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Ship of the year.

During the opening of the Sneekweek sailing event in 2019, the traditional freighter ‘Dorp Grouw’ was elected Ship of the Year. As a cargo vessel she played an important cultural-historical role for the southeast of Friesland.

A secret in the ship’s bow.

This early iron cargo vessel was built in 1909 to replace the wooden ‘Eabelina’. For many years, she was used for the transport connections between the Frisian towns of Grouw–Leeuwarden and Grouw–Sneek. After many journeys, she ended up in Zoutkamp in 1949 as a fishing vessel (number ZK37). Here, the stem of a fishing vessel was welded to the ship, while the original stem also remained. In 1988 she ended her time as a fishing vessel and was converted into a motor yacht.


The restoration.

The ship came up for sale again in 2011 and was bought by a group of local enthusiasts, who registered ownership of the ship under a foundation. The goal: to restore the ship to its former glory. To achieve this, the fishing stem was removed as a first step. After that, she went to a warehouse in Drogeham, where the restoration of the ironwork continued. Finally, she went to Earnewâld for the carpentry work and paint job.

The return of
the freighter

After a restoration that took nearly 4 years, the goal of restoring the ship to her former glory was achieved, and she was finally launched at the Skûtsjemuseum in Earnewâld in April 2019. It is now a unique ship, and a worthy representative of traditional Frisian shipbuilding.

The whole restoration project was a joint effort with the local councils of Achtkarspelen and Tytsjerksteradiel, aiming to give jobseekers the opportunity to contribute to the project and receive construction or engineering training in the process. It helped dozens of participants to obtain their welding diploma and find (new) employment.

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