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Wilhelmina VII KW140 by kees de mol - Herringlugger 1914 - Scale 1/25

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I have been building a number of modern fishing vessels with pleasure, using different types of plastic, but I also wanted to build a wooden ship. It had to be a fishing ship and soon my eye fell on the Zeillogger (Saillugger). I also came in contact with someone who would like to have a logger's model and in the past two years we have searched for information, drawings and pictures. In the meanwhile I have enough material to start building.




The Zeillogger in General


Until the end of the 19th century people used Bomschuiten (flatbottom ships) in Holland for fishin herring. But in the latter half of the 19th a new fishing vessel came up, the logger. The design came from France but was soon taken to the Netherlands after which the design was adapted to the fishery. It resulted in light, fast ships that could quickly come to the fishing grounds and quickly returned to the port. As a result, more fishingtime was gained and the shipowners and shareholders made more money. The sailoggers were used to fish for herring with vleetnetten


The Fleet Fishing


The vleet-fishery is a herring fishing that was operated from the end of May to December in the southern parts of the North Sea. Only this fishery started until the end of May because the herring had only been sufficiently developed for consumption (maatjes-herring) and in winter the herring left the North Sea. The vleet- fishing was performed with so-called Bomschuiten (until the end of the 19th century) and then with steam or sailluggers.


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The driftnet for this fishery are called a Vleet. This is a vertical curtain in the water and consists of 100 to 150 interconnected nets (31 meters long and 16 meters high).

These nets are connected to a long cable, called the Reep to which floats (Breels or Scottish blowing) are attached to keep the net floating. The "Reep" is attached to the ship at the end. The net has meshes that are slightly smaller than the herrings head. When the herring swims in the net, he stays stuck in the net through his gills and can not go away anymore.


36329250814_108d85650a_c.jpg  37165603845_9746cb51fe_c.jpg


The Vleet is turned overboard in the afternoon, which takes about 1.5 hours. The Vleet will then remain in the water for a few hours until midnight and is then hauled in and the herring goes in bins on the deck. This takes 4 to 5 hours. After this the crew takes the herring for gutting, salting, putting in tubs and storage. After cleaning the ship, it is often time to turn off the vleet again. They worked for 6 or 7 days a week and trips lasted for 7 weeks.


The KW140, Wilhelmina VII


The Wilhelmina VII was a steel saillogger with the hull made of steel. The rest of the ship is made of various types of wood. Of the same type, several were built for different shipping companies.

The logger was built in 1912 at the shipyard Gebr. Boot at Leiderdorp on behalf of the fishingcompany Gebr. The Dulk te Katwijk aan Zee. Cost was

Fl. 15,200 (Dutch guilders) and presumably she got in line with the shipping company in 1914.



The logger is rigged about 38 meters long. The length of the keel is 25 meters and the overall hull length is 28 meters. The height is about 25 meters. Width is 6.6 meters.




About the history of the Wilhelmina VII, an ink-black veil hangs for the family of the sailors with much uncertainty, sadness and misery.

On 16-2-1918, Wilhelmina VII left under the command of Captain Arie den Hollander with 5 other crew members heading towards the Doggersbank for herring fishing. Since that date nothing is ever heard from the ship and its crew.  It was assumed that the ship has hit a mine and perished.



Later it became apparent that Wilhelmina VII was destroyed with all crew on 19-2-1918 by the U-Boote UB-64 under the leadership of Kapitänleutnant Woldemar Petri (1883-1951).


Much is unknown about reason for the sinking of the Wilhelmina VII, as the captain's log clearly states that he recognized her as a Dutch fishing vessel and Wilhelmina VII had the words HOLLAND on SB and BB. Perhaps the steel hull caused the captain to be confused or there are other things that play along, but it will always remain unclear.


The names of the killed crew are. Skipper Arie den Hollander (39), mate Willem van der Plas (33), sailor Jacob den Hollander (37), sailor Jan Zwanenburg (34), sailor Jeroen den Hollander (43) and oldest Arie den Hollander (16)

One of the crewmembers is the grandfather of the man I will build this model for.



