailing around New York and Long Island Sound and into New England, the Onrust’s mapping helped the Dutch lay claim to a New Netherland that stretched from Connecticut to Delaware. So the Onrust replica sails with historic credentials almost as impressive as Hudson’s Half Moon voyage in 1609.

Missing from the boat show will be the bulk of the 17th-century replica, which has been put together by more than 250 volunteers. “We couldn’t get the 50-foot Onrust itself into the show, because it’s too big,” said Sullivan.
Upstate ties
The Onrust’s body is being finished at a Rotterdam Junction boatyard by loving hands of nonprofit New Netherlands Routes, with the Onrust’s launch set for 2009.

“Part of the Tyger’s crew joined sailors on two other ships in a mutiny and sailed away, leaving Block’s loyal men to fend for themselves in Manhattan,” said Don Rittner, president of New Netherland Routes Inc. “Luckily, his shipwright remained loyal and kept his tools to build the Onrust,”

Sullivan also plans big events for the quadricentennial, including the proposed “River Day” week in June, when a flotilla of heritage ships like the Onrust and Half Moon will lead a parade of vessels up the Hudson River from Manhattan to Albany. Sullivan hopes the event will become a yearly tradition.
More events slated
A final River Day meeting of boat owners and representatives from yacht clubs, marinas, West Point and riverside communities is set for Tuesday at Shadows on the Hudson in Poughkeepsie.

This year’s boat show will also feature the crew of the crab boat Time Bandit from the Discovery Channel series “Deadliest Catch,” Twiggy the Waterskiing Squirrel and a Green Boating Zone.

By Wayne A. Hall
Times Herald Record

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Entry filed under: Get Wet, Manhattan, Maritime. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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