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Old 03-23-2021, 08:39 AM
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abhovi abhovi is offline
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Want a virtual tour through a 17th century Dutch ship?

At previous occasions on this and other forums I explained that real trustworthy information about the shape and construction of Dutch 17th century ships is scarce. (A 17th century Dutch fluit, About reconstructing a Dutch fluit and making mistakes. | Ships of Scale, Sorry, you do not have permission for that! ) Now you have the chance to virtually walk through a ship of that era, of which both shape and construction are absolutely nonsense-proof.
The Amsterdam diplomat, lawyer, collector and lord-mayor of Amsterdam Nicolaes Witsen (1641-1717) was the first to write a book on the subject of Dutch shipbuilding, Aeloude en Hedendaegse Scheepsbouw en Bestier (Old and Modern Shipbuilding and Managing) 1671. To illustrate his story he described the building of an average ship of his days, an armed trader called a 'pinas'. Three masts, 134 feet long, 24 guns, sailed by a hundred man. It took me 6 years to process his data about the ship into working drawings and to build the model.
The knowledge I gained during the work opened the way for me to another career: head of the restoration department for navy models in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. In 2006, after having published about Witsen and his pinas I started to work the material around into 3D. I got help from a Belgian gentleman, called Rene Hendrickx, who proved to be an expert on the free downloadable shipbuilding program Delftship. Over three years we worked together to turn every single part of the ship Witsen mentioned into 3D shapes. In the end thousands of files formed together the unquestionable image of a 17th century average ship.
The Cultural Heritage Agency, part of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science commissioned Tijdlab, a young firm that makes historical 3D representations, to use our results for a program that made the pinas accessible for the public on an internet site: Witsen Scheepsbouw.

To say that it has grown into a heavy program is an understatement. It takes time to download the various parts. Therefore the (Microsoft)user gets the opportunity to download the entire program, both the Dutch and the English version, at once on to his own harddisk. That saves a lot of time if you want to access it more than once (which I warmly recommend). Mac users are for the time being convicted to use the online version, preferably through Chrome, which is just a little bit lower in quality, but still very worthwhile visiting.
After opening the site you get three choices:
1. Interactively you can watch 14 stages of construction of the ship. This is especially useful to watch the shell-first building method that was applied in those days in Holland, in which the outside planks are placed before any frame part.

Want a virtual tour through a 17th century Dutch ship?-knipsel1-kopie.jpg

2. Here you can 'walk' through the ship, using the w, a, s and d keys of your keyboard. In the next update you can ask the name of any part of the ship you see.

Want a virtual tour through a 17th century Dutch ship?-knipsel-3.jpg

3. Those names can be looked up in the Encyclopedia, where the location of the part in the ship is shown, as well as all the data Witsen provided about that part in his book. Of course it can be viewed from close-by, moving and turning the part any way you want.

Want a virtual tour through a 17th century Dutch ship?-knipsel-2-.jpg

On a forum for ship modelers it would be an omission not to make available the construction plans of the ship, the only 17th century average ship we know. There are also links to the online version of Witsen's book, together with another 17th century author about the subject, Cornelis van Yk with his book De Nederlandse Scheeps-bouw-konst open-gestelt (Dutch Shipbuilding Unveiled) from 1697.

Because this is the beta version (we hope to update very soon with more info presented within the program) we invite anyone who has remarks or questions to react and share his thoughts so we can serve the user even better.

Please have a look there!
Ab
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  #2  
Old 03-23-2021, 10:07 AM
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Michael Mash Michael Mash is offline
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Hello Ab:
Absolutely . . . I went and had a look.
It is a marvelous and extensive site. There is so much to explore, I have not had time to see it all.
For all the builders here that specialize in the “age of sail”, this site provides a wealth of information.
To my fellow shipbuilders: My description here does not do it justice. Go and see it for yourself.
Best Regards,
Mike
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Old 03-23-2021, 10:48 AM
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Michael Mash Michael Mash is offline
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Additional comments:
I spent my lunch hour "exploring" the construction of "the average ship".
There are many options to show different elements in the phases of construction.
Very enjoyable.
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Old 03-24-2021, 11:26 AM
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Erik Zwaan Erik Zwaan is offline
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Ab, this is truly amazing. Ships are not really my territory but those 17th century Dutch ships have always fascinated me. As a child my father often brought us to musea (yes, also to the Rijksmuseum), which we kids obviously never appreciated, but those huge images of ships, also in the many catalogues he bought, have always been in the back of my head. My father and his father were enthusiastic amateur painters/sketchers, so eye to details was always paid.

Equally impressive is that with all the limited technical means of those days, the ship builders managed to complete a ship within the year. That must have been an organization!
One and a half years ago I visited the Batavia wharf (not for the first time), and as it was just an ordinary weekday somewhere early June, there were not many visitors. I took my time to check out the Batavia and I think I must have covered every corner, much like walking the virtual Pinas tour. In the museum shop I saw your name as author of several books.

It's a pity that the "Zeven Provincien" never got built, but the 1:10 scale model is stunning. My hat off to the builders, now that's real modelling! So, when are you going to build a new ship model?


Regards,
Erik
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Old 03-26-2021, 09:02 AM
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abhovi abhovi is offline
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Thank you Michael, extremely kind of you to say. Ik know that I am a bit misplaced on this forum, that's why I posted the announcement under Other things we do & make, but having posted about many of my ships here, under which the pinas years ago, I thought I could not leave this forum out. So thanks again.
By the way, I thoroughly appreciate your builds. Amazing!

Erik, thank you too for your positive comment. A pinas took 4 to 5 months in the 17th century to build, by a crew of 20 to 21 men. Long days, hard work, but an amazing accomplishment.
I just delivered seven of my paper models to an archaeological museum nearby (in Castricum), where they get a nice place in an exhibition about the products that were imported by all these modest ships.
Working on a small fluit at the moment, but I showed the system so many times here, that it would only be a repetition to do it again.
Many compliments for your modeling skills. I like the Halinski kits.
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  #6  
Old 03-26-2021, 10:39 AM
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Michael Mash Michael Mash is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhovi View Post
Thank you Michael, extremely kind of you to say. Ik know that I am a bit misplaced on this forum, that's why I posted the announcement under Other things we do & make, but having posted about many of my ships here, under which the pinas years ago, I thought I could not leave this forum out. So thanks again.

Working on a small fluit at the moment, but I showed the system so many times here, that it would only be a repetition to do it again.

Never Ab!
The vessel of inspiration is never filled.
Please continue to bring your work to us so we can continue to motivate each other.
Best Regards,
Mike
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