The model


The model is built in scale 1/25, giving a hull-length of 113cm and a total length of 152cm and a height of 100cm. This will give me a lot of space to get a high level in details and make things work.

I will make the hull of fiberglass and polyester and the rest of the ship will be full of oak and brass.

For building, I base myself on the original buildingplans I found and photos of other sailloggers from that time. Particularly I will use information and photos of the only remaining saillogger VL-92 de Balder that has been very precisely restored and brought back into old state.



Edited by kees de mol
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14 hours ago, Mirabell61 said:

good traditional POB hand made hull making involved


Oof.... Hope I won't dissapoint You later in this log Nils because I am afraid this hull won't be very traditional. :o Poly Urethan foam is now curing on the hull and later there will be lots of polyesterfiller..... Sorry Nils

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Here's my attempt to answer Srodbro's question.  In my words... "Why is the mast down".


The saillugger was a fishingship using the "Vleet" a very long gilnet for fishing herring. The Vleet was a combination of multiple gilnets attached to each other. In one Vleet there were 100 to 150 gilnets. every gilnet was 30 meters long so the length of the Vleet was 300 to 450 meters long. The gilnets were attached to a very long cable called the "Reep". One side of the Reep was at the end of the Vleet and the other end was attached to the ship.




While setting the nets in the water, the lugger moved backwards driven by the wind.  To prevent the nets from being damaged by by pulling too hard, the sails were hauled down exept for the "bezaan". The forward mast is lowered to minimum the effect of the wind on the ship. The ship has to move backwards but must not pull the nets.


The forward mast was so constructed that one could lower him while at sea. 




You can see that the base of the mast is placed under an angle (2 degrees) so the mast could be lowered without touching the back mast.











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And some more progress on the "creature from the movie The Blob"


First some foam had to be cut away from the keel and frames





And after some sanding it looks a little better allready





Next step is adding some filler. Fix and finish from Home Depot.



The third time adding some filler (after sanding)





Next time I will sand it untill its very smooth and then I will apply some layers of polyester filler for a very smooth result.

Edited by kees de mol
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Hi Kees,

I'll be watching as well. I love looking at those old drawings. Brings back memories from when I was a draftie in Holland behind the manual drawing board. I like your approach with the "BLOB". I'm curious to see how it will work out.


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I am fascinated by this ship.

I find curious the position of the lowered mast, at its 2 degree skew, appearing to be paralleling the routing of the Reep from the bow to the capstan. Also, in the photo of the base of the mast, there are sheaves thru which I would bet the Reep is reeved. Judging from the drawings, these sheaves would be at about deck level when the mast is lowered. 

I wonder if, after passing thru these sheaves, the Reep ran up the mast, say to the location of the throats of the gaff, then paralleled the gaff down to the capstan. Doing so would direct a lot of the force from hauling the Reep to the base of the mast, and take some of it off the peak of the bow. The additional complexity of being able to lower the mast must be driven ( in my humble opinion) by some clear critical operating advantage beyond spilling a bit more wind, but I cannot think of what it might be. 

The skew to the bowsprit, and its apparent ability to be retracted, is also curious. 

Also, something protrudes from the mast above the five crewmen on deck ( unless, this a photo defect) which excites curiosity. 


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Hi Steve,


My guess is that these sheaves are not attached to the mast, so they won't change position when the mastis lowered.

Also, there is no need to get the reep attached to the mast: it is taken directly to the main capstan on the aft deck, (as indicated in th efigure Kees posted. btw. on that picture, also the positions of the various fisherman are indicated (starting from the youngest one, on the bow of the lugger)

Lowerin gthe mast is for not getting hit by the wind (which should get the ship in potentially large problems, as the Vleet is quite a long (and heavy) netting which you certianly wouldn't loose.....

Retractable bowsprits ar equite common in Dutch fishing ships: I guess to get the center of gravity as low as possible, and as close to the mast as possible. The thing you see above the fishermen is the sail that is usually attached to the main stay. That was hauled up (as far as I was told) to prevnt being fauled by the vleet, (which was handled on the deck just below)







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