The Zwarte Valk was built in 1889 in Capelle aan de IJssel at the shipyard Kalkman. In those days she was called ‘Vier Gebroeders’.
She was built to carry freight over the rivers, such as the Maas. To be able to sail upstream you need a fast ship. The ‘Waspikse’ stern makes the ‘Vier Gebroeders’ one of those fast klippers.
The ‘Vier Gebroeders’ sailed het freight till 1956, then she got an engine and her masts were removed.
After that she ended up in a ditch as a storage for ammunition.
That’s how Evert en Gonnie Verkerk found the ship, with no masts, but with her beautiful lining, at that time without even a dent.
Evert en Gonnie started a new adventure. They saw to it that the ship got it’s masts and sails back and renamed her ‘Zwarte Valk’ (black falcon) after the comics about captain Redbeard. (which you might better know from the Asterix series)
Along with a few other adventurers in 1967, Evert en Gonnie set sail with paying guests. A big table in the hold and a couple of bunks at the sides. It became a big succes and that’s how the dutch traditional fleet started!
In 1979 the Zwarte Valk was sold to Jan Schoen, he refitted the ship, with cabins, a toilet and shower. He also had the ship measured and drawn.
In the 80’s Jan sold the ship to the brothers Noë. Tom en Maarten also refitted the ship and renewed the cabins and showers. In those glorie days of the ‘Brown Fleet’ the Zwarte Valk sailed more then ever. With several managing skippers at the rudder.
The last managing skipper Arno de Jong bought the Zwarte Valk in 1999. Perforce he also had to refit. To keep the guests in the hold dry a new deck was welded and the hold was redecorated.
Despite his effords the ship stayed wet (on the inside). There was a leak somewhere, but he never found it.
Eventually Arno saw only one solution: selling. During an acquisition examination the whole ships bottem was disapproved. Unfortunately for Arno the selling bounced… Lucky us.
The latest news on the Zwarte Valk you can read on the page ‘Refit’